Definition of rebetika in English:


(also rembetika)


mass noun
  • A type of Greek popular song accompanied by instruments such as violins and bouzoukis.

    • ‘Music and dance are major forms of group and self-expression, and genres vary from Byzantine chants to the music of the urban working class known as rebetika.’
    • ‘He translated a wide range of Greek programs, including Greek tragedies, modern Greek poetry and the lyrics of rebetika songs.’
    • ‘He took as the basis of his style the urban popular music known as rebetika, which at the time was not very highly regarded.’
    • ‘I would compare tango to American blues and Greek rembetika - what happened with those styles, and I think to tango also, was that as they became more respectable, they also experienced a certain creative paralysis.’


Modern Greek rempetika (plural), used as noun of rempetikos ‘of vagrants or rebels’, probably from rempetēs ‘vagrant’.