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reggae

[reg-ey]
noun
  1. a style of Jamaican popular music blending blues, calypso, and rock-'n'-roll, characterized by a strong syncopated rhythm and lyrics of social protest.
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Origin of reggae

< Jamaican English, respelling of reggay (introduced in the song “Do the Reggay” (1968) by Frederick “Toots” Hibbert), a dance name based on rege, *strege a dowdy or raggedy fellow; compare rege-rege ragged clothing, quarrel, row
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for reggae

reggae

noun
  1. a type of West Indian popular music having four beats to the bar, the upbeat being strongly accented
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Word Origin for reggae

C20: of West Indian origin
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 reggae

n.

1968, Jamaican English (first in song title "Do the Reggay" by Toots & the Maytals), perhaps [OED, Barnhart] related to rege-rege "a quarrel, protest," literally "ragged clothes," variant of raga-raga, alteration and reduplication of English rag (n.).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

reggae in Culture

reggae

[(reg-ay)]

A form of pop music that originated in Jamaica, combining elements of calypso and rhythm and blues (see blues) with a strongly accentuated offbeat. Bob Marley was the first internationally known reggae musician.

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The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.