Definition of rebetika in English:

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Pronunciation: /rɪˈbɛtɪkə/
(also rembetika)


[mass noun]
A type of Greek popular song accompanied by instruments such as violins and bouzoukis.
Example sentences
  • He took as the basis of his style the urban popular music known as rebetika, which at the time was not very highly regarded.
  • He translated a wide range of Greek programs, including Greek tragedies, modern Greek poetry and the lyrics of rebetika songs.
  • 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'.

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