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

And his costumes harmonized with Mardi Gras Indians and French Quarter beatniks and bluesmen and the legend of a voodoo priest. Doug Maccash,, "The world reacts to Dr. John’s death," 6 June 2019 Also, the Cool Post Office was founded in 1885, so Todd must have either been a very forward-thinking beatnik, or a time-traveling one. Ken Jennings, Condé Nast Traveler, "Of Course California Has a Town Named 'Cool'," 28 May 2018 Few can actually wear one on a regular basis without looking like a pretentious beatnik. Julie Ma, The Cut, "10 Times Celebrities Wore Berets," 1 Mar. 2018 These beatnik businessmen were precursors to the libertarians who turned broadly toward the counterculture in the 1960s. Jeet Heer, New Republic, "The Case for “Retreatism” in the Trump Era," 15 Feb. 2018 This month’s events in the city encompass everything from the Castro Street Fair to the week-long Litquake, a chance to indulge your inner beatnik. Mark Ellwood, CNT, "Best Places to Travel in October," 5 Sep. 2017 On your right is the way out pad of the beatnik-hippie Grateful Dead. Marin Independent Journal, The Mercury News, "Grateful Dead’s former publicist reflects on years with Marin’s most famous band," 11 Feb. 2017 On Nov. 17, 1959, an audacious saxophonist from Los Angeles named Ornette Coleman made his New York debut at the Five Spot, an East Village dive frequented by artists, beatniks and bohemians. Julian Sancton, Billboard, "Remembering Jazz's Greatest Year With the Living Legends of 1959," 5 May 2017 Andy Warhol, who first saw the group play at a beatnik club called Café Bizarre, on West Third Street, became their first manager, along with the filmmaker Paul Morrissey. Amanda Petrusich, The New Yorker, "John Cale’s Inventive Retrospection," 30 Jan. 2017

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.

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First Known Use of beatnik

1958, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for beatnik

beat entry 3 + -nik

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Last Updated

28 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for beatnik

The first known use of beatnik was in 1958

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English Language Learners Definition of beatnik

: a young person who was part of a social group in the 1950s and early 1960s that rejected the traditional rules of society and encouraged people to express themselves through art

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