back·​beat | \ ˈbak-ˌbēt How to pronounce backbeat (audio) \

Definition of backbeat

: a steady pronounced rhythm stressing the second and fourth beats of a four-beat measure

Examples of backbeat in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Vary the rhythms to incorporate two-beat, four-beat, a backbeat, and a five-note Black Bottom dance rhythm. John Edward Hasse, WSJ, "Plotting His Way Into Jazz History," 7 Sep. 2018 But Ruoff and Alt 103.3 provided more than enough proof that a sing-along chorus, electric guitar and backbeat still add up to a massive party, at least in the hands of the Killers and charismatic vocalist Brandon Flowers. David Lindquist, Indianapolis Star, "5 ways the Killers keep rock alive at Alt 103.3 show," 9 June 2018 Pretty Horses’ Pithy storytelling, twang and a backbeat have defined Dwight Yoakam’s music throughout his career. Jon Pareles, New York Times, "The Playlist: The 1975 Talk About Its Generation, and 9 More New Songs," 1 June 2018 Como, the once maniacal, me-hating escape artist, settled into a serene and even affectionate middle age, his morning bed visits and metronomic tail wags for food and walks and nightly treats a steady backbeat to our empty-nest life. Steven Winn,, "A loving family remembers the zeitgeist of Como the dog," 2 July 2018 But San Francisco DJ and producer Cameron Paul created a remix of the track and its infectious backbeat, giving Salt-N-Pepa their first big hit. Dave Quinn,, "Salt-N-Pepa and En Vogue Reunite for Funky Hit-Filled Medley at the 2018 Billboard Music Awards," 20 May 2018 Old-school community networking created the backbeat for Taste. Dave Hoekstra, Chicago Reader, "Oldest black-owned nightclub in city faces uncertain future," 2 May 2018 Guitarist Brown, bassist Miller and drummer Rummage thoroughly bought into the classic-swing syntax, providing chugging backbeats in some works, forward thrust in others. Howard Reich,, "Scott Hamilton and Harry Allen celebrate swing," 9 Feb. 2018 Delirious sounds pumping out of a Farfisa organ flutter and spin around a droning backbeat. Travis M. Andrews,, "Forty years ago, 'Rock Lobster' launched the career of the B-52s — and revived John Lennon's," 6 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'backbeat.' 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 backbeat

1928, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about backbeat

Dictionary Entries near backbeat



back beam





Statistics for backbeat

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for backbeat

The first known use of backbeat was in 1928

See more words from the same year

More from Merriam-Webster on backbeat

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with backbeat

Comments on backbeat

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


incapable of being surmounted or overcome

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

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!