[adjective awf-beet, of-; noun awf-beet, of-]
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  1. Music. an unaccented beat of a measure.

Origin of offbeat

First recorded in 1925–30; off + beat Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for offbeat


  1. music any of the normally unaccented beats in a bar, such as the second and fourth beats in a bar of four-four time. They are stressed in most rock and some jazz and dance music, such as the bossa nova
    1. unusual, unconventional, or eccentric
    2. (as noun)he liked the offbeat in fashion
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