[ beet-nik ]
/ ˈbit nɪk /


(sometimes initial capital letter) a member of the Beat Generation.
a person who rejects or avoids conventional behavior, dress, etc.



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Origin of beatnik

1955–60, Americanism; beat (adj.) (as in Beat Generation) + -nik Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for beatniks

British Dictionary definitions for beatniks

/ (ˈbiːtnɪk) /


a member of the Beat Generation (sense 1)
informal any person with long hair and shabby clothes

Word Origin for beatnik

C20: from beat (n) + -nik, by analogy with Sputnik
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Cultural definitions for beatniks


Members of the “beat” movement in the United States in the 1950s. Beatniks frequently rejected middle-class American values, customs, and tastes in favor of radical politics and exotic jazz, art, and literature. The movement was often classified as bohemian. The poet Allen Ginsberg and the novelist Jack Kerouac are examples of beatnik authors.

notes for beatniks

“Daddy-O” (a term of address); “Cool, man, cool”; and “strictly dullsville” are examples of slang expressions used by beatniks or by people trying to sound like beatniks.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.