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

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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun That sense of being in the presence of the offbeat, of being tickled by novelty, of new sensibility dawning. Los Angeles Times, "Theater gets its weird back. How REDCAT and CAP UCLA shows celebrate the offbeat," 22 Apr. 2021 Posing biting questions about identity, sexuality and trauma, Show Them a Good Time is an offbeat yet moving look at contemporary womanhood. Annabel Gutterman, Time, "Here Are the 12 New Books You Should Read in January," 27 Dec. 2019 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 After all, there’s nothing like a campy, indie, or otherwise offbeat classic to transport you to a simpler time. Patricia Garcia, Vogue, "The 20 Best Cult Movies of the ’90s," 28 Apr. 2021 Slate asks, in a story by Christina Cauterucci that talks about how Sinema’s offbeat appearance belies her real politics. Bill Goodykoontz, The Arizona Republic, "The election audit, Sinema's ring and Ducey on Fox: Why Arizona can't stay out of the news," 25 Apr. 2021 Throughout my adolescent years, my peers ceaselessly made fun of my offbeat hobby. Joe Queenan, WSJ, "China Is Messing With My Magnetic Attraction," 16 Apr. 2021 The state also has offbeat attractions, like the Green Bank Observatory and the National Radio Quiet Zone. Liz Cantrell, Travel + Leisure, "West Virginia’s New Remote Worker Program Will Pay You $12,000 to Move There," 12 Apr. 2021 Based on the latest trailer, Loki might be the best of both worlds—the action of Falcon with the offbeat-ness of WandaVision. Angela Watercutter, Wired, "Break Reality and Keep Marvel Weird," 9 Apr. 2021 Personally, the relentless sameness of quarantine has deepened my appreciation for anything even slightly offbeat. Hilary George-parkin, Glamour, "The Pandemic Personal Style Apocalypse," 18 Mar. 2021 The Yahoo Answers users who remain will likely land at one of the site's more successful successors, where their offbeat takes will find a wider audience. Scottie Andrew, CNN, "An ode to Yahoo Answers, where perplexing questions begat questionable answers," 6 Apr. 2021 Starring Melissa McCarthy and Octavia Spencer, this offbeat superhero flick focuses on two childhood best friends who gain superpowers. Travis Bean, Forbes, "The Best New Movies To Stream On Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, HBO, Disney+ And Peacock This Week," 4 Apr. 2021

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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Time Traveler for offbeat

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The first known use of offbeat was in 1901

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Last Updated

2 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Offbeat.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 May. 2021.

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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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