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

This wonderfully offbeat horror drama always is full of delightful surprises. Mark Dawidziak,, "Third season of ‘Stranger Things’ starts on Fourth of July," 29 June 2019 The offbeat actor is as colorful, interesting, and multifaceted as the fictional BAU special agent. Megan Stein, Country Living, "Is Matthew Gray Gubler Coming Back for the 'Criminal Minds' Final Season?," 29 June 2019 Our hope is that people see our offbeat branding and give us a try. Rachel King, Fortune, "Big Gay Ice Cream Cofounder on Growing a Small Business from Coast to Coast," 23 June 2019 As opposed to a traditional horror score with sweeping orchestrations and a bit of theremin, this show's music relies instead on minimalistic electronic arrangements to further lean into its offbeat ethos. Nathan Mattise, Ars Technica, "HBO’s Los Espookys will make you want to be a horror technician, too," 14 June 2019 Laure Hériard Dubreuil is the founder and creative director of The Webster, the luxury concept store known for its stylish, often offbeat offerings. Laure Hériard Dubreuil, WSJ, "Mother’s Day Gift Guide: What The Webster’s Laure Hériard Dubreuil Recommends," 7 May 2019 As a straight, white male who writes offbeat but accessible narrative plays, Hnath is an inspired but not far-fetched choice for a Broadway production. Adam Green, Vogue, "Meet the Playwrights, Actors, and Directors Radically Reshaping Broadway," 13 May 2019 Mingei International Museum, California Located along the Prado museum row in San Diego’s Balboa Park, the offbeat Mingei features historical and contemporary folk art, crafts, and designs from all epochs and every corner of the world. Joe Yogerst, National Geographic, "How to visit the best park museums in the U.S. and Canada," 13 Mar. 2019 Overview: For those who like their breakfast spots offbeat and charming, Bulegreen (not Blue-Green) is the place for you. Michael Mayo,, "All-day breakfast: A critic’s guide to 5 egg-centric new eateries," 5 June 2019

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

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