Definition of Rastafarian in US English:

Rastafarian

adjective

  • Relating to a religious movement of Jamaican origin holding that blacks are the chosen people, that Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia was the Messiah, and that black people will eventually return to their Africa.

    • ‘From Garvey's teachings, the Rastafarian movement emerged in Jamaica in the 1930s.’
    • ‘Since 1930 an important part of Rastafarian theology is the idea of repatriation to Africa in order to escape oppression in ‘Babylon.’’
    • ‘Jamaica had its home grown Rastafarian revolution and Haiti's refusal to bow is famous.’
    • ‘The Rastafarian religion inspired by Emperor Haile Selassie is what brought American Gladstone Robinson to Ethiopia 40 years ago.’
    • ‘The Kebra Negast is a book of Rastafarian spirituality and religious interpretations.’
    • ‘The two suspects told police they are Rastafarians, but Rastafarian leaders on the island have denounced the attack.’

noun

  • A member of the Rastafarian religious movement. Rastafarians have distinctive codes of behavior and dress, including the wearing of dreadlocks, the smoking of cannabis, the rejection of Western medicine, and adherence to a diet that excludes pork, shellfish, and milk.

    • ‘This is why Rastafarians refer to the repressive outside world as Babylon.’
    • ‘The two suspects told police they are Rastafarians, but Rastafarian leaders on the island have denounced the attack.’
    • ‘The two men were believed to be Rastafarians and members of an anti-Catholic cult.’
    • ‘I was part of the Holy Ground; the place the Rastafarians worshipped the leader of their clan, and their God.’
    • ‘Other Rastafarians denounced the violence, saying it violated the religion's belief in peaceful coexistence.’

Origin

1930s: from Ras Tafari (see Rastafari) + -an.

Pronunciation

Rastafarian

/ˌræstəˈfɛriən//ˌrastəˈferēən/