Definition of offbeat in English:


Line breaks: off|beat


Pronunciation: /ˈɒfbiːt
, ɒfˈbiːt
  • 1 Music Not coinciding with the beat: a rapid tempo is essential here, otherwise we will not sense the offbeat hemiolas
    More example sentences
    • It is instantly recognizable from the counterpoint between the bass and drum downbeat, and the offbeat rhythm section.
    • Sometimes Schumann would destroy my case by perpetrating a lengthy passage of manic offbeat accompaniment such as occurs twice in the first movement of No 3.
    • Between the offbeat strum, subterranean bass and rock-steady drumming, they leave gaps that other bands would nervously clutter with ephemera.


Pronunciation: /ˈɒfbiːt
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  • Any of the normally unaccented beats in a bar: the horns come in full-force on the offbeats
    More example sentences
    • McDowell's guitar playing on these songs was all about rhythm, a distinctive syncopated chug that emphasized the offbeats and often stayed on a single chord.
    • The drum machine offbeats are still present, but instead of snarky basslines and slow grinds, the song features a wistfully high organ stomp, and shifting tempos throughout.
    • This is all to say nothing of the beautiful, ever-rising backing that threads through the song; present in the verse, when the horns come in full-force on the offbeats.

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