to strike violently or forcefully and repeatedly.
to dash against: rain beating the trees.
to flutter, flap, or rotate in or against: beating the air with its wings.
to sound, as on a drum: beating a steady rhythm; to beat a tattoo.
to stir vigorously: Beat the egg whites well.
to break, forge, or make by blows: to beat their swords into plowshares.
to produce (an attitude, idea, habit, etc.) by repeated efforts: I'll beat some sense into him.
to make (a path) by repeated treading.
to strike (a person or animal) repeatedly and injuriously: Some of the hoodlums beat their victims viciously before robbing them.
Music. to mark (time) by strokes, as with the hand or a metronome.
Hunting. to scour (the forest, grass, or brush), and sometimes make noise, in order to rouse game.
to overcome in a contest; defeat.
to win over in a race: We beat the English challenger to Bermuda.
to be superior to: Making reservations beats waiting in line.
to be incomprehensible to; baffle: It beats me how he got the job.
to defeat or frustrate (a person), as a problem to be solved: It beats me how to get her to understand.
to mitigate or offset the effects of: beating the hot weather; trying to beat the sudden decrease in land values.
Slang. to swindle; cheat (often followed by out): He beat him out of hundreds of dollars on that deal.
to escape or avoid (blame or punishment).
Textiles. to strike (the loose pick) into its proper place in the woven cloth by beating the loosely deposited filling yarn with the reed.
to strike repeated blows; pound.
to throb or pulsate: His heart began to beat faster.
to dash; strike (usually followed by against or on): rain beating against the windows.
to resound under blows, as a drum.
to achieve victory in a contest; win: Which team do you think will beat?
to play, as on a drum.
to scour cover for game.
Physics. to make a beat or beats.
(of a cooking ingredient) to foam or stiffen as a result of beating or whipping: This cream won't beat.
Nautical. to tack to windward by sailing close-hauled.
a stroke or blow.
the sound made by one or more such blows: the beat of drums.
a throb or pulsation: a pulse of 60 beats per minute.
the ticking sound made by a clock or watch escapement.
one's assigned or regular path or habitual round: a policeman's beat.
the audible, visual, or mental marking of the metrical divisions of music.
a stroke of the hand, baton, etc., marking the time division or an accent for music during performance.
Theater. a momentary time unit imagined by an actor in timing actions: Wait four beats and then pick up the phone.
Prosody. the accent stress, or ictus, in a foot or rhythmical unit of poetry.
Physics. a pulsation caused by the coincidence of the amplitudes of two oscillations of unequal frequencies, having a frequency equal to the difference between the frequencies of the two oscillations.
a subdivision of a county, as in Mississippi.
(often initial capital letter)Informal. beatnik.
Informal. exhausted; worn out.
(often initial capital letter) of or characteristic of members of the Beat Generation or beatniks.
to search through; scour: After beating about for several hours, he turned up the missing papers.
Nautical. to tack into the wind.
beat back, to force back; compel to withdraw: to beat back an attacker.
to bring into subjection; subdue.
Informal. to persuade (a seller) to lower the price of something: His first price was too high, so we tried to beat him down.
to ward off; repulse: We had to beat off clouds of mosquitoes.
Slang: Vulgar. to masturbate.
Informal. to defeat; win or be chosen over: to beat out the competition.
Carpentry. to cut (a mortise).
to produce hurriedly, especially by writing or typing: There are three days left to beat out the first draft of the novel.
Baseball. (of a hitter) to make (an infield ground ball or bunt) into a hit: He beat out a weak grounder to third.
Also beat up on . to strike repeatedly so as to cause painful injury; thrash: A gang of toughs beat him up on the way home from school. In the third round the champion really began to beat up on the challenger.
British Informal. to find or gather; scare up: I'll beat up some lunch for us while you make out the shopping list.
Idioms about beat
beat all, Informal. to surpass anything of a similar nature, especially in an astonishing or outrageous way: The way he came in here and ordered us around beats all!
beat a retreat. retreat (def. 12).
beat around / about the bush. bush1 (def. 16).
beat it, Informal. to depart; go away: He was pestering me, so I told him to beat it.
beat the air / wind, to make repeated futile attempts.
beat the rap. rap1 (def. 17).
off one's beat, outside of one's routine, general knowledge, or range of experience: He protested that nonobjective art was off his beat.
on the beat, in the correct rhythm or tempo: By the end of the number they were all finally playing on the beat.
- beat·a·ble, adjective
- o·ver·beat, verb, o·ver·beat, o·ver·beat·en or o·ver·beat, o·ver·beat·ing.
- un·der·beat, noun
- beat , beet
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use beat in a sentence
With some limitations on the usual nonconference games that help poll voters gauge teams, Gonzaga managed to get wins over ranked teams Virginia, West Virginia and Iowa, plus Kansas and Auburn, while Baylor beat No.College basketball’s kingdoms have gone haywire — in case you just started paying attention | Chuck Culpepper | February 12, 2021 | Washington Post
Many of the competitions were spectacles, drawing large crowds with elaborate lights and window-rattling beats, but the sport was driven by independent event promoters without any movement trained on the Olympics.How break dancing made the leap from ’80s pop culture to the Olympic stage | Rick Maese | February 9, 2021 | Washington Post
They played a heck of a game defensively and offensively to beat us.That really was one of the least enjoyable Super Bowls of all time | Neil Greenberg | February 9, 2021 | Washington Post
For freshwater paddling, it’s hard to beat the scenery at the mile-long Jordan Pond.
