off·​beat | \ ˈȯf-ˌbēt How to pronounce offbeat (audio) \

Definition of offbeat

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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


off·​beat | \ ˈȯf-ˈbēt How to pronounce offbeat (audio) \

Definition of offbeat (Entry 2 of 2)

: different from the ordinary, usual, or expected in usually an appealing way : eccentric, unconventional an offbeat romantic comedy … you have to drive through a shallow stream to reach this wonderfully offbeat inn, hiding behind immaculate rows of fruit trees. But it's worth it.— William Sertl Luscious ice cream made fresh daily comes in such offbeat flavors as banana-walnut, chocolate-cherry, and nectarine.— Caroline Bates … our profession's deepest and darkest secret—that libraries are a ball to work in and that librarians tend to be rather offbeat and funky people.— Will Manley

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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

The delightfully offbeat skill isn’t limited to him though. Laken Litman, USA TODAY, "Finnish team knits together at Winter Olympics," 14 Feb. 2018 What both savor about their wedding is the offbeat location — the Mütter Museum, with its jarred medical oddities — and the moments just after the ceremony, when the two were alone in a little room, sharing champagne. Anndee Hochman,, "The Parent Trip: Alisha Glennon and Jeffrey Stacey of Mount Airy," 8 May 2018 Elegant yet offbeat, the 18-year-old Belgian newcomer made an impression at Loewe, Maison Margiela, and Christopher Kane. Vogue, "Meet the Top 14 Models of Fall 2019," 13 Mar. 2019 But no matter how many people call him out for his offbeat outfits (Carson Daly included), the Maroon 5 singer always wears his looks with confidence. Megan Stein, Country Living, "Adam Levine's Latest Instagram Post Has Everyone Talking About His Fashion Choices," 28 Jan. 2019 Given these illustrations, Grimes's forthcoming songs will probably be as offbeat as ever. Rachel Hahn, Vogue, "The New Grimes Merch Is Just as Freaky and Ethereal As You’d Expect," 26 Nov. 2018 Budapest offers accommodations in every category, from the cool and offbeat to the luxurious. András Szántó, Condé Nast Traveler, "Where to Eat, Stay, and Play in Budapest," 29 Aug. 2018 There is a tradition at Norway Chess of doing offbeat things during the first day off. Chris Chase,, "Chess notes," 9 June 2018 But Brother Consolmagno, director of the Vatican Observatory and thus the pope’s chief astronomer, is accustomed to fielding offbeat questions with good humor. Kyle Peterson, WSJ, "An Astronomer’s View of the Christmas Sky," 21 Dec. 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

informal : 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).


a sum of money that is sent as a payment

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