off·​beat | \ˈȯf-ˌbēt \

Definition of offbeat 

(Entry 1 of 2)

: an unaccented beat or portion of a beat in a musical measure


off·​beat | \ˈȯf-ˈbēt \

Definition of offbeat (Entry 2 of 2)

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Examples of offbeat in a Sentence


She has an offbeat sense of humor. He often plays offbeat characters in his films. an offbeat approach to teaching The performance was refreshingly offbeat.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The poetic empathy, the beautiful offbeat framing and unexpected transitions, and the magnificent handling of actors are all pure Campion. Patrick Friel, Chicago Reader, "Books / Film / Foreign / History / On Video / Poetry Five literary biopics whose pictures are worth a thousand words," 30 May 2018 The Fringe is full of offbeat shows so there is no way to guarantee what every person will enjoy. Matthew J. Palm,, "Orlando Fringe: Sentinel's Best of the Fest," 23 May 2018 Offbeat Sculpture Garden Sculpture gardens are like junk drawers: Seems like everybody—the Hammer, the Norton Simon, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art—has one. Marielle Wakim, Los Angeles Magazine, "Best of LA: 92 of Our Favorite Things to Eat, Do, and Buy Right Now," 14 July 2017 KC Fringe Festival July 20-30 at multiple venues Offbeat artists and performances will abound at the 13th annual event for experimental theater and much more. Bill Brownlee And Dan Kelly,,, "Ink picks: 10 events not to miss in July," 28 June 2017 OREGON Offbeat Oregon History - Step off the beaten path with this podcast about true Oregon stories. Rebeca Coleman, Smithsonian, "Learn the Secret History of Your State With These Addictive Podcasts," 18 Apr. 2017

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Aquarius Venus Aquarius energy is progressive, offbeat, and aloof. Aliza Kelly Faragher, Allure, "What the Position of Venus in Your Birth Chart Means for You," 31 July 2018 Though seemingly offbeat, the project is literally close to home for Ferg—he’ll debut the products in Harlem, his hometown, with a pop-up shop fashioned after his own apartment. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "A$AP Ferg Wants to Help You Decorate Your Home," 2 June 2017 But the surreal comedy, which stars Donald Glover as Earn Marks, the manager and cousin of a rapper named Paper Boi (Brian Tyree Henry), and Stanfield as their offbeat friend, has become a genre-defying treatise on all aspects of black life. Clover Hope, Glamour, "Lakeith Stanfield Is a New Kind of Leading Man," 11 Sep. 2018 Damsel takes its title from the outdated idea of the damsel in distress, a concept that gets systematically overturned in this offbeat western. Gary Thompson,, "'Damsel': Robert Pattinson neo-western shoots itself in its hipster foot," 27 June 2018 Wow, to have a romcom, however offbeat, that’s different – and there aren’t that many plays that are optimistic about the human condition. John Timpane,, "'Love, Lies and Taxidermy' at Inis Nua: Optimism in a time of dark plays," 18 Feb. 2018 But though Dracula zings again, this third offering in the offbeat look at the world of ghouls and monsters doesn’t come close to having the same zing as the first or second. Rick Bentley, Detroit Free Press, "Review: ‘Hotel Transylvania 3’ is a little short on zing," 12 July 2018 Then, accessorize with an offbeat and oh-so-chic interpretation on something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue. Rachel Waldman, Vogue, "Say “I Do” in an Unconventional (Yet Still Chic!) Country Wedding Look," 30 Apr. 2018 The Stumptown Twilight is scheduled for June 15, also at L&C. Wheating, who has an offbeat sense of humor and some skill as a filmmaker, apparently will ensure Portland Track and both meets will have a big social media presence. Ken Goe,, "Andrew Wheating makes Portland Track lively on social media; Oregon track & field rundown," 22 Mar. 2018

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


1901, in the meaning defined above


1922, in the meaning defined above

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Dictionary Entries near offbeat

off beam







Statistics for offbeat

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Time Traveler for offbeat

The first known use of offbeat was in 1901

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More Definitions for offbeat



English Language Learners Definition of offbeat

: different from the ordinary, usual, or expected

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More from Merriam-Webster on offbeat

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with offbeat

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for offbeat

Nglish: Translation of offbeat for Spanish Speakers

Comments on offbeat

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


the figure or shape of a crescent moon

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