Definition of deadbeat in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈdɛdbiːt/


1An idle, feckless, or disreputable person: a nation of deadbeats who must work harder [as modifier]: a deadbeat actor whose world is turned upside down by the free-spirited Sam
More example sentences
  • Economies also define what counts as contribution's opposite: who and what are burdens, parasites or deadbeats.
  • But eventually the show about a loving, professional, upbeat clan was eclipsed by domestic comedies about dysfunctional deadbeats, such as Roseanne, Married with Children and The Simpsons.
  • It was pretty much the usual crowd of unwashed jobless deadbeats, greenie lunatics, terrorist-sympathising intellectuals, and arts students.
informal bum, scrounger, sponger, sponge, freeloader
British informal skiver
1.1North American A person who tries to evade paying their debts: threatening a deadbeat to get him to pay up [as modifier]: deadbeat borrowers
More example sentences
  • Putting that aside for a moment, let's look at why the stated reason for this bill - discouraging deadbeats from skimping on consumer debt - makes no sense.
  • If there's one thing the credit card associations want it's tough bankruptcy legislation which holds deadbeats responsible for consumer debt.
  • They decided that since all the users were part of the ITP community, they would simply make it easy to track the deadbeats, with the threat of public broadcast of their names.


1 (dead beat) informal Completely exhausted: I must go to bed—I’m dead beat
2(Of a clock escapement or other mechanism) without recoil.
Example sentences
  • Imagine the escapement-wheel of a common dead-beat clock to be mounted on a collar fitting easily upon a shaft, instead of being rigidly attached to it.
  • The principle is the same as in the dead-beat clock escapement, with the advantage that there is no friction on the dead faces of the pallets beyond what is necessary for locking.
  • Graham's dead-beat escapement was the design used on most high precision regulators because of its smooth recoil-free operation.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: dead|beat

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