“It’s the worse I’ve been beaten in a long time,” Mahomes said.Super Bowl highlights: Bucs celebrate championship, Tom Brady wins MVP | Des Bieler, Mark Maske, Chuck Culpepper | February 8, 2021 | Washington Post
He beat his illness twice, wrote about his battles with the disease, and continued broadcasting even as his health was failing.Remembering ESPN’s Sly, Cocky, and Cool Anchor Stuart Scott | Stereo Williams | January 4, 2015 | THE DAILY BEAST
It went into remission, but it would resurface in 2011; and Scott was able to beat it once again.Remembering ESPN’s Sly, Cocky, and Cool Anchor Stuart Scott | Stereo Williams | January 4, 2015 | THE DAILY BEAST
But underground classes have Persians getting with the beat.Iran’s Becoming a Footloose Nation as Dance Lessons Spread | IranWire | January 2, 2015 | THE DAILY BEAST
It may have been the reason why Goldwater beat Rockefeller by three points, and effectively sewed up the GOP nomination.
Despite the scandal, Grimm beat his Democratic opponent by 18 points in November.
Even if poverty were gone, the flail could still beat hard enough upon the grain and chaff of humanity.The Unsolved Riddle of Social Justice | Stephen Leacock
His face flushed with annoyance, and taking off his soft hat he began to beat it impatiently against his leg as he walked.The Awakening and Selected Short Stories | Kate Chopin
The pulse in Louis's temples beat hard; yet he was determined not to anticipate, but make Wharton explain himself.The Pastor's Fire-side Vol. 3 of 4 | Jane Porter
To be sure, he hadn't seen Mrs. Robin go, but he had heard the beat of her wings as she began her flight.The Tale of Grandfather Mole | Arthur Scott Bailey
We should easily beat this in America with anything like equal facilities, and without charging the British price—£4 7s.Glances at Europe | Horace Greeley
British Dictionary definitions for beat
(when intr, often foll by against, on , etc) to strike with or as if with a series of violent blows; dash or pound repeatedly (against)
(tr) to punish by striking; flog
to move or cause to move up and down; flap: the bird beat its wings heavily
(intr) to throb rhythmically; pulsate: her heart beat fast
(tr) to make (one's way) by or as if by blows: she beat her way out of the crowd
(tr sometimes foll by up) cookery to stir or whisk (an ingredient or mixture) vigorously
(tr sometimes foll by out) to shape, make thin, or flatten (a piece of metal) by repeated blows
(tr) music to indicate (time) by the motion of one's hand, baton, etc, or by the action of a metronome
(when tr , sometimes foll by out) to produce (a sound or signal) by or as if by striking a drum
to sound or cause to sound, by or as if by beating: beat the drums!
to overcome (an opponent) in a contest, battle, etc
(tr ; often foll by back, down, off etc) to drive, push, or thrust
(tr) to arrive or finish before (someone or something); anticipate or forestall: they set off early to beat the rush hour
(tr) to form (a path or track) by repeatedly walking or riding over it
to scour (woodlands, coverts, or undergrowth) so as to rouse game for shooting
(tr) slang to puzzle or baffle: it beats me how he can do that
(intr) physics (of sounds or electrical signals) to combine and produce a pulsating sound or signal
(intr) nautical to steer a sailing vessel as close as possible to the direction from which the wind is blowing
(tr) slang, mainly US to cheat or defraud: he beat his brother out of the inheritance
beat about the bush to avoid the point at issue; prevaricate
beat a retreat to withdraw or depart in haste
beat it slang (often imperative) to go away
beat one's breast See breast (def. 10)
beat someone's brains out slang to kill by knocking severely about the head
beat someone to it informal to reach a place or achieve an objective before someone else
beat the bounds British (formerly) to define the boundaries of a parish by making a procession around them and hitting the ground with rods
can you beat it? or can you beat that? slang an expression of utter amazement or surprise
a stroke or blow
the sound made by a stroke or blow
a regular sound or stroke; throb
an assigned or habitual round or route, as of a policeman or sentry
(as modifier): beat police officers
the basic rhythmic unit in a piece of music, usually grouped in twos, threes, or fours
pop or rock music characterized by a heavy rhythmic beat
(as modifier): a beat group
physics the low regular frequency produced by combining two sounds or electrical signals that have similar frequencies
horology the impulse given to the balance wheel by the action of the escapement
prosody the accent, stress, or ictus in a metrical foot
nautical a course that steers a sailing vessel as close as possible to the direction from which the wind is blowing
the act of scouring for game by beating
the organized scouring of a particular woodland so as to rouse the game in it
the woodland where game is so roused
short for beatnik
fencing a sharp tap with one's blade on an opponent's blade to deflect it
(modifier, often capital) of, characterized by, or relating to the Beat Generation: a beat poet; beat philosophy
(postpositive) slang totally exhausted
- beatable, adjective
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Scientific definitions for beat
A fluctuation or pulsation, usually repeated, in the amplitude of a signal. Beats are generally produced by the superposition of two waves of different frequencies; if the signals are audible, this results in fluctuations between louder and quieter sound.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Other Idioms and Phrases with beat
In addition to the idioms beginning with beat
- beat a dead horse
- beat all
- beat a path to someone's door
- beat a retreat
- beat around the bush
- beat back
- beat down
- beaten track
- beat hollow
- beat into one's head
- beat it
- beat off
- beat one's brains out
- beat one's head against the wall
- beat out
- beats me
- beat someone at his or her own game
- beat the air
- beat the band
- beat the bushes for
- beat the clock
- beat the drum for
- beat the Dutch
- beat the living daylights out of
- beat the meat
- beat the pants off
- beat the rap
- beat time
- beat to it
- beat up
- dead beat
- heart misses a beat
- if you can't beat them, join them
- march to a different beat
- miss a beat
- off the beaten track
- pound the pavement (a beat)
- to beat the band
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.