AskDefine | Define beat

Dictionary Definition

beat adj : 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" [syn: all in(p), beat(p), bushed(p), dead(p)]


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" [syn: round]
2 the rhythmic contraction and expansion of the arteries with each beat of the heart; "he could feel the beat of her heart" [syn: pulse, pulsation, heartbeat]
3 the basic rhythmic unit in a piece of music; "the piece has a fast rhythm"; "the conductor set the beat" [syn: 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 [syn: 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 [syn: 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" [syn: 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" [syn: 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" [syn: 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" [syn: 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" [syn: 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" [syn: 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" [syn: bunk]
14 make a sound like a clock or a timer; "the clocks were ticking"; "the grandfather clock beat midnight" [syn: tick, ticktock, ticktack]
15 move with a flapping motion; "The bird's wings were flapping" [syn: 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" [syn: 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" [syn: 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" [syn: 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" [syn: exhaust, wash up, tucker, tucker out] [also: beaten]

User Contributed Dictionary



beatan. Confer Old High German bozan, Old Norse bauta.


  • /biːt/
  • /bi:t/
  • Homophones: beet
  • Rhymes: -iːt


  1. A pulsation or throb.
  2. A pulse on the beat level, the metric level at which pulses are heard as the basic unit. Thus a beat is the basic time unit of a piece.
  3. A rhythm.
  4. A pause with the camera focused on one shot, often a characters face (often used in screenplays/teleplays).
  5. The route of a patrol by a guard or officer as in walk the beat.
  6. In newspapering, the primary focus of a reporter's stories (such as police/courts, education, city government, business, etc.).
  7. A small part of a dramatic play.


  1. To hit; to knock; to pound; to strike.
    As soon as she heard the news, she went into a rage and beat the wall with her fists until her knuckles bled.
  2. To strike or pound repeatedly, usually in some sort of rhythm.
    He danced hypnotically while she beat the atabaque.
  3. To win against; to defeat; to do better than, outdo, or excel someone in a particular, competitive event.
    Jessica had little trouble beating John in tennis. He lost five games in a row.
    No matter how quickly Joe finished his test, Roger always beat him.
  4. In the context of "intransitive|nautical": To sail to windward using a series of alternate tacks across the wind.
  5. To mix food in a rapid fashion. Compare whip.
    Beat the eggs and whip the cream.


to hit, to knock, to pound, to strike
to strike or pound repeatedly
to win against
to whip


  1. (gay slang) fabulous
    Her makeup was beat!
  2. exhausted
    After the long day, she was feeling completely beat.






  • DeLone et. al. (Eds.) (1975). Aspects of Twentieth-Century Music. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall. ISBN 0130493465.






  1. drunk, intoxicated; tipsy





Extensive Definition

Beat may refer to:

Physical beating

  • To hit repeatedly. This is the original meaning. The subject of the verb may be a human or something inanimate, as in:-
"This is the fifth time this year so far that our rent collector has been beaten up and robbed."
"Storm waves beat against continuous jagged rocks and there was no hope of reaching a safe harbor."

Other forms of defeating

Via the idea of winning/losing a fist or stick fight, came:-
  • To defeat in a battle or fight.
  • To defeat in a non-violent competitive sport or game.
    • And from that came:-
    • For one thing to be faster than another or to reach something first.
      • For example, in scuba diving "beating the lung" meant trying to breathe faster than the breathing set could supply air.


  • Beat (music), a pulse of sound that marks the metre or rhythm of a piece of music
  • Beatmatching, the aligning of the tempos of the songs by DJs
  • Beat music, a popular name in the 50's & 60's for what later became known as pop and rock, thus bands would be referred to as beat groups or beat combos
  • Beat (band), a Finnish band.
  • The Beat (band), a UK ska band of the early 1980s known in the US as The English Beat
  • The Beat (US), also known as The Paul Collins Beat, an American power pop group from the late '70s
  • Beat (King Crimson album), an album by progressive rock group King Crimson
  • Beat (Kaela Kimura song), a single released by Kaela Kimura in 2005
  • Beat (Chris Knox album), an album by New Zealand alternative musician Chris Knox
  • Beat (TV-2 album), a 1983 album by the Danish band TV-2
  • Beat magazine, Melbourne's biggest cab-audited street press.

