Definition of mento in English:



  • A style of Jamaican folk music based on a traditional dance rhythm in duple time.

    • ‘The venerable Jolly Boys, often tagged as the Jamaican Buena Vista Social Club, have devoted their long careers to keeping mento alive and vibrant with their bongos, banjos and kalimba.’
    • ‘Passengers are usually greeted in ‘Love Boat ‘style by an old mento or calypso band and dancers.’’
    • ‘It reflects a moment in which Jamaican pop music was synthesising Black R&B and West Indian mento music.’
    • ‘Jamaica's musical past goes far beyond reggae: There's the warm rhythms of mento, the sweet sway of calypso, the jittery jump of ska.’
    • ‘The mento that graced the first Jamaican recordings of the early 1950s mixed an indigenous folk style with elements of Trinidadian calypso.’


Early 20th century: of unknown origin.