Meaning of BEAT in English

I. ˈbēt, usu -d.+V verb

( beat “ ; beaten ˈbēt ə n ; also beat ˈbēt, usu -d.+V ; or now dialect bet ˈbet ; beating ; beats )

Etymology: Middle English beten, from Old English bēatan; akin to Old High German bōzan to beat, Old Norse bauta, Latin -futare to beat, fustis club

transitive verb

1. : to strike repeatedly:

a. : to hit repeatedly with hand, fist, weapon, or other instrument so as to inflict pain (as in order to punish or warn) often cruelly or oppressively

arrested for beating his wife

beating the dog for barking at night

beaten by thugs

b. : to walk on : tread

beating the streets looking for work

c. : to strike (part of one's own body) repeatedly in the throes of emotion

the wedding guest he beat his breast — S.T.Coleridge

or in accordance with musical rhythm

the natives watching the dance, beating their thighs

d. : to strike directly against forcefully and repeatedly : dash against

a house beaten by repeated storms

e. obsolete : to assail or importune with repeated sounds

beating our ears with his endless complaints

f. : to flail, flap, or thrash at futilely

the trapped bird beating the air


(1) : to strike, lash, or poke at (as in order to rouse game animals or birds)

beating the hedgerow for rabbits

: range over in quest of game

beat the woods and rouse the bounding prey — Matthew Prior

: search , scour

beating the woods for the lost child

(2) : to sweep a net across to dislodge and capture insects

beating the limb for injurious insects

(3) : to hit repeatedly in order to knock something off or out

beating the dirty rugs

beating the olive trees and picking up the fruit

h. : to mix together or to bring about frothing in by mixing with air by means of repeated strong turning, stirring, whirling, or agitating : whip

beating eggs

beating pancake batter

i. : to strike repeatedly to produce musical, rhythmical, or meaningful sound

beating a drum

beating a gong

2. : to effect by or as if by repeated striking or hitting:

a. : to drive, force, or impel by blows

beaten back by the defenders of the castle

beating off the savage dogs with a club


(1) : to pound into a powder, paste, or pulp

pebbles beaten to a fine dust

(2) papermaking : to subject (fibrous materials) to a mechanical process (as in a beater) causing disintegration, cutting, bruising, and fraying out

c. : to force or drive home by repeated strong admonition or injunction

trying to beat some sense into these dolts

d. : batter : bring or make by hard or crushing blows

beaten to the ground by a series of blows

beaten black-and-blue

beaten to death by the mob

a beached ship beaten to pieces in the storm

— used in a number of metaphoric phrases such as to beat the daylights out of, to beat the tar out of, to beat the devil out of, to beat the life out of, to beat the ears off

e. : to make by repeated treading, walking, or driving over

beat a path through the thicket

the trail he used was beaten into a road by the feet and wagons of the first homesteaders — American Guide Series: Michigan


(1) : to dislodge by repeated hitting

beating dust from the carpet

(2) : to lodge securely by repeated striking

beating the stakes into the ground

g. : to shape by beating

beat swords into plowshares

especially : to flatten out by hammer blows sometimes into leaf thinness

gold beaten into strips

: make ornamental dents in by beating

beaten pewter


(1) : to sound by drumming

beating a martial tune

rain beat a tattoo on the roof

: give a signal for or express a wish for by beat of drum or sound of other instrument

beat an alarm

beating a charge

beating the reveille

beating a parley

(2) of a drum : to express or signify when beaten

the drums beat a merry tune

drums beating a march

i. : to flatten (book leaves) by hammering

j. : to ink (a printing surface) by dabbing with ink balls

3. : to cause to beat, strike, or flap repeatedly

a bird beating its wing

beat his foot nervously on the ground — Charles Dickens

beating their hands in time to the music

4. : overcome , defeat :

a. : to achieve victory over : conquer, vanquish, or subdue in a battle, contest, strife, race, game, or other competition

beating the insurgents in a bloody battle

Central beating Suburban in football

beating his rival in the election

: bring about the defeat of

his own great wealth beat him in the election

beaten in the game by their own mistakes

b. : surpass , top , excel : be or be judged superior to

a meal hard to beat

for loveliness it would be hard to beat — Matthew Arnold

this dog beat the others for the blue ribbon

: outdo and supersede

his performance beats the record

— used in a number of phrases sometimes adverbially: to beat hell, to beat the cars, to beat the band, to beat the devil, to beat the Dutch

