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beat +‎ box


  • IPA(key): /ˈbiːt.bɑks/
  • (t-glottalization) IPA(key): /ˈbiːʔ.bɑks/


beatbox (plural beatboxes)

  1. (music) A type of electronic percussion device.
    • 1992, Larkin, Colin, The Guinness Encyclopedia of Popular Music →ISBN, Guinness, page 1340:
      Self-styled 'black gentleman vampire' who followed his cousin in to hip-hop by rapping in front of a beatbox for his first shows on Long Island, New York.
    • 1994, Sally Banes, Writing Dancing in the Age of Postmodernism →ISBN, Wesleyan University Press, page 322:
      But by 1980 Fenley had collaborated with Mark Freedman on the high-energy, repetitive sound score for Energizer by manipulating a beatbox, the omnipresent instrument of late disco music.
    • 2004, Ed Gaskell, Make Your Own Music Video →ISBN, CMP, page 26:
      Hip-hop took the language and made it graffiti—it was music video on a wall with a beatbox blowing its subwoofers next to it.


beatbox (third-person singular simple present beatboxes, present participle beatboxing, simple past and past participle beatboxed)

  1. (music) To use one’s mouth, lips, tongue, voice, etc. as a percussive instrument to create beats and rhythms for music.
    • 2001, William Upski Wimsatt, Bomb the Suburbs →ISBN, Soft Skull Press, page 69:
      Hell, why do so many of us still breakdance? Why do so many of us still beatbox? The two most successful rappers to come out of Chicago, Common Sense and The Brat, had nothing to do with the city-wide hip-hop scene.
    • 2004, Neil Kulkarni, Hip Hop: Bring the Noise: The Stories Behind the Biggest Songs →ISBN, Thunder's Mouth Press, page 43:
      Before you knew it, everyone, everywhere, was trying to copy Fresh's technique, and every rapper on the planet seemed intent on proving they could beatbox (with varying, occasionally embarrassing degrees of success).
    • 2005, Derek Beres, Global Beat Fusion: The History of the Future of Music →ISBN, iUniverse, page 102:
      Turull, group elder, and Wright, the youngest, play off each other extraordinarily well, be it on cajon or when the latter jumps up to beatbox against Marina’s lyrical sidesteps.




beatbox m (plural beatboxes)

  1. beatbox