beat·​nik | \ ˈbēt-nik How to pronounce beatnik (audio) \

Definition of beatnik

: a person who participated in a social movement of the 1950s and early 1960s which stressed artistic self-expression and the rejection of the mores of conventional society broadly : a usually young and artistic person who rejects the mores of conventional society

Examples of beatnik in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The chances of finding a springbok in the National Museum were about as strong as finding a beatnik on a bog road between Balleybofey and Lifford. Paul Muldoon, The New Yorker, 4 Oct. 2021 Stand-up partially originated in the Village in the 1950s, in coffeehouses where folk musicians and beatnik poets entertained too. Cnt Editors, Condé Nast Traveler, 14 Apr. 2020 But that generation-defining gesture isn’t just the stale move of a 1950s beatnik. New York Times, 24 Feb. 2020 There’s a touch of the beatnik and a touch of the hippie here. Brian T. Allen, National Review, 29 Feb. 2020 Biographies of Chuck Berry, Hank Williams and Ray Charles compete for space on his shelves alongside beatnik tomes by Kerouac and Burroughs, and even a copy of Spoken Urdu. Jordan Runtagh,, 31 Oct. 2019 Perhaps in response the free surfer has turned ever more scraggly-haired, more rambling beatnik. Jamie Brisick, The New Yorker, 26 Aug. 2019 The ecstatic transport here was as much to Fluxus as to the San Francisco beatnik clubs of the 1950s. Los Angeles Times, 8 Sep. 2019 And his costumes harmonized with Mardi Gras Indians and French Quarter beatniks and bluesmen and the legend of a voodoo priest. Doug Maccash,, 6 June 2019 See More

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

First Known Use of beatnik

1958, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for beatnik

beat entry 3 + -nik

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The first known use of beatnik was in 1958

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Dictionary Entries Near beatnik

beat man


beat off

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Cite this Entry

“Beatnik.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 May. 2022.

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