Idioms

Origin of beat

before 900; Middle English beten, Old English bēatan; cognate with Old Norse bauta, Middle Low German bōten, Old High German bōzzan; akin to MIr búalaim I hit, Latin fūstis a stick < *bheud-

Related forms

beat·a·ble, adjectiveo·ver·beat, verb, o·ver·beat, o·ver·beat·en or o·ver·beat, o·ver·beat·ing.un·der·beat, noun

Can be confused

beat beet

Synonym study

1. Beat, hit, pound, strike, thrash refer to the giving of a blow or blows. Beat implies the giving of repeated blows: to beat a rug. To hit is usually to give a single blow, definitely directed: to hit a ball. To pound is to give heavy and repeated blows, often with the fist: to pound a nail, the table. To strike is to give one or more forceful blows suddenly or swiftly: to strike a gong. To thrash implies inflicting repeated blows as punishment, to show superior strength, and the like: to thrash a child. 22. See pulsate.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for beat the air

beat

/ (biːt) /

verb beats, beating, beat, beaten or beat

noun

adjective

(postpositive) slang totally exhausted
See also beat down, beat up

Derived Forms

beatable, adjective

Word Origin for beat

Old English bēatan; related to Old Norse bauta, Old High German bōzan
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

Medicine definitions for beat the air

beat

[ bēt ]

v.

To strike repeatedly.
To pulsate; throb.

n.

A stroke, impulse, or pulsation, especially one that produces a sound as of the heart or pulse.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Science definitions for beat the air

beat

[ bēt ]

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.

Idioms and Phrases with beat the air (1 of 2)

beat the air


Also, beat the wind. Continue to make futile attempts, fight to no purpose. For example, The candidates for office were so much alike that we thought our vote amounted to beating the air. These phrases call up a vivid image of someone flailing away at nothing. [Late 1300s]

Idioms and Phrases with beat the air (2 of 2)

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

also see:

  • 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.