Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “beat”

beat

verb uk   /biːt/ (beat, beaten or US also beat) us  

beat verb (DEFEAT)

B1 [T] to defeat or do better than: Simon always beats me at tennis. Holland beat Belgium (by) 3–1. Our team was comfortably/easily/soundly beaten in the first round of the competition. The Nationalists were narrowly beaten in the local election. He beat me fair and square (= without cheating). They were beaten hands down (= completely) by their opponents. She has beaten her own record of three minutes ten seconds.US He beat out all the top competitors in his sport.Winning and defeatingScoring, winning and losing in sport B2 informal to be better or more enjoyable than another activity or experience: [+ -ing verb] Taking the bus sure beats walking.slang Taking the bus beats the hell out of (= is much better than) walking all the way there. You can't beat (= there is nothing more enjoyable than) a cold beer on a hot afternoon.Surpassing in quality or number [T] To beat something that is going to happen is to take action before the thing happens: Let's try to beat the traffic problems by leaving early in the morning. I always do my shopping early to beat the rush.Acting and actsDealing with things or people beat sb to it to do something before someone else does it: I was just going to tidy up the kitchen, but you've beaten me to it.Preceding and introducing

beat verb (HIT)

B2 [I or T, usually + adv/prep] to hit repeatedly: They saw him beating his dog with a stick. The child had been brutally/savagely beaten. She was beaten to death. [+ obj + adj ] He was beaten senseless. Beat the drum. The rain was beating down incessantly on the tin roof.Hitting and beatingPunishing by causing pain beat a path through sth to form a path in an area where long grass or bushes grow closely together, by hitting the plants with your hands or an object, or by stepping on them: We beat a path through the undergrowth.Pedestrian routes

beat verb (MIX)

C1 to mix something repeatedly using a utensil such as a spoon or whisk: To make an omelette you first beat the eggs.Mixing and mixturesVariety and mixturesConnecting and combiningGroups and collections of thingsCookery terms

beat verb (MOVEMENT)

B1 [I or T] to (cause to) make a regular movement or sound: The doctor could feel no pulse beating. Her heart started to beat faster. The hummingbird beats its wings at great speed.Shaking, swinging and vibrating beat time to make a regular sound or movement to musicPlaying musicSinging in general

beat

adjective [after verb] uk   /biːt/ informal us  
extremely tired: I'm beat - I'm going to bed.UK You've been working too hard, you look dead beat.
See also
Tired and making tired

beat

noun uk   /biːt/ us  

beat noun (MOVEMENT)

B2 [C or U] a regular movement or sound, especially that made by your heart: I put my head on his chest but I could feel no heart beat. My heart missed a beat (= I felt very excited) when she said, "Yes, I'll marry you".The circulatory system and blood

beat noun (MUSIC)

B2 [C or U] in music, a regular emphasis, or a place in the music where such an emphasis is expected: The guitar comes in on the third beat. Make sure you play on the beat. He tapped his foot to the beat (= rhythm) of the music.Beats or lengths of musical notes

beat noun (AREA)

[C usually singular] an area for which someone, such as a police officer, has responsibility as part of their job: Bob has worked as an officer on this particular beat for 20 years.The police generally be on/walking the beat A police officer who is on/walking the beat is on duty, walking around rather than driving in a police car.The police generally
(Definition of beat from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © 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

throw

to send something through the air with force, especially by a sudden movement of the arm

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