UNLIKE delay, reverb (or reverberation, to give it its full name) is an indistinct blend of the many reflections that occur when sound bounces off the surfaces around you, decaying gradually as soundwaves are absorbed by the air and surrounding material.
The way your brain is wired means you only tend to notice reverberation at its most dramatic – in a cathedral or a tunnel, for example – but every place has its own unique reverb sound.
Reverb in music is all about capturing or creating a sense of a space. The first reverb effects used in recording studios would be the result of microphone placement in an actual physical space, with chamber reverb, plate reverb (literally a large ‘plate’ of sheet metal with a pickup attached to it to capture vibrations), and spring reverb (a similar concept to plate reverb but cheaper and more compact because of the coiled nature of the spring) all popular analogue solutions during the golden years of the 50s and 60s.
Although most of the reverb you hear in recorded music today is digital in origin, the arresting splash of the spring reverb tanks in 1960s Fender ‘blackface’ amps is still the most desirable reverb sound as far as most guitarists are concerned.