Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “beat”

beat

verb  /bit/ us  

beat verb (DEFEAT)

[T] (past tense beat, past participle beaten  /ˈbi·tən/ or beat) to defeat a competitor, or to do or be better than someone or something: In football, the Giants beat the 49ers, 17-3. Most people think that the governor will beat his opponent. The room wasn’t much, but it beat driving to a hotel 20 miles away. [T] (past tense beat, past participle beaten  /ˈbi·tən/ or beat) To beat something that is going to happen is to take action that will prevent it from having an effect on you: I leave work early to beat the traffic.

beat verb (HIT)

[I/T] (past tense beat, past participle beaten  /ˈbit·ən/ or beat) to hit repeatedly: [T] He looked as if he’d been beaten. [I] The children were beating on the table.

beat verb (MIX)

[T] (past tense beat, past participle beaten  /ˈbit·ən/ or beat) to mix food with a fast circular motion: [M] Beat in the egg yolks.

beat verb (RHYTHM)

[I/T] (past tense beat, past participle beaten  /ˈbit·ən/ or beat) to make a rhythmic sound or movement, or to hit something in rhythm to make such a sound: [I] I was so nervous I could feel my heart beating. [T] He steadily beat the drum. [I] Without calcium, your heart could not beat correctly.

beat

noun [C usually sing]  /bit/ us  

beat noun [C usually sing] (AREA)

an area for which someone, esp. a police officer, has responsibility as part of the job: People are comforted to see cops on the beat.

beat noun [C usually sing] (RHYTHM)

music the rhythmic sound in music that repeats regularly: We clapped in time to the beat.

beat

adjective  /bit/ infml us  

beat adjective (TIRED)

extremely tired: I’m beat – I’m going to bed.
(Definition of beat from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of beat?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “beat” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

innovate

to introduce changes and new ideas

Word of the Day

Blog

Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More