Pronunciation Noun

beat (plural beats)

  1. A stroke; a blow.
    • He, with a careless beat, / Struck out the mute creation at a heat.
  2. A pulsation or throb.
    a beat of the heart; the beat of the pulse
  3. 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.
  4. A rhythm.
  5. (music) [specifically] The rhythm signalled by a conductor or other musician to the members of a group of musicians.
  6. The interference between two tones of almost equal frequency
  7. (authorship) A short pause in a play, screenplay, or teleplay, for dramatic or comedic effect; a plot point or story development.
  8. The route patrolled by a police officer or a guard.
    to walk the beat
  9. (by extension) An area of a person's responsibility, especially
    1. In journalism, the primary focus of a reporter's stories (such as police/courts, education, city government, business etc.).
      • 2020 April, Elizabeth Kolbert, Why we won't avoid a climate catastrophe, National Geographic
        As an adult, I became a journalist whose beat is the environment. In a way, I’ve turned my youthful preoccupations into a profession.
  10. (dated) An act of reporting news or scientific results before a rival; a scoop.
    • It's a beat on the whole country.
  11. (colloquial, dated) That which beats, or surpasses, another or others.
    the beat of him
  12. (dated or obsolete, Southern US) A precinct.
  13. (dated) A place of habitual or frequent resort.
  14. (archaic) A low cheat or swindler.
    a dead beat
  15. The instrumental portion of a piece of hip-hop music.
  16. (hunting) The act of scouring, or ranging over, a tract of land to rouse or drive out game; also, those so engaged, collectively.
    • Bears coming out of holes in the rocks at the last moment, when the beat is close to them.
  17. (fencing) A smart tap on the adversary's blade.
  • Russian: уда́р
Translations Translations Translations Translations
  • German: Schwebung
  • Russian: бие́ние
Translations Translations Translations Translations Verb

beat (beats, present participle beating; past beat, past participle beaten)

  1. (transitive) To hit; strike
    As soon as she heard that her father had died, she went into a rage and beat the wall with her fists until her knuckles bled.
    Synonyms: knock, pound, strike, hammer, whack, Thesaurus:attack, Thesaurus:hit
  2. (transitive) To strike or pound repeatedly, usually in some sort of rhythm.
    He danced hypnotically while she beat the atabaque.
  3. (intransitive) To strike repeatedly; to inflict repeated blows; to knock vigorously or loudly.
    • 1611, The Holy Bible, […] (King James Version), imprinted at London: By Robert Barker, […], OCLC 964384981 ↗, Judges 19:22 ↗:
      {...}} the men of the city, certain sons of Belial, beset the house round about, and beat at the door {{...}
    • 1611, The Holy Bible, […] (King James Version), imprinted at London: By Robert Barker, […], OCLC 964384981 ↗, Jonah 4:8 ↗:
      The sun beat upon the head of Jonah, that he fainted, and wished in himself to die.
  4. (intransitive) To move with pulsation or throbbing.
  5. (transitive) To win against; to defeat or overcome; to do better than, outdo, or excel (someone) in a particular, competitive event.
    Jan 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.
    I just can't seem to beat the last level of this video game.
  6. (intransitive, nautical) To sail to windward using a series of alternate tacks across the wind.
  7. (transitive) To strike (water, foliage etc.) in order to drive out game; to travel through (a forest etc.) for hunting.
  8. To mix food in a rapid fashion. Compare whip.
    Beat the eggs and whip the cream.
  9. (transitive, UK, In haggling for a price) of a buyer, to persuade the seller to reduce a price
    He wanted $50 for it, but I managed to beat him down to $35.
    Synonyms: negotiate
  10. (transitive) To indicate by beating or drumming.
    to beat a retreat; to beat to quarters
  11. To tread, as a path.
  12. To exercise severely; to perplex; to trouble.
  13. To be in agitation or doubt.
    • 1610–1611, William Shakespeare, “The Tempest”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act IV, scene i]:
      to still my beating mind
  14. To make a sound when struck.
    The drums beat.
  15. (military, intransitive) To make a succession of strokes on a drum.
    The drummers beat to call soldiers to their quarters.
  16. To sound with more or less rapid alternations of greater and less intensity, so as to produce a pulsating effect; said of instruments, tones, or vibrations, not perfectly in unison.
  17. (transitive) To arrive at a place before someone.
    He beat me there.
    The place is empty, we beat the crowd of people who come at lunch.
  18. (intransitive, UK, slang, vulgar) To have sexual intercourse.
    Bruv, she came in just as we started to beat.
    Synonyms: do it, get it on, have sex, shag, Thesaurus:copulate
Translations Translations Translations Translations
  • Spanish: (heart) latir (el corazón)
Translations Translations
  • French: remonter au vent
  • Russian: лави́ровать
  • Spanish: barloventear
Translations Translations
  • Russian: сбить (цену)
Translations Translations Translations Adjective


  1. (US slang) exhausted
    After the long day, she was feeling completely beat.
  2. dilapidated, beat up
    Dude, you drive a beat car like that and you ain’t gonna get no honeys.
  3. (gay slang) fabulous
    Her makeup was beat!
  4. (slang) boring
  5. (slang, of a person) ugly
Synonyms Translations Noun

beat (plural beats)

  1. A beatnik.
    • 2008, David Wills, Beatdom, Issue Three, March 2008
      The beats were pioneers with no destination, changing the world one impulse at a time.

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