I lay down and cried to beat the band all afternoon — Scott Fitzgerald

c. archaic : to beat down : endeavor to bring down in price or terms

beating the bargain

d. : to get the better of, win against, or prevail over or despite

beating the bank with his system

beating the odds against him


(1) : check : defy all efforts of (one) at solving

a problem that beat the engineers

(2) : mystify , bewilder , perplex , baffle

it beats me how he does it

(3) : to be too canny to outwit or too capricious to outguess

f. : fatigue , exhaust — used mostly in passives and adjective uses of the past participle

feeling completely beat after the race

g. : cheat , defraud

beating him out of his due return

h. : to check and leave dispirited, irresolute, or hopeless

a failure at fifty, a beaten man

i. : to escape the possible consequences of : defeat or check the effect of : nullify , vitiate , surmount : prevail over

beating the sultry weather

beating the inflationary trend

j. : to report a news item in advance of or to the exclusion of (competing newsmen or news media)

k. : elude : break through : get past

the batsman was beaten and bowled by an inswinger


a. : forestall , anticipate : get ahead of : take important or decisive action before

he was going to bid at the auction but I beat him

b. : to act ahead of usually so as to forestall or make ineffective the engaging in a like action of (another)

beating his enemy to the draw

he beat his opponent to the punch

c. : to act or to complete an act before (a determined final point in time)

beat the deadline

d. : to come to, arrive at, or sojourn at before

another man beat me to the empty chair

: arrive at a goal or destination before

the fielder's throw beat the baserunner

e. : to start or to do something before (an official signal to begin)

beat the gun

leaving early and beating the whistle

f. : circumvent : surmount or escape from by devious procedure

no system can be devised that cannot be beaten by collusion — Journal of Accountancy

6. : to indicate by one's motions (a musical beat or tempo)

a young conductor will beat wildly almost any tempo — Warwick Braithwaite

intransitive verb


a. : dash , strike : become forcefully impelled : fall violently

waves beat against the shore

rain beating on the roof

b. : to glare with continuing oppressive intensity

burning hot weather, with the sun beating down — G.W.Talbot

: become projected steadily with unpleasant force or intensity

the heat in the shadeless fields beats down on the steaming black earth — Marjory S. Douglas

c. : to sustain violent or strident activity with a demanding distracting effect

the turbulence of the Renaissance and the quarrels of England and Spain beating about his head — Douglas Stewart

d. : to make a succession of strokes on a drum

the drummers beat to call soldiers to their quarters


a. : to course or operate with perceptible strokes : pulsate

my pulse beat so quickly and hardly that I felt the palpitation of every artery — Mary W. Shelley

b. : to throb with animation : pulsate strongly ; often : to demand attention with agitating exigency

her dominant will beat so strongly within her — Hugh Walpole

his breathing was hard and … the blood beat in his ears and eyes — Robertson Davies

a question was beating unanswered at the back of her brain — Ellen Glasgow

c. of a timepiece : to operate audibly : tick

the beating of the clock


(1) : to sound upon being struck

the drums beat

(2) : to become sounded by or as if by drums

before the assembly beats — W.M.Thackeray

e. : to result in beats (as produced by two simultaneous tones of slightly different frequencies)

the B beats unpleasantly with the C


a. : to strike repeatedly : inflict repeated blows : knock or pound vigorously or loudly

their air attack still beating upon us — Sir Winston Churchill

beating on the door of the cabin

b. of a hare : to tap the ground as a mating gesture

c. : to strike the air : flap

the wings of the bird beating feebly

d. : to strike bushes or other cover to rouse game ; also : to range or scour for or as if for game

4. : to progress with changes of direction or procedure:

a. : to make progress to windward by sailing in a zigzag line (as by tacking)

b. : to sail with much tacking

beating along the coast

c. : to make one's way persistently and often arduously usually by a series of expedient choices

the castaways beating inland

5. : win

our team will beat


pound , pummel , thrash , thresh , buffet , baste , belabor : beat is a general word to designate repeated striking

beat a carpet

beat a child, hitting him repeatedly

a savage beating

pound may apply to beating with heavier, more massive, damaging, or crushing blows

a tropical hurricane pounded the island with giant waves — Martin Gardner

the artillery and the dive bombers pounded the defense — S.L.A.Marshall

pummel may apply to a continuous shower of blows not massive but fairly heavy and damaging

with Dick fastened on him, pummeling away most unmercifully — Samuel Lover

the piers are pummelled by the waves — W.H.Auden

thrash and thresh apply to repeated striking as with a flail, stick, or whip

thrashing grain

thrash a child or servant

Indians paddle into the swamp, two men in each canoe; while one rows the other threshes the rice heads into the boat with two sticks — American Guide Series: Minnesota

buffet , often used figuratively, implies a repeated striking, heavy slapping, cuffing to and fro

Sung Yung was shoved about and buffeted by angry hands — T.B.Costain

the two hands of Madame Defarge buffeted and tore her face — Charles Dickens

buffeted by the bewildering passions and divided loyalties — C.J.Rolo

baste may imply a thorough cudgeling, thrashing, or beating

if you will give me the loan of a horsewhip, I'll baste the backs of these lazy fellows of yours — J.H.Wheelwright

belabor suggests a prolonged beating or drubbing

a group of demonstrating Egyptians being belabored by police — R.C.Doty

Synonym: see in addition conquer , pulsate .

