1 of 2


off·​beat ˈȯf-ˌbēt How to pronounce offbeat (audio)
: an unaccented beat or portion of a beat in a musical measure


2 of 2


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

Examples of offbeat in a Sentence

Adjective 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.
Recent Examples on the Web
Burke has revived his show for the streaming age, with six new episodes about the way things change, maintaining the series’s integrity and also its appetite for the offbeat. Margaret Lyons, New York Times, 23 Nov. 2023 As Neumann prepares the 30th film festival (the 2023 event runs Sept. 13-17), that original Oldenburg spirit — the celebration of the offbeat, the weird and the fiercely radical — remains his guiding light. Scott Roxborough, The Hollywood Reporter, 16 May 2023 But this time, Lil Red looked a little offbeat. Rasha Aridi, Smithsonian Magazine, 3 Dec. 2020 His character embraces an offbeat, out-of-reach new lifestyle that the older protagonists (Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts) attempt to capture for themselves by befriending him and his partner (Amanda Seyfried). Wesley Stenzel,, 28 Nov. 2022 Jeff Weiss, a playwright and actor known for innovative, offbeat shows in out-of-the-way New York theaters as well as for roles in mainstream productions, including more than a dozen on Broadway, died on Sept. 18 in Macungie, Pa., near Allentown. Neil Genzlinger, New York Times, 18 Oct. 2022 Holder sought out the offbeat, the untutored, and the visionary. John Beardsley, ELLE Decor, 18 Aug. 2022 With a sales technique honed as a sidewalk hustler, hypnotic TV pitchman Ron Popeil made a fortune hawking such offbeat yet oddly clever contraptions as the Veg-O-Matic and Mr. Microphone. Valerie J. Nelson, Los Angeles Times, 28 July 2021
With camo and offbeat color schemes, the brand never plays it safe. Lindsey Bartlett, Forbes, 29 Mar. 2024 The Oscars will round out a fruitful award season for Stone, who is nominated in Sunday night's ceremony for her starring role in director Yorgos Lanthimos's offbeat coming of age comedy Poor Things. Hanna Lustig, Glamour, 10 Mar. 2024 Nicole Kidman, Birth (2004) Kidman, crowned with an Oscar for playing Virginia Woolf with a parrot’s beak for a nose in The Hours (2002), has often kept her dance card filled with smaller, offbeat movies that don’t necessarily click with audiences. Tom Gliatto, Peoplemag, 9 Mar. 2024 This offbeat indie was only Murphy's second starring role, reprising his character in the stage production as a young man with a close and unnerving relationship with his best friend and next-door neighbor (Elaine Cassidy). Danny Horn,, 7 Mar. 2024 At its core, Tulum is a center for the arts — a haven for the quirky and offbeat. Meagan Drillinger, Travel + Leisure, 3 Mar. 2024 Later, in the Nineties, DJs began incorporating freestyle records flown in from Miami, amping the music with offbeat electronic influences. Julyssa Lopez, Rolling Stone, 28 Feb. 2024 Working alongside Elsbeth is Officer Kaya Blanke (Carra Patterson), a stoic and ethical officer who quickly develops an appreciation for Elsbeth’s insightful and offbeat ways. Selome Hailu, Variety, 26 Jan. 2024 Mell forged a new vision of Southwestern landscape, angular and striking, familiar but offbeat — like maybe if Picasso used a ruler. Bill Goodykoontz, The Arizona Republic, 24 Feb. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'offbeat.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use


1901, in the meaning defined above


1922, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of offbeat was in 1901

Dictionary Entries Near offbeat

Cite this Entry

“Offbeat.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 noun
off·​beat ˈȯf-ˌbēt How to pronounce offbeat (audio)
: a musical beat or part of a musical beat that is not accented


2 of 2 adjective
: not ordinary : unusual

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