beatbox

1 of 2

noun

beat·​box ˈbēt-ˌbäks How to pronounce beatbox (audio)
plural beatboxes
1
: an electronic device that adds a backbeat, manipulates sounds, and mimics musical instruments
… loops and layers her voice and music with a beatbox, small keyboard/synth and a laptop …The Seattle (Washington) Times
2
: a person who vocally imitates percussion sounds : beatboxer
When we first started, I was the beatbox, Treach was the MC, and Kay Gee was the DJ.Vincent Brown, quoted in VIBE
… he layers many of the 15 songs here with his entirely voice-generated rhythm tracks, turning himself into what rappers call a human beatbox.George Varga
also : the performance of such a vocal imitation
… smashed the world record for the longest continuous beatboxundertheradar.co.nz
"… My friends there were performing on the downtown scene. One had a piece of spoken word and I said, 'I'll do this beatbox and dance next to it.' …" Jonny Woo, quoted at Independent.co.uk
often used before another noun
beatbox vocals The event also will include entertainment by campus dancers, a cappella singers and a vocal beatbox performer. University of Chicago Equally impressive was runner-up George Avakian who, during his beatbox performance, instructed viewers to "watch five sounds come out of one human's mouth"—simultaneously, mind you … Lara de Matos This five-person professional a cappella singing group … transforms familiar pop, funk, Motown, standards, and Broadway songs with all-new vocal (and beatbox) arrangements. Kay Johnson
3
: boom box
On the other side of the pool, an American tourist put a cassette in his beatbox. (This was a time before iPods and the internet.)Martha Kearney

beatbox

2 of 2

verb

beatboxed; beatboxing; beatboxes

intransitive verb

: to vocally imitate percussion sounds : to perform beatboxing
On top of that impressive instrumental work, he beatboxed! … How one can physically make those sounds, we might never know.Annabel Iwegbue
Lewis beatboxes into Time of the Season. He grabs an acoustic guitar and sings She Will Be Loved.Olivia Barker
[Ben] Broussard released a self-titled folk album late last year. But he's not confined to one genre. Says his former teammate, [Cincinnati] Reds infielder Brandon Phillips: "The dude can seriously beatbox. …"Buster Olney

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
That meeting led to Biz Markie working as a human beatbox with artists MC Shan and Roxanne Shanté. Lisa Respers France And Andy Rose, CNN, 16 July 2021 To these performers, add the beatbox sound effects superman Chris Sullivan, and your dial is tuned to adoring. Peter Marks, Washington Post, 3 Oct. 2019 The current lineup consists of Veneziale, Utkarsh Ambudkar, Andrew Bancroft, the beatbox wiz Chris Sullivan (who goes by Shockwave), and, providing musical backup, Arthur Lewis and Bill Sherman—plus drop-ins by Miranda and others. Adam Green, Vogue, 10 Sep. 2019 Jeff Faughender, Louisville Courier Journal Watching Raul Lopez beatbox is like watching an entire song unfold in front of you. Laurel Deppen, The Courier-Journal, 8 Aug. 2019 The designs depict black men playing basketball, a couple dancing to a beatbox wearing traditional colonial garb, black women braiding each others’ hair, and girls playing double dutch. Tatum Dooley, Teen Vogue, 12 June 2019 The pair traded beatbox recordings, notes, mood boards and sticky notes between day jobs and other commitments. Joey Guerra, Houston Chronicle, 25 Oct. 2017 During Yuri Basho Lane's beatbox musical short Make Peace, a toddler adjacent to me stomped to the rhythm, her light-up sneaker soles pulsating flashes to the beat. Dan Jakes, Chicago Reader, 30 Aug. 2017 To emphasize that last point, Doug E. Fresh will appear Oct. 5 in probably the IMA's first old-school beatbox concert. Liz Biro, Indianapolis Star, 28 Aug. 2017 See More

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

Word History

Etymology

Noun

beat entry 2 + box entry 1

Verb

derivative of beatbox entry 1

First Known Use

Noun

1982, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1988, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of beatbox was in 1982

Dictionary Entries Near beatbox

Cite this Entry

“Beatbox.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/beatbox. Accessed 31 Jan. 2023.

Kids Definition

beatbox

noun
beat·​box
ˈbēt-ˌbäks
: an electronic device that adds a backbeat, manipulates sounds, and mimics musical instruments
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