from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A religious and political movement originating in Jamaica in the 1930s that bases its doctrine on selections from the Bible and regards Ethiopia as the Promised Land and Haile Selassie as a messiah, with many members advocating nonviolence and rejecting materialism.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- proper n. A religion that emerged in Jamaica in the 1930s out of biblical prophecy and rising black aspirations.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. a religious cult based on a belief that Ras Tafari (Haile Selassie) is the Messiah and that Africa (especially Ethiopia) is the Promised Land
After Ras Tafari Makonnen, former name of Haile Selassie, proclaimed a divine being by adherents : Amharic ras, head, prince; see rאš in Semitic roots + Amharic täfäri, to be feared, participle of täfärra, to be feared, derived stem of färra, to fear, respect; see prh in Semitic roots.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Rastafarian + -ism, from Amharic ራስተፈሪ (Ras Tafari, "alternative name of Haile Selassie of Ethiopia"), from ራስ (ras, "chief, head") (from Arabic رأس (ra's)) + ተፈሪ (tafari, "to be feared, fearsome"), from ፈራ (fara, "to fear") (Wiktionary)