Share this entry

Share this page


Syllabification: reg·gae
Pronunciation: /ˈreˌɡā

Definition of reggae in English:


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.
Example sentences
  • 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.
  • The boys like soul music and reggae - Aretha Franklin, Desmond Dekker, Marvin Gaye.


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

Definition of reggae in:

Share this entry

Share this page


What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day peart
Pronunciation: pɪət
lively; cheerful