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Meaning of honky-tonk

honk•y-tonk

Pronunciation: (hong'kē-tongk", hông'kē-tôngk"), [key]
— n.
  1. a cheap, noisy, and garish nightclub or dance hall.
—adj.
  1. of, pertaining to, or characteristic of a honky-tonk: a honky-tonk atmosphere.
  2. characterized by or having a large number of honky-tonks: the honky-tonk part of town.
  3. noting a style of ragtime piano-playing characterized by a strict two-four or four-four bass, either contrapuntal or chordal, and a melody embellished with chords and syncopated rhythms, typically performed on a piano whose strings have been muffled and given a tinny sound.
—v.i.
  1. to visit or frequent honky-tonks.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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