beats, beating, beaten
(The form beat is used in the present tense and is the past tense.)
1) VERB If you beat someone or something, you hit them very hard.

[V n] My wife tried to stop them and they beat her...

[V n to n] They were beaten to death with baseball bats.

2) VERB To beat on, at, or against something means to hit it hard, usually several times or continuously for a period of time.

[V against n] There was dead silence but for a fly beating against the glass...

[V at n] Nina managed to free herself and began beating at the flames with a pillow...

[V on n] The rain was beating on the windowpanes. [Also V n]

Derived words:
beating N-SING usu the N of n

...the silence broken only by the beating of the rain.

N-SING: usu the N of n
Beat is also a noun.

...the rhythmic beat of the surf.

3) VERB When your heart or pulse beats, it continually makes regular rhythmic movements.

I felt my heart beating faster.

Derived words:
beating N-SING usu the N of n

I could hear the beating of my heart.

N-COUNT: usu with supp
Beat is also a noun.

He could hear the beat of his heart... Most people's pulse rate is more than 70 beats per minute.

4) V-ERG If you beat a drum or similar instrument, you hit it in order to make a sound.

[V n] When you beat the drum, you feel good.

...drums beating and pipes playing.

N-SING: usu the N of n
Beat is also a noun.

...the rhythmical beat of the drum.

5) N-COUNT: usu sing, the N The beat of a piece of music is the main rhythm that it has.

...the thumping beat of rock music.

...the dance beats of the last two decades.

6) N-COUNT: usu pl In music, a beat is a unit of measurement. The number of beats in a bar of a piece of music is indicated by two numbers at the beginning of the piece.
See also , downbeat

It's got four beats to a bar.

7) VERB If you beat eggs, cream, or butter, you mix them thoroughly using a fork or beater.

[V n] Beat the eggs and sugar until they start to thicken.

8) V-ERG When a bird or insect beats its wings or when its wings beat, its wings move up and down.

[V n] Beating their wings they flew off...

Its wings beat slowly.

9) VERB If you beat someone in a competition or election, you defeat them.

[V n] In yesterday's games, Switzerland beat the United States two-one...

[V n] There are men who simply don't like being beaten by a woman...

[V n into n] She was easily beaten into third place.

10) VERB If someone beats a record or achievement, they do better than it.

[V n] He was as eager as his Captain to beat the record.

11) VERB If you beat something that you are fighting against, for example an organization, a problem, or a disease, you defeat it.

[V n] It became clear that the Union was not going to beat the government...

[V n] They recognise that tough action offers the only hope of beating inflation...

[V n] Kate Jackson is expecting her first child at 43 - two years after beating breast cancer.

12) VERB: usu passive If an attack is beaten off or is beaten back, it is stopped, often temporarily.

[be V-ed adv] The rescuers were beaten back by strong winds and currents...

[V adv n] South Africa's ruling National Party has beaten off a right-wing challenge.

13) VERB: no cont If you say that one thing beats another, you mean that it is better than it. [INFORMAL]

[V n] Being boss of a software firm beats selling insurance...

[V n] Nothing quite beats the luxury of soaking in a long, hot bath at the end of a tiring day...

[V n] For an evening stroll the beach at Dieppe is hard to beat.

14) VERB: no cont If you say you can't beat a particular thing you mean that it is the best thing of its kind.

[V n] You can't beat soap and water for cleansing.

15) VERB To beat a time limit or an event means to achieve something before that time or event.

[V n] They were trying to beat the midnight deadline...

[V n] Those who shop on Sunday to beat the rush are wasting their time.

16) N-COUNT A police officer's or journalist's beat is the area for which he or she is responsible.

The team police get to know the people in their patrol areas better than cops who must cover a larger beat.

17) PHRASE You use beat in expressions such as `It beats me' or `What beats me is' to indicate that you cannot understand or explain something. [INFORMAL, SPOKEN]

`What am I doing wrong, anyway?' - `Beats me, Lewis.'...

How you can be so insensitive absolutely beats me.

18) PHRASE If you tell someone to beat it, you are telling them to go away. [INFORMAL, SPOKEN]

Beat it before it's too late.

get lost
19) CONVENTION (feelings) You can say Can you beat it? or Can you beat that? to show that you are surprised and perhaps annoyed about something. [INFORMAL]

Can you beat it; there was Graham Greene in Freetown and there was I on the other side of Africa.

20) See also , beaten-up, , beat-up
21) PHRASE: V inflects If you intend to do something but someone beats you to it, they do it before you do.

Don't be too long about it or you'll find someone has beaten you to it.

22) PHRASE If you can't beat them, join them means that, if someone is too strong for you to defeat, it is better to be on the same side as them. [INFORMAL]
23) PHRASE If you say or do something without missing a beat, you continue to speak or do it, even though people might have expected you to hesitate or stop.

`Are you jealous?' - `Only when I'm not in control,' he says, not missing a beat.

24) PHRASE If you say that someone never misses a beat, you mean that they always know what is going on and how they can take advantage of it.

Skye has scarcely missed a beat as one of the Gold Coast's spectacular models since her marriage.

25) PHRASE: usu n PHR, v-link PHR A police officer on the beat is on duty, walking around the area for which he or she is responsible.

The officer on the beat picks up information; hears cries for help; makes people feel safe.

26) PHRASE: V inflects If you beat time to a piece of music, you move your hand or foot up and down in time with the music. A conductor beats time to show the choir or orchestra how fast they should sing or play the music.

He beats time with hands and feet.

keep time
27) to beat someone black and bluesee black
to beat someone's brains outsee brain
to beat one's breastsee breast
to beat about the bushsee bush
to beat the clocksee clock
to beat or knock the living daylights out of someone → see daylights
to beat the drum for someone or something → see drum
to beat someone at their own gamesee game
to beat a path to someone's doorsee path
to beat a retreatsee retreat
to beat, kick or knock the shit out of someone → see shit
a stick to beat someone withsee stick
Phrasal Verbs:

English dictionary. 2008.


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