Meaning of BEAT in English
/ biːt; NAmE / verb , noun , adjective
( beat , beaten / ˈbiːtn; NAmE /)
[ vn ] beat sb (at sth) to defeat sb in a game or competition :
He beat me at chess.
Their recent wins have proved they're still the ones to beat (= the most difficult team to beat) .
[ vn ] to get control of sth
SYN defeat :
The government's main aim is to beat inflation.
BE TOO DIFFICULT
to be too difficult for sb
SYN defeat :
[ vn ]
a problem that beats even the experts
[ vn wh- ]
It beats me (= I don't know) why he did it.
What beats me is how it was done so quickly (= I don't understand how) .
[ vn ] to do or be better than sth :
Nothing beats home cooking.
You can't beat Italian shoes.
They want to beat the speed record (= go faster than anyone before) .
[ vn ] to avoid sth :
If we go early we should beat the traffic.
We were up and off early to beat the heat .
to hit sb/sth many times, usually very hard :
[ v + adv. / prep. ]
Somebody was beating at the door.
Hailstones beat against the window.
[ vn , often + adv. / prep. ]
Someone was beating a drum.
She was beating dust out of the carpet (= removing dust from the carpet by beating it) .
An elderly man was found beaten to death .
At that time children were regularly beaten for quite minor offences (= a punishment) .
[ vn - adj ]
They beat him unconscious (= hit him until he became unconscious) .
OF HEART / DRUMS / WINGS
to make, or cause sth to make, a regular sound or movement :
[ v ]
She's alive—her heart is still beating .
We heard the drums beating .
[ vn ]
The bird was beating its wings (= moving them up and down) frantically.
[ vn ] beat sth (up) | beat A and B together to mix sth with short quick movements with a fork, etc. :
Beat the eggs up to a frothy consistency.
Beat the flour and milk together.
beat sth (out) (into sth) to change the shape of sth, especially metal, by hitting it with a hammer, etc. :
[ vn ]
The gold is beaten out into thin strips.
[ vn - adj ]
The metal had been beaten flat.
[ vn ] beat sth (through, across, along, etc. sth) to make a path, etc. by walking somewhere or by pressing branches down and walking over them :
a well-beaten track (= one that has been worn hard by much use)
The hunters beat a path through the undergrowth.
- beat about the bush
- beat sb at their own game
- beat your brains out
- beat your breast
- beat the clock
- beat it
- beat a path to sb's door
- beat the rap
- beat a (hasty) retreat
- beat time (to sth)
- beat sb to the punch
- can you beat that / it!
- if you can't beat them, join them
- off the beaten track
- a rod / stick to beat sb with
- take some beating
—more at black adjective , daylights , drum noun , hell
- beat sth down
- beat down (on sb/sth)
- beat sb/sth down (to sth)
- beat off
- beat sb/sth off
- beat sth out
- beat sb out of sth
- beat sb to sth / ... | beat sb to it
- beat sb up
- beat up on sb
- beat yourself up (about / over sth)
OF DRUMS / HEART / WINGS
[ C ] a single blow to sth, such as a drum, or a movement of sth, such as your heart; the sound that this makes :
several loud beats on the drum
His heart missed a beat when he saw her.
[ sing. ] a series of regular blows to sth, such as a drum; the sound that this makes :
the steady beat of the drums
—see also heartbeat
[ C ] the main rhythm, or a unit of rhythm, in a piece of music, a poem, etc. :
This type of music has a strong beat to it.
The piece has four beats to the bar.
OF POLICE OFFICER
[ C ] the area which a police officer walks around regularly and which he or she is responsible for :
More police officers out on the beat may help to cut crime.
see heart , walk verb
[ not before noun ] ( informal ) = dead beat
batter ♦ pound ♦ pummel ♦ lash ♦ hammer
All these words mean to hit sb/sth many times, especially hard.
to hit sb/sth a lot of times, especially very hard:
Someone was beating at the door.
A young man was found beaten to death last night.
At that time, children were often beaten for quite minor offences (= as a punishment) .
to hit sb/sth hard a lot of times, especially in way that causes serious damage:
He had been badly battered around the head and face.
Severe winds have been battering the coast.
to hit sb/sth hard a lot of times, especially in a way that makes a lot of noise:
Heavy rain pounded on the roof.
to hit sb/sth a lot of times, especially with your fists (= tightly closed hands) .
to hit sb/sth with a lot of force:
The rain lashed at the window.
The subject of lash is often rain, wind, hail, sea or waves .
to hit sb/sth hard a lot of times, in a way that is noisy or violent:
He hammered the door with his fists.
pound or hammer?
There is not much difference in meaning between these two, but to pound is sometimes a steadier action. To hammer can be more violent and it is often used figuratively.
PATTERNS AND COLLOCATIONS :
to beat / batter / pound / pummel / lash / hammer sb/sth with sth
to beat / batter / pound / lash / hammer against sth
to beat / batter / pound / hammer on sth
to beat / batter / hammer sth down
to beat / batter sb about / around the head
the rain / wind / hail / sea beats / batters / pounds / lashes (at) sth
Old English bēatan , of Germanic origin.
Oxford Advanced Learner's English Dictionary. Оксфордский английский словарь для изучающик язык на продвинутом уровне. 2005