Pronunciation: (bēt),[key] —v.,beat, beat•en or beat, beat•ing, —n., adj.
—v.t. 1. to strike violently or forcefully and repeatedly.
2. to dash against: rain beating the trees. 3. to flutter, flap, or rotate in or against: beating the air with its wings. 4. to sound, as on a drum: beating a steady rhythm; to beat a tattoo. 5. to stir vigorously: Beat the egg whites well. 6. to break, forge, or make by blows: to beat their swords into plowshares. 7. to produce (an attitude, idea, habit, etc.) by repeated efforts: I'll beat some sense into him. 8. to make (a path) by repeated treading.
9. to strike (a person or animal) repeatedly and injuriously: Some of the hoodlums beat their victims viciously before robbing them. 10. Music.to mark (time) by strokes, as with the hand or a metronome.
11. Hunting.to scour (the forest, grass, or brush), and sometimes make noise, in order to rouse game.
12. to overcome in a contest; defeat.
13. to win over in a race: We beat the English challenger to Bermuda. 14. to be superior to: Making reservations beats waiting in line. 15. to be incomprehensible to; baffle: It beats me how he got the job. 16. to defeat or frustrate (a person), as a problem to be solved: It beats me how to get her to understand. 17. to mitigate or offset the effects of: beating the hot weather; trying to beat the sudden decrease in land values. 18. Slang.to swindle; cheat (often fol. by out): He beat him out of hundreds of dollars on that deal. 19. to escape or avoid (blame or punishment).
20. Textiles.to strike (the loose pick) into its proper place in the woven cloth by beating the loosely deposited filling yarn with the reed.
—v.i. 1. to strike repeated blows; pound.
2. to throb or pulsate: His heart began to beat faster. 3. to dash; strike (usually fol. by against or on): rain beating against the windows. 4. to resound under blows, as a drum.
5. to achieve victory in a contest; win: Which team do you think will beat? 6. to play, as on a drum.
7. to scour cover for game.
8. Physics.to make a beat or beats.
9. (of a cooking ingredient) to foam or stiffen as a result of beating or whipping: This cream won't beat. 10. Naut.to tack to windward by sailing close-hauled.
11. beat about, a. to search through; scour: After beating about for several hours, he turned up the missing papers. b. Naut.to tack into the wind.
12. beat all,Informal.to surpass anything of a similar nature, esp. in an astonishing or outrageous way: The way he came in here and ordered us around beats all! 13. beat a retreat. See retreat (def. 8).
14. beat around or about the bush. See bush1 (def. 14).
15. beat back, to force back; compel to withdraw: to beat back an attacker. 16. beat down, a. to bring into subjection; subdue.
b. Informal.to persuade (a seller) to lower the price of something: His first price was too high, so we tried to beat him down. 17. beat it,Informal.to depart; go away: He was pestering me, so I told him to beat it. 18. beat off, a. to ward off; repulse: We had to beat off clouds of mosquitoes. b. Slang(vulgar). to masturbate.
19. beat out, a. Informal.to defeat; win or be chosen over: to beat out the competition. b. Carpentry.to cut (a mortise).
c. to produce hurriedly, esp. by writing or typing: There are three days left to beat out the first draft of the novel. d. Baseball.(of a hitter) to make (an infield ground ball or bunt) into a hit: He beat out a weak grounder to third. 20. beat the air or wind, to make repeated futile attempts.
21. beat the rap. See rap1 (def. 16).
22. beat up, a. 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. b. Brit. Informal.to find or gather; scare up: I'll beat up some lunch for us while you make out the shopping list.
—n. 1. a stroke or blow.
2. the sound made by one or more such blows: the beat of drums. 3. a throb or pulsation: a pulse of 60 beats per minute. 4. the ticking sound made by a clock or watch escapement.
5. one's assigned or regular path or habitual round: a policeman's beat. 6. Music. a. the audible, visual, or mental marking of the metrical divisions of music.
b. a stroke of the hand, baton, etc., marking the time division or an accent for music during performance.
7. Theat.a momentary time unit imagined by an actor in timing actions: Wait four beats and then pick up the phone. 8. Pros.the accent stress, or ictus, in a foot or rhythmical unit of poetry.
9. Physics.a pulsation caused by the coincidence of the amplitudes of two oscillations of unequal frequencies, having a frequency equal to the difference between the frequencies of the two oscillations.
10. Journalism. a. the reporting of a piece of news in advance, esp. before it is reported by a rival or rivals. Cf. exclusive (def. 13), scoop (def. 8).
b. Also callednewsbeat,run. the particular news source or activity that a reporter is responsible for covering.
11. a subdivision of a county, as in Mississippi.
12. (often cap.)Informal.beatnik.
13. off one's beat, outside of one's routine, general knowledge, or range of experience: He protested that nonobjective art was off his beat. 14. on the beat, in the correct rhythm or tempo: By the end of the number they were all finally playing on the beat.
—adj. 1. Informal.exhausted; worn out.
2. (often cap.) of or characteristic of members of the Beat Generation or beatniks.