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Alternative forms[edit]


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


  • (noun) IPA(key): /ˈɒfbiːt/
  • (adjective) IPA(key): /ɒfˈbiːt/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -iːt


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.
    Synonyms: oddball, free spirit, heteroclite, individualist, nonconformist; see also Thesaurus:maverick, Thesaurus:strange person
    • 1977, Dorsett, Lyle W., 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, Hein, Eleanor C., Communication in nursing practice[1], →ISBN, page 16:
      Being an oddball, an offbeat, or a creative person, as Jourard sees the committed professional, is something all nurses should risk.
    • 2001, Yoder, Andrew, 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 []



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.
    Synonyms: odd, peculiar, weird; see also Thesaurus:strange