- beat about the bush

- beat a retreat

- beat goose

- beat hollow

- beat it

- beat one's brains out

- beat one's breast

- beat one's gums

- beat one's time

- beat one's way

- beat the air

- beat the bounds

- beat the bushes

- beat the drum

- beat the rap

- beat the time of

- beat time

- beat to leeward

- beat to windward

II. noun

( -s )


a. : a single stroke, blow, or pulsation ; also : the sound so produced

b. : a stroke in a series or a set of strokes as on a drum ; also : the sound so given

c. : the driving impact of or as if of steady blows

the full force of the surf beat — Joyce Allan

the fierce beat of the eastern sun — T.B.Costain

d. : the number of strokes per minute rowed by a racing crew or completed by a swimmer

the cox lifted the beat to 36


a. : one swing of the pendulum or the balance of a timepiece

b. : the tick or other sound made as a tooth of the escape wheel in a timepiece engages a pallet face of the escapement

3. : each of the pulsations of amplitude recurring at regular intervals produced by the union of sound waves, radio waves, or electric currents having different frequencies, the frequency of the beats being the sum or difference between the frequencies of the waves or currents


a. : a sharp tap delivered on a fencing opponent's blade especially to open up a line of attack

b. : an accented stroke in dancing (as of one leg or foot against the other, one prop against another, or the hand against a part of the body)


a. : a recurring stroke : throb , pulsation

a heart beat

also : the sound of such a throb

b. : the sound of a steady sequence of blows or strokes

the beat of the waves on the rock

: a steady sequence of sounds

c. : an effect of rhythmical repetition

the beat of a poet's verse

: metrical or rhythmical stress


a. : a grace or ornament in early English music probably equivalent to a mordent

b. : the recurring periodic accent that constitutes the basis of meter in all metrical music

c. : the unit of time or tempo measurement indicated to the performer (as by a movement of a conductor's hand or baton or by the tick of a metronome)

d. : the pronounced and swinging rhythm that is characteristically the generating or driving force in jazz music and jazz bands

that band has a fine beat

e. : a noteworthy rhythmical effect

the irregular beat of city life


a. : a round, course, or stretch frequently gone over : an habitual range or resort : an area frequently traversed especially in the course of work or duty

a policeman's beat

b. : a tract with more or less definite bounds over which sportsmen customarily range for game


(1) : a scouring of a tract of land to rouse or drive out game

(2) : those engaged in a beat

d. : the area of one's special duty, responsibility, or jurisdiction

e. : a group of news sources that a reporter covers regularly

f. : one's special range of knowledge or interests

8. : the part of a valve surface that contacts the seat when the valve is closed


a. : an administrative subdivision of a county in Alabama or Mississippi — called also supervisor district

b. : an election precinct in Alabama or Mississippi


a. : something that excels or surpasses

I have never seen the beat of it

b. : the reporting of an important news story ahead of or to the exclusion of one's competitors ; broadly : an action defeating or checking a competitor


a. : deadbeat 2

b. : one that fails to make returns

c. : a shiftless character : loafer


a. : an act of beating to windward

b. : one of the reaches in the zigzag course so traversed : tack

- in beat

- off one's beat

- off the beat

- out of beat

III. adjective

Etymology: Middle English bete, from bete, beten, past participle of beten to beat

1. : exhausted : used up : completely tired

so beat that I'd flop down and go to sleep fully dressed — Polly Adler

2. : beaten 3

3. : marked by injury or weakness brought about by the jarring impacts incident to working with a pick

a miner with a beat hand

4. : of, relating to, or having the characteristics of beatniks

beat jargon

beat generation

beat poet

IV. noun

( -s )

: beatnik

V. ˈbēt, ˈbāt

dialect Britain

variant of beet III

VI. noun

( -s )

Etymology: origin unknown

Britain : turf pared from fallow land for spreading and burning on cropland as a fertilizer

VII. verb

transitive verb

: to score against (a goalkeeper)

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.