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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.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


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
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014



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.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
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
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


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.
Collins Thesaurus of the English Language – Complete and Unabridged 2nd Edition. 2002 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995, 2002


[ˈdedbiːt] N (US) → haragán/ana m/f
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005


[ˈdɛdbiːt] (mainly US)
n (= waster) → bon(ne) m/f à riendead duck n
to be a dead duck → être fichu(e)
Collins English/French Electronic Resource. © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
0121 693 MUSIC Uncle Acid And The Deadbeats The UK's scuzziest ambassadors of blood-curdling fuzz, Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats bring their show to The Globe.
Some 'psycho rock' hits the Limelight tomorrow night and it arrives thanks to Uncle Acid and The Deadbeats. They've been hailed as the 'UK's scuzziest ambassadors of bloodcurdling fuzz', which means you're in for yet another night to remember at the Limelight.
There is the usual scramble for players, some useful, some deadbeats. There is nothing strange about that, lest I am misquoted.
Held at the Llandudno Football Club on Builder Street West, the Festival has a fantastic line-up of 19 acts over the two days, including The Jamie Porter Band, False Alibi, Pressure Drop, The Two Sick Steves, The Wee Bag Band, Mistafunk And The Deadbeats. Headline bands: Saturday,The Clan on Sunday, Bad Dog.
However, despite your best efforts, there will always be a few deadbeats whom you will need to pursue.
The pubcaster sent similar warnings to eight deadbeats in May, of whom seven reached settlements and one has since had assets seized.
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.
Deadbeats in Coventry have missed pounds 21 million in child support payments.
That most of Glodis' "deadbeats" are really dead broke is evident from looking at the "10 Most Wanted" child support evaders list put out by the Massachusetts Department of Revenue, who worked closely with Glodis on the recent raids.
Not to put too fine a point on it, I've been swamped by hollow deadbeats. Over the years I've accumulated a pretty strong set of enemies.
"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.