(redirected from deadbeats)
Also found in: Thesaurus, Financial, Idioms, Encyclopedia.

dead·beat 1

 (dĕd′bēt′) Informal
1. One who does not pay one's debts.
2. A lazy person; a loafer.
Not fulfilling one's obligations or paying one's debts: a deadbeat dad.

dead·beat 2

Having an indicator that stops without oscillation.


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



1. a person who avoids paying debts.
2. a sponger.
3. (of the indicator of an electric meter and the like) coming to a stop with little or no oscillation.
4. being a parent who neglects parental responsibilities, esp. one who does not pay child support: deadbeat dads.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.deadbeat - someone who fails to meet a financial obligation
deadbeat dad - a father who willfully defaults on his obligation to provide financial support for his offspring
debitor, debtor - a person who owes a creditor; someone who has the obligation of paying a debt


noun (Informal, chiefly U.S. & Canad.) layabout, bum (informal), waster, lounger, piker (Austral. & N.Z. slang), sponge (informal), parasite, drone, loafer, slacker (informal), scrounger (informal), skiver (Brit. slang), idler, freeloader (slang), good-for-nothing, sponger (informal), wastrel, bludger (Austral. & N.Z. informal), cadger They're just a bunch of deadbeats.


[ˈdedbiːt] N (US) → haragán/ana m/f


[ˈdɛdbiːt] (mainly US)
n (= waster) → bon(ne) m/f à riendead duck n
to be a dead duck → être fichu(e)
References in periodicals archive ?
However, despite your best efforts, there will always be a few deadbeats whom you will need to pursue.
Three-piece rockers The Hitchers, whose music is a blend of punk and 1950s rockabilly, will release their record Tees Valley Deadbeats in the USA in February next year.
Therefore, does she regret that the deadbeats in the Highways Agency and her Department should have ensured that those considerable benefits for motorists were delayed?
When they neared London the front ranks were taken over by political deadbeats, and the march fizzled out.
Unlike the "Most Wanted Deadbeat Parent" lists put out by most states and counties, the CSSD's list does not contain the occupations of the "deadbeats.
I particularly liked Finney's reaction when The Deadbeats decide to pulverize him; he covers his eyes and quivers with fear as his dead girlfriend (Jenny, the aforementioned dark-robed figure) makes mincemeat of them.
In other words, our own president is on record in favor of stripping resources from our own military in order to use them to build a military force for the United Nations, an organization composed largely of regimes run by terrorists, criminals, deadbeats, and dictators who despise us.
Love is hardly capable of looking after a stuffed hamster and should have had her tubes forcibly tied along with all the other celebrity deadbeats
Occupations are not an indicator of success, which is why so many social and intellectual deadbeats end up in top jobs.
We are neither the world beaters we sometimes appear to be, nor the deadbeats we resemble in the next game.
Both John Major and Tony Blair have given peerages and knighthoods to useless deadbeats.