miss a beat


Hesitate momentarily, out of embarrassment or confusion. This expression is most often used in a negative context, as in He sidestepped the reporter's probe into his personal life without missing a beat, or Not missing a beat, she outlined all the reasons for her decision. This expression alludes to the regular beat of musical time. [Mid-1900s]

QUIZZES

IS YOUR DESERT PLANT KNOWLEDGE SUCCULENT OR DRIED UP?

Cactus aficionados, don't get left in the dust with this quiz on desert plants. Find out if you have the knowledge to survive this prickly foray into the desert!
Question 1 of 7
This tall, horizontally branched cactus is probably the most recognizable cactus in Arizona. What is it called?
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.