a style of Jamaican popular music blending blues, calypso, and rock-'n'-roll, characterized by a strong syncopated rhythm and lyrics of social protest.
Origin: < 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
1968, Jamaican Eng. (first in song title "Do the Reggay" by Toots & the Maytals), perhaps related to rege-rege "a quarrel, protest," lit. "ragged clothes," variant of raga-raga, alteration and reduplication of Eng. rag.
A form of pop music that originated in Jamaica, combining elements of calypso and rhythm and blues (seeblues) with a strongly accentuated offbeat. Bob Marley was the first internationally known reggae musician.