high·​life | \ ˈhī-ˌlīf How to pronounce highlife (audio) \

Definition of highlife

: dance music of west African origin that combines syncopated African rhythms with elements of jazz

Examples of highlife in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Multiple Nigerian artists reach Billboard’s Social 50 chart dated Oct. 24, led by highlife singer Adekunle Gold, who bows at No. 8. Kevin Rutherford, Billboard, "Multiple Nigerian Musicians, Led by Adekunle Gold, Hit Social 50 Chart During #EndSARS," 22 Oct. 2020 Afrobeats developed in the early 2000s, its sound the result of a fusion of elements taken from hip hop, R&B, highlife, dancehall, and more. Ineye Komonibo, refinery29.com, "Burna Boy Is The Name To Watch At The 2020 Grammys," 24 Jan. 2020 My latest collection explored postindependence Nigerian Afro-funk, disco, and highlife subcultures through the unique perspective of my late grandmother Florence. Brooke Bobb, Vogue, "These Designers Are Changing the Fashion Landscape in Dubai," 3 Apr. 2018 From early on, jazz was a chief influence on him, alongside highlife and Nigerian spiritual music. Giovanni Russonello, New York Times, "Drummer Tony Allen, Blending Art Blakey and Afrobeat," 28 June 2017 Dominic James—played bright, reiterative figures in the style of Nigerian highlife; the other— Paul Elie, The New Yorker, "A Brilliant Return for a Talking Heads Album," 13 May 2017 Hundreds of parishioners, overwhelmingly Nigerian, many in African ceremonial clothes, swayed to gospel songs made faster and funkier by Nigerian highlife beats. Adam Shatz, New York Times, "Kamasi Washington’s Giant Step," 21 Jan. 2016

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'highlife.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of highlife

1942, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about highlife

Time Traveler for highlife

Time Traveler

The first known use of highlife was in 1942

See more words from the same year

Statistics for highlife

Last Updated

25 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Highlife.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/highlife. Accessed 28 Oct. 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on highlife

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about highlife

Comments on highlife

What made you want to look up highlife? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Namesakes Word Quiz

  • a citrus fruit possibly named after a person
  • Which of the following is a fruit named after a Moroccan seaport?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!