Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “beat”

See all translations

beat

verb [T]
 
 
/biːt/ (beat, beaten, US also beat)
to do better than someone or something: Yesterday's close beat the record set Feb. 1. With their lowest price guarantee, they will beat the price of a competitor's product by 10%.beat estimates/expectations/forecasts Declines in shares of the world's biggest chip maker halted when the company beat expectations for profits. They are selling the software packages at prices that are hard to beat.
beat the competition to be more successful than other people or companies that you are competing against: The way to beat the competition is to recruit and retain talented staff.
beat a path to sb's door to be eager to buy or get something from someone: By making furniture distinguished in design and workmanship, it has persuaded buyers to beat a path to its door.
beat a (hasty) retreat to decide not to continue with something that has become too difficult or not worth doing: Most of the market beat a hasty retreat, investors being unimpressed by a volatile performance on Wall Street.beat a retreat from sth The prime minister's cabinet continues to beat a retreat from many economic reforms.
beat sb at their own game informal to use the methods by which someone has tried to defeat you to your own advantage: By buying two competitors who tried to beat him at his own game, he created the three networks he now owns.
beat sb to it to achieve something before someone else does it: We got very close to buying the franchise last year before another company beat us to it.
beat the odds to succeed despite having a disadvantage: Many mergers fail to deliver value to shareholders, but the bank's new president thinks it will be able to beat the odds.
if you can't beat 'em, join 'em ( also if you can't beat them, join them) informal said when you accept that you cannot be as successful as someone else without doing what they do: If you can't beat them, join them. Beginning in February the domestic distributor will become the exclusive U.S. importer for the popular foreign brands.
take some beating to do something so well that it is difficult for anyone else to do better: The automaker has delivered an impressive hatchback car that will take some beating.
(Definition of beat from the Cambridge Business English 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

cold snap

a short period of cold weather

Word of the Day

Cleavage proves divisive in Cambridge’s words of 2014

by Alastair Horne,
December 19, 2014
​​​​ Other dictionaries may choose faddish novelties as their words of the year, but here at Cambridge, we like to do something different. We look for the words that have seen sudden surges in searches over the course of the year – words that have been baffling users of English and driven them

Read More 

cinderella surgery noun

December 15, 2014
cosmetic surgery to the feet We have all heard of people having nose jobs, boob jobs and liposuction – but now a new trend growing in popularity in America: Cinderella surgery.

Read More