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Definition of 'beat'


  1. a regular route for a sentry or policeman; "in the old days a policeman walked a beat and knew all his people by name"
       Synonyms: round
  2. the rhythmic contraction and expansion of the arteries with each beat of the heart; "he could feel the beat of her heart"
       Synonyms: pulse pulsation heartbeat
  3. the basic rhythmic unit in a piece of music; "the piece has a fast rhythm"; "the conductor set the beat"
       Synonyms: rhythm musical rhythm
  4. a single pulsation of an oscillation produced by adding two waves of different frequencies; has a frequency equal to the difference between the two oscillations
  5. a member of the beat generation; a nonconformist in dress and behavior
       Synonyms: beatnik
  6. the sound of stroke or blow; "he heard the beat of a drum"
  7. (prosody) the accent in a metrical foot of verse
       Synonyms: meter metre measure cadence
  8. a regular rate of repetition; "the cox raised the beat"
  9. a stroke or blow; "the signal was two beats on the steam pipe"
  10. the act of beating to windward; sailing as close as possible to the direction from which the wind is blowing


  1. come out better in a competition, race, or conflict; "Agassi beat Becker in the tennis championship"; "We beat the competition"; "Harvard defeated Yale in the last football game"
       Synonyms: beat out crush shell trounce vanquish
  2. give a beating to; subject to a beating, either as a punishment or as an act of aggression; "Thugs beat him up when he walked down the street late at night"; "The teacher used to beat the students"
       Synonyms: beat up work over
  3. hit repeatedly; "beat on the door"; "beat the table with his shoe"
  4. move rhythmically; "Her heart was beating fast"
       Synonyms: pound thump
  5. shape by beating; "beat swords into ploughshares"
  6. make a rhythmic sound; "Rain drummed against the windshield"; "The drums beat all night"
       Synonyms: drum thrum
  7. glare or strike with great intensity; "The sun was beating down on us"
  8. move with a thrashing motion; "The bird flapped its wings"; "The eagle beat its wings and soared high into the sky"
       Synonyms: flap
  9. sail with much tacking or with difficulty; "The boat beat in the strong wind"
  10. stir vigorously; "beat the egg whites"; "beat the cream"
       Synonyms: scramble
  11. strike (a part of one's own body) repeatedly, as in great emotion or in accompaniment to music; "beat one's breast"; "beat one's foot rhythmically"
  12. be superior; "Reading beats watching television"; "This sure beats work!"
  13. avoid paying; "beat the subway fare"
       Synonyms: bunk
  14. make a sound like a clock or a timer; "the clocks were ticking"; "the grandfather clock beat midnight"
       Synonyms: tick ticktock ticktack
  15. move with a flapping motion; "The bird's wings were flapping"
       Synonyms: flap
  16. indicate by beating, as with the fingers or drumsticks; "Beat the rhythm"
  17. move with or as if with a regular alternating motion; "the city pulsated with music and excitement"
       Synonyms: pulsate quiver
  18. make by pounding or trampling; "beat a path through the forest"
  19. produce a rhythm by striking repeatedly; "beat the drum"
  20. strike (water or bushes) repeatedly to rouse animals for hunting
  21. beat through cleverness and wit; "I beat the traffic"; "She outfoxed her competitors"
       Synonyms: outwit overreach outsmart outfox circumvent
  22. be a mystery or bewildering to; "This beats me!"; "Got me--I don't know the answer!"; "a vexing problem"; "This question really stuck me"
       Synonyms: perplex vex stick get puzzle mystify baffle pose bewilder flummox stupefy nonplus gravel amaze dumbfound
  23. wear out completely; "This kind of work exhausts me"; "I'm beat"; "He was all washed up after the exam"
       Synonyms: exhaust wash up tucker tucker out


  1. very tired; "was all in at the end of the day"; "so beat I could flop down and go to sleep anywhere"; "bushed after all that exercise"; "I'm dead after that long trip"
       Synonyms: all in bushed dead

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