offbeat

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English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From off- +‎ beat; not following the beat (e.g., of a drum that sounds out cadence)

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

offbeat (plural offbeats)

  1. (music) The beats not normally accented in a measure.
    The congregation clapped along on the offbeat.
  2. (slang) An unconventional person, someone who does not follow the beat, who chooses not to conform.
    • 1977, Lyle W Dorsett, The Queen City: a history of Denver
      No one dignified such offbeats by responding to their outcries. Today, the "knockers of progress" have become a force that cannot be ignored.
    • 1980, Eleanor C. Hein, Communication in nursing practice[1], ISBN 0316354538, 9780316354530, page 16:
      Being an oddball, an offbeat, or a creative person, as Jourard sees the committed professional, is something all nurses should risk.
    • 2001, Andrew Yoder, Pirate Radio Stations
      In addition to creating a web of stories that will be passed through many generations, these offbeats usually strengthen the fiber of their particular hobby...

Adjective[edit]

offbeat (comparative more offbeat, superlative most offbeat)

  1. Unusual, unconventional, not ordinary.
    He has such an offbeat sense of humor that hardly anyone finds his jokes amusing.

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