Literature, Theatre & Film

  • Beat (film), a 'bit' is also known (particularly in the US) as a beat, referring to the smallest unit of dramatic action in a play.
  • Directorial beat, an exchange of behavior between characters in a screenplay, usually taking the form of action-reaction.
  • Meter (poetry), the linguistic sound patterns of verse
  • Beat generation, writers of beat poetry and other beat literature
  • In film and screenwriting, a beat refers to a pause in an actor's dialogue


  • Beat (acoustics), the oscillation between zero intensity and full intensity that occurs when two frequencies (which are not harmonically related) are added together, caused by alternating constructive and destructive interference of the pressure waves

Areas of territory

A "beaten path" is a path made by the repeated treadings of feet. Thus:
  • Beat, the territory and time that a police officer patrols
  • A subject of coverage by a journalist, e.g., "Her beat is politics."
  • Gay beat, an area frequented by gay men for the purpose of casual sex
  • Forest beat, a divisional subunit used for administering forests in India, see Forest range


  • A "beat", in Scotland, is related to the above meaning of "beaten path" and refers to a route taken by deer stalkers (as deep hunters are called in that region).
  • "Beating for game" in hunting means to systematically attack vegetation to drive out of cover whatever animals or birds that the hunters are hunting.

Video Games


  • Beat (name), a common male given name in the German-speaking part of Switzerland
  • .beat, the unit of the Swatch Internet Time
  • Sailing upwind or beating, sailing a sailboat against the wind direction.
  • Beat is a brand of cola produced in Mexico by Coca-Cola
  • Honda Beat, an automobile produced by Honda Motor Co.
  • Beat may be used as slang to refer to someone or something that is otherwise considered boring or uneventful, or to refer to someone or something as uncool, or bad. Common in the Philadelphia area.
  • Beat may also be used as slang to refer to a marijuana smoking bowl that is ashed or is empty.


  • "Beat" is derived from Anglo-Saxon bēatan, likely with some influence from the verb French battre, Late Latin battuere = "to beat", of Germanic origin.
  • The Swiss man's name "Beat" came from Latin beatus = "blessed".
beat in Danish: Beat
beat in German: Beat
beat in Spanish: Beat
beat in French: Beat
beat in Italian: Beat
beat in Dutch: Beat
beat in Japanese: ビート
beat in Norwegian: Beat
beat in Polish: Beat
beat in Portuguese: Beat
beat in Slovak: Beat
beat in Finnish: Beat
beat in Ukrainian: Біт (значення)

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Alexandrine, Bohemian, about ship, abrade, abscond, accent, accentuation, addle, addled, aerate, agitate, air lane, all in, all up with, alternation, amaze, ambit, amphibrach, amphimacer, anacrusis, anapest, andante tempo, antispast, area, arena, arrhythmia, arsis, article, at a loss, atomize, bacchius, back and fill, baffle, baffled, bailiwick, balk, bamboozle, bamboozled, bang, bar beat, barnacle, barrage, bash, baste, bastinado, baton, batter, bear away, bear off, bear the palm, bear to starboard, beat a ruffle, beat a tattoo, beat about, beat all hollow, beat hollow, beat it, beat off, beat the drum, beat time, beat to windward, beat up, beaten, beaten path, beating, beguile of, belabor, belt, best, bested, better, bicker, bilk, birch, blend, blow, bludgeon, boggle, bone-weary, border, borderland, bout, box off, bray, break, breakaway, brecciate, bring about, bring round, broke, bruise, budget of news, buffalo, buffaloed, buffet, bunco, bung, bung up, bureaucracy, bureaucratism, burn, burn out, bushed, busted, cadence, cadency, caesura, cane, cant, cant round, cast, cast about, catalexis, change course, change the heading, chase, cheat, chinoiserie, chisel, chloriamb, chloriambus, chouse, chouse out of, churn, churn up, circle, circuit, circumvent, clobber, close-haul, clout, club, cog, cog the dice, colon, comb, come about, comminute, compound time, con, confound, confounded, conquer, contriturate, contuse, convulse, copy, count, count the beats, counterpoint, course, cowhide, cozen, cream, cretic, crib, crumb, crumble, crush, cudgel, curry, cut, cycle, cyclicalness, dactyl, dactylic hexameter, daily grind, dance, dash, daze, dazed, dead, dead-and-alive, dead-tired, deadbeat, debilitate, defeat, defeated, defraud, demesne, depart, department, destroy, diaeresis, diastole, diddle, dimeter, din, ding, dipody, disappoint, disarrange, discipline, discomfited, discompose, disintegrate, disquiet, disturb, do, do in, do out of, do up, dochmiac, dog, dog-tired, dog-weary, domain, dominion, done, done for, done in, done up, double a point, down, downbeat, drained, drive, drive away, drive off, drub, drum, drum music, drumbeat, drumfire, drumming, duff, dump, duple time, elegiac, elegiac couplet, elegiac pentameter, emphasis, enervate, epitrite, euchre, exceed, excel, excite, exclusive, exhaust, exhausted, fag, fag out, fagged, fagged out, falcon, fallen, far out, fashion, fatigue, fatigued, feminine caesura, ferment, fetch about, field, finagle, fix, fixed, flag, flagellate, flail, flam, flap, flat, flat broke, fleece, flick, flicker, flight path, flimflam, flip, flit, flitter, flog, floor, floored, flop, flour, flurry, flush, flutter, foam, fob, foil, follow the hounds, foot, forage, forge, form, fowl, fragment, frazzle, free and easy, freeloader, fret, fringy, froth, fuddle, fuddled, fudge, full circle, fustigate, get, give a whipping, give the stick, go about, go hunting, go pitapat, gone, gouge, grain, granulate, granulize, grate, grind, grind to powder, groove, grub, gull, gun, gutter, gybe, gyp, hammer, harass, have, hawk, heartbeat, heartthrob, heave round, hemisphere, heptameter, heptapody, heretical, heroic couplet, heterodox, hexameter, hexapody, hide, hippie, hit the road, hocus, hocus-pocus, hors de combat, horsewhip, hound, hunt, hunt down, iamb, iambic, iambic pentameter, ictus, in a dilemma, in suspense, informal, intermittence, intermittency, ionic, itinerary, jack, jacklight, jade, jibe, jibe all standing, jingle, jog trot, judicial circuit, jurisdiction, keep in suspense, keep time, kinky, knock, knock out, knock up, knocked out, knout, lace, lam, lambaste, lap, largo, larrup, lash, lather, lathered, lay on, leave, leech, level of stress, levigate, lick, licked, lilt, line, loop, luff, luff up, make, manhandle, mantle, march, march tempo, masculine caesura, mash, master, maul, maverick, maze, measure, meter, metrical accent, metrical foot, metrical group, metrical unit, metrics, metron, mill, miss stays, mix, mixed times, molossus, mora, mould, movement, muddle, muddled, mulct, muss up, mystified, mystify, news item, nonplus, nonplussed, not cricket, not done, not kosher, number, numbers, offbeat, on tenterhooks, on the skids, oofless, orb, orbit, original, oscillation, outclass, outdo, outdone, outfight, outgeneral, outmaneuver, outpoint, outrun, outsail, outshine, outstrip, overborne, overcome, overfatigue, overmastered, overmatched, overpowered, overreach, overridden, overstrain, overthrown, overtire, overturned, overweary, overwhelm, overwhelmed, pack the deal, paddle, paeon, pale, palpitate, palpitation, panicked, pant, paradiddle, parasite, paste, path, patter, pelt, pendulum motion, pentameter, pentapody, period, periodicalness, periodicity, perplex, perplexed, perturb, perturbate, pestle, piece, pigeon, pinch, pistol-whip, piston motion, pitapat, pitter-patter, play drum, played out, ply, pommel, poop, poop out, pooped, pooped out, pound, pounding, powder, practice fraud upon, precinct, presto, prevail, prevail over, primary stress, primrose path, proceleusmatic, prosodics, prosody, prostrate, province, prowl after, pulsate, pulsation, pulse, pulverize, pummel, put, put about, put back, put to rout, puzzle, puzzled, pyrrhic, quantity, quiver, rag, ragtime, rake, ransack, rap, rat-a-tat, rat-tat, rat-tat-tat, rataplan, rattattoo, rawhide, ready to drop, realm, reappearance, recurrence, red tape, red-tapeism, reduce to powder, regular wave motion, reoccurrence, return, revolution, rhyme, rhythm, rhythmic pattern, rhythmical stress, ride to hounds, rile, ripple, rise above, road, roil, roll, rook, rotation, rough up, roughen, round, round a point, round trip, rounds, rout, route, routed, routine, rub-a-dub, rubato, ruff, ruffle, ruin, ruined, rummage, rumple, run, run away, run off, rut, sail fine, scam, scattered, scoop, scourge, screw, scrunch, scum, sea lane, search, seasonality, secondary stress, sell gold bricks, series, settle, settled, sextuple time, shake, shake up, shape, shard, shave, sheer, shellac, shift, shikar, shoot, shortchange, shortcut, shred, silenced, simple time, skin, skin alive, skinned, skinned alive, slat, sledgehammer, slew, smash, smear, smell-feast, smite, smother, sound a tattoo, spank, spatter, spell, spent, sphere, splatter, splutter, spondee, sponge, sponger, sport, spot news, sprung rhythm, spume, sputter, squash, squirrel cage, staccato, stack the cards, stalk, stampeded, start, stick, still-hunt, sting, stir, stir up, stone-broke, stony, story, strap, strapped, stress, stress accent, stress pattern, strike, stripe, stroke, stuck, stump, stumped, subdiscipline, subdue, sud, suds, surmount, surpass, swerve, swindle, swing, swing round, swing the stern, swinge, swirl, switch, syncopation, syncope, systole, syzygy, tack, take a dive, tan, tap, tat-tat, tattoo, tempo, tempo rubato, tertiary stress, tetrameter, tetrapody, tetraseme, thesis, thimblerig, thrash, three-quarter time, thresh, throb, throbbing, throw, throw a fight, throw about, thrown, thrum, thump, thumping, thwart, tick, ticktock, time, time pattern, timing, tire, tire out, tire to death, tired out, tired to death, tom-tom, top, touch the wind, tour, track, trade route, trail, traject, trajectory, trajet, trample, transcend, tread, treadmill, tribrach, trim, trimeter, trimmed, triple time, triplet, tripody, triseme, triturate, triumph, triumph over, trochee, trouble, trounce, trounced, truncheon, tucker, tuckered out, turn, turn back, two-four time, unconventional, undo, undone, undulation, unfashionable, unorthodox, upbeat, upset, use up, used up, vanquish, veer, victimize, waggle, walk, wallop, waltz time, washed-up, wave, waver, way out, weak stress, weaken, wear, wear down, wear on, wear out, wear ship, weary, weary unto death, well-worn groove, whack, whacked, whale, wheel, whelmed, whip, whip up, whipped, whisk, whop, wilt, win, wind, wiped out, work up, worn out, worn-out, worst, worsted, yaw
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