• synonyms


[ras-tuh-fair-ee-uh n, -fahr-, rah-stuh-]
See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
  1. a follower of Rastafarianism.
  1. of, relating to, or characteristic of Rastafarianism or Rastafarians.

Origin of Rastafarian

< Amharic ras täfäri Prince Tafari, the pre-coronation name of Haile Selassie (ras prince, orig., head; täfäri an Amharic personal name, literally, (one to be) feared, respected, present participle from passive stem färra (v.) fear, respect) + -an
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
British Dictionary definitions for rastafarian


  1. a member of an originally Jamaican religion that regards Ras Tafari (the former emperor of Ethiopia, Haile Selassie) as God
  1. of, characteristic of, or relating to the Rastafarians
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for rastafarian



1955 (Rastafarite is found from 1953), from Rastafari, Jamaican religion built around writings of Marcus Garvey and belief that Haile Selassie (1892-1975), former emperor of Ethiopia, was God. From Ras Tafari, Selassie's title from 1916 to his accession in 1936, from Amharic ras "chief, head" (from Arabic ra's) + tafari "to be feared." As an adjective from 1960.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper