deadbeat

[ noun ded-beet; adjective ded-beet ]
/ noun ˈdɛdˌbit; adjective ˈdɛdˈbit /

noun

a person who deliberately avoids paying debts.
a loafer; sponger.

adjective

being a parent who neglects parental responsibilities, especially one who does not pay child support: deadbeat dads.
Horology. noting any of various escapements acting without recoil of the locking parts from the shock of contact.
Electricity. (of the indicator of an electric meter and the like) coming to a stop with little or no oscillation.

QUIZZES

THIS WEEK’S WORD OF THE DAY QUIZ IS POSITIVELY FELICIFIC

Do you study our Words of the Day with great assiduity? See how many you remember from March 3 to April 5!
Question 1 of 7
transliterate

Origin of deadbeat

First recorded in 1760–70; dead + beat
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for deadbeat

British Dictionary definitions for deadbeat

deadbeat
/ (ˈdɛdˌbiːt) /

noun

informal a lazy or socially undesirable person
mainly US
  1. a person who makes a habit of avoiding or evading his or her responsibilities or debts
  2. (as modifier)a deadbeat dad
a high grade escapement used in pendulum clocks
(modifier) (of a clock escapement) having a beat without any recoil
(modifier) physics
  1. (of a system) returning to an equilibrium position with little or no oscillation
  2. (of an instrument or indicator) indicating a true reading without oscillation
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