Definition of


  1. (noun, act) the act of beating to windward; sailing as close as possible to the direction from which the wind is blowing
  2. (noun, act) a stroke or blow
  3. (noun, attribute) a regular rate of repetition
  4. (noun, communication) the basic rhythmic unit in a piece of music
    the conductor set the beat
  5. (noun, communication) (prosody) the accent in a metrical foot of verse
  6. (noun, event) the sound of stroke or blow
  7. (noun, event) the rhythmic contraction and expansion of the arteries with each beat of the heart
  8. (noun, location) a regular route for a sentry or policeman
  9. (noun, person) a member of the beat generation; a nonconformist in dress and behavior
  10. (noun, phenomenon) 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
  11. (verb, body) wear out completely
    I'm beat
    He was all washed up after the exam
  12. (verb, cognition) be a mystery or bewildering to
    Got me--I don't know the answer!
    a vexing problem
    This question really stuck me
  13. (verb, competition) come out better in a competition, race, or conflict
    We beat the competition
    Harvard defeated Yale in the last football game
  14. (verb, competition) beat through cleverness and wit
    She outfoxed her competitors
  15. (verb, contact) give a beating to; subject to a beating, either as a punishment or as an act of aggression
    The teacher used to beat the students
  16. (verb, contact) hit repeatedly
    beat the table with his shoe
  17. (verb, contact) strike (water or bushes) repeatedly to rouse animals for hunting
  18. (verb, contact) strike (a part of one's own body) repeatedly, as in great emotion or in accompaniment to music
    beat one's foot rhythmically
  19. (verb, contact) stir vigorously
    beat the cream
  20. (verb, creation) shape by beating
  21. (verb, creation) produce a rhythm by striking repeatedly
  22. (verb, creation) make by pounding or trampling
  23. (verb, motion) move with or as if with a regular alternating motion
  24. (verb, motion) move rhythmically
  25. (verb, motion) indicate by beating, as with the fingers or drumsticks
  26. (verb, motion) sail with much tacking or with difficulty
  27. (verb, motion) move with a flapping motion
  28. (verb, motion) move with a thrashing motion
    The eagle beat its wings and soared high into the sky
  29. (verb, perception) glare or strike with great intensity
  30. (verb, perception) make a rhythmic sound
    The drums beat all night
  31. (verb, perception) make a sound like a clock or a timer
    the grandfather clock beat midnight
  32. (verb, social) avoid paying
  33. (verb, stative) be superior
    This sure beats work!
  34. (adj, all) very tired
    so beat I could flop down and go to sleep anywhere
    bushed after all that exercise
    I'm dead after that long trip

via WordNet, Princeton University

Alternate forms of Beat

Derivations: beat, beatable, beater, beating

Hyponyms: backbeat, baste, bastinado, bat, bate, batter, beat, beat out, beetle, belabor, belabour, best, cane, catalexis, cheat, checkmate, chicane, chouse, clap, clobber, coldcock, common measure, common meter, cream, deck, diastole, downbeat, drub, dump, eliminate, elude, escape, exceed, flail, flap, flog, floor, flutter, foot, forge, frazzle, full, get over, get the best, get the jump, hammer, have the best, immobilise, immobilize, jockey, kayo, kill, knock cold, knock down, knock out, lam, lambast, lambaste, larrup, lash, lather, lick, master, mate, metrical foot, metrical unit, mix up, mop up, offbeat, outdo, outfight, outflank, outgo, outmatch, outperform, outplay, outpoint, outscore, outstrip, overcome, overmaster, overpower, overwhelm, paddle, palpitate, paste, pip, pistol-whip, play, pounding, pulsate, pulse, rack up, riddle, rough up, rout, scansion, scoop, screw, shaft, slash, soak, spank, spread-eagle, spreadeagle, strap, strong-arm, stump, subdue, surmount, surpass, syncopation, systole, tap out, thrash, thresh, throb, throbbing, thump out, trounce, trump, upbeat, walk over, welt, whang, whip, whisk, whomp, worst

Hypernyms: agitate, be, beat, bedevil, befuddle, cheat, chisel, commove, confound, confuse, create, defeat, discombobulate, displace, disturb, exceed, fag, fag out, fatigue, forge, form, fox, fuddle, get the better of, glare, go, itinerary, jade, make, mold, mould, move, musical time, nonconformist, oscillation, outdo, outgo, outmatch, outperform, outstrip, outwear, overcome, pace, path, periodic event, play, poetic rhythm, prosody, raise up, rate, recurrent event, recusant, rhythmic pattern, rip off, route, sail, sailing, shake up, shape, sound, stir up, strike, stroke, surmount, surpass, throw, tire, tire out, vex, vibration, wear, wear down, wear out, wear upon, weary, work

Origin of the word Beat

  1. O.E. beatan "inflict blows on, thrash" (class VII strong verb; past tense beot, pp. beaten), from P.Gmc. *bautan (cf. O.N. bauta, O.H.G. bozan "to beat"), from PIE base *bhau- "to strike" (see batter (v.)). Of the heart, c.1200, from notion of it striking against the breast. Meaning "to overcome in a contest" is from 1610s (the s… more

via Online Etymology Dictionary, ©2001 Douglas Harper

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