Beatnik definition

bētnĭk
Frequency:
A person, especially a member or follower of the Beat Generation, whose behavior, views, and often style of dress are pointedly unconventional.
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A member of a group of young persons, esp. of the 1950s, rebelling against conventional attitudes, dress, speech, etc., largely as an expression of social disillusionment.
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A person who dresses in a manner that is not socially acceptable and whose manner of dress reflects a rejection of conventional norms of thought and behavior; nonconformist in dress and behavior.
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A person associated with the Beat Generation of the 1950s and 1960s or its style.
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Other Word Forms

Noun

Singular:
beatnik
Plural:
beatniks

Origin of beatnik

  • Beat (Generation) –nik

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • Coined by San Francisco columnist Herb Caen in 1958. From beat (generation) + cutesy or ironic use of the Russian suffix -ник (-nik). This suffix experienced a surge in English coinages for nicknames and diminutives after the 1957 Soviet launch of the Sputnik satellite. Compare jazznik.

    From Wiktionary