verb (used with object), beat, beat·en or beat, beat·ing.
verb (used without object), beat, beat·en or beat, beat·ing.
- 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.
- to search through; scour: After beating about for several hours, he turned up the missing papers.
- Nautical. to tack into the wind.
- 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.
Origin of beat
Related formsbeat·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 confusedbeat beet
British Dictionary definitions for beat the air
verb beats, beating, beat, beaten or beat
- an assigned or habitual round or route, as of a policeman or sentry
- (as modifier)beat police officers
- pop or rock music characterized by a heavy rhythmic beat
- (as modifier)a beat group
- 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
Derived Formsbeatable, adjective
Word Origin for beat
Medicine definitions for beat the air
Science definitions for beat the air
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)
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