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 All of this is present from the get-go in the title track, whose propulsive backbeat carries along a bevy of mixed emotions. Jack Butler, National Review, "An Ode to Arcade Fire’s The Suburbs," 18 Aug. 2020 It’s some of the catchiest music Jackson created during the 1980s and comes with an industrial pop backbeat that’s tailor-made for the dance-floor and gravity-defying moves featured in the stunning video. cleveland, "100 greatest Rock and Roll Hall of Fame songs of the 1980s," 12 Aug. 2020 The combination of Freddy Cole’s reedy voice and Lionel Cole’s chesty baritone made for a most appealing euphony, accompanied by Freddy Cole’s silvery pianism, Randy Napoleon’s buoyant guitar work and a chugging backbeat from the rest of the band. Howard Reich,, "Jazz Fest review: Freddy Cole evokes sweet memories of brother Nat King Cole," 30 Aug. 2019 Only the music business has codified egregious behavior into a marketing plan, sold it to an audience as a vicarious thrill and welded it to a backbeat. Rosanne Cash, Billboard, "Rosanne Cash Opens Up About Her #MeToo Experiences -- And How The Industry Can Avoid Further 'Collateral Damage'," 21 Mar. 2019 The glossy keyboard chords, the backbeat highlighted by synthesizer slides and the layered backup voices all come out of 1980s-vintage Jackson, and haven’t lost their lift. Jon Pareles, New York Times, "Lady Gaga’s Disco Inferno, and 9 More New Songs," 28 Feb. 2020 In the United States, talk radio on Sputnik covers the political spectrum from right to left, but the constant backbeat is that America is damaged goods. New York Times, "Playing on Kansas City Radio: Russian Propaganda," 13 Feb. 2020 Bern hits hard on the cautionary title track, with a clapping backbeat and a humming horn section. Chris Bieri, Anchorage Daily News, "Dan Bern performs in Alaska for the first time since injuring hand in snowblower accident," 19 Dec. 2019 Rechtshaid added drums and moved the chorus over an eighth note, adding a backbeat. Chris Payne, Billboard, "Ariel Rechtshaid Talks Working With Vampire Weekend, Reveals What To Expect From Haim and Adele," 28 June 2019

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

Time Traveler for backbeat

Time Traveler

The first known use of backbeat was in 1928

See more words from the same year

Statistics for backbeat

Cite this Entry

“Backbeat.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Jan. 2021.

More from Merriam-Webster on backbeat

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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).


Test Your Vocabulary

Slippery Words Quiz—Changing with the Times

  • ducreux self portrait yawning
  • What is an earlier meaning of nice?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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