Definition of reggae in English:



  • [mass noun] A style of popular music with a strongly accented subsidiary beat, originating in Jamaica. Reggae evolved in the late 1960s from ska and other local variations on calypso and rhythm and blues, and became widely known in the 1970s through the work of Bob Marley; its lyrics are much influenced by Rastafarian ideas.

    • ‘The only other Blue Lines survivor is Horace Andy, one of reggae's most distinctive vocalists.’
    • ‘At school I loved reggae and soul, one of my mates was a punk and lent me this record.’
    • ‘It's a daily beach party with Bob Marley reggae music and burgers sizzling on scores of grills.’
    • ‘Smith grew up with gospel and reggae; Bob Marley and Yellowman in particular.’
    • ‘Its greatest exponent was Bob Marley who took reggae to a worldwide audience.’
    • ‘On the bill are DJs Andy Williams and Dubline playing hip hop, reggae and broken beat.’
    • ‘They added ideas from dub and reggae and a big dollop of social realism, sexual anxiety and Marxism.’
    • ‘I was born in West London and grew up listening to reggae and punk rock.’
    • ‘Mr Murden liked the reggae music by Bob Marley which was played at the beginning and end of the service.’
    • ‘I'd like it to cover a whole range of dance styles, from reggae to rock 'n' roll and from soul to swing.’
    • ‘They'll be rocking the kwaito, reggae, hip hop and soul with the aid of some musical guests.’
    • ‘This is hip hop and reggae rolled up into perhaps the most original hybrid that I've heard to date.’
    • ‘I wanted more of a groove on this album, and I thought, let's do as much reggae as we can.’
    • ‘Strange as it may seem, Birmingham has become one of the most important cities for reggae outside Jamaica.’
    • ‘The accompanying music is pretty standard urban fare, with a touch of reggae thrown in for good measure.’
    • ‘On your old website, you mentioned that you both grew up listening to hip-hop, reggae and jungle.’
    • ‘The heart of the Fat Freddy sound is reggae, from ska through to dub, to which they add subtle hints of house music.’
    • ‘The boys like soul music and reggae - Aretha Franklin, Desmond Dekker, Marvin Gaye.’
    • ‘Until Sean Paul came on the scene, dancehall reggae was starting to get a little boring.’
    • ‘My parents are from St Lucia, so there was a lot of calypso and reggae in the house.’


1960s: perhaps related to Jamaican English rege-rege quarrel, row.