beat Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo

Meaning of “beat” in the English Dictionary

"beat" in British English

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

B1 [T] to ​defeat or do ​better than: Simon always beats me attennis. Holland beat Belgium (by) 3–1. The Miami Heat beat the Pacers 95-90/by five ​points. Our ​team was ​comfortably/​easily/​soundly beaten in the first round of the ​competition. The Nationalists were narrowly beaten in the ​election. He beat me fair and ​square (= without ​cheating). They were beaten hands down (= ​completely) by ​theiropponents. She has beaten her own record of three ​minutes ten ​seconds.B2 informal to be ​better or more ​enjoyable than another ​activity or ​experience: [+ -ing verb] Taking the ​bussure 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 ​coldbeer on a ​hotafternoon. [T] To beat something that is going to ​happen is to take ​action before the thing ​happens: Let's ​try to beat the ​traffic by ​leaving early in the ​morning. I always do my ​shopping early to beat the ​rush.beat sb to it to do something before someone ​else does it: I was just going to ​clean the ​kitchen, but you beat me to it.

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  • beat verb (HIT)

B2 [I or T, usually + adv/prep] to ​hitrepeatedly: 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 downincessantly on the ​tinroof.beat a path through sth to ​form a ​path in an ​area where ​longgrass or ​bushesgrowclosely together, by ​hitting the ​plants with ​yourhands or an ​object, or by ​stepping on them: We beat a ​path through the ​undergrowth.

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  • beat verb (MOVEMENT)

B1 [I or T] to (​cause to) make a ​regularmovement or ​sound: The ​doctor could ​feel no ​pulse beating. Her ​heartstarted to beat ​faster. The ​hummingbird beats ​itswings at ​greatspeed.beat time to make a ​regularsound or ​movement to ​music

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beatadjective [after verb]

uk   us   /biːt/ informal
extremelytired: I'm beat - I'm going to ​bed. You've been ​working too hard, you ​look dead beat.
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uk   us   /biːt/
  • beat noun (MOVEMENT)

B2 [C or U] a ​regularmovement or ​sound, ​especially that made by ​yourheart: I put my ​head on his ​chest but I could ​feel no ​heartbeat. My ​heartskipped a beat (= I ​felt very ​excited) when she said, "Yes, I'll ​marry you".

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  • beat noun (MUSIC)

B2 [C or U] in ​music, a ​regularemphasis, 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.
(Definition of beat from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"beat" in American English

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 us   /bit/
  • 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 ​peoplethink 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 ​leavework early to beat the ​traffic.
  • beat verb (HIT)

[I/T] (past tense beat, past participle beaten  /ˈbit·ən/ or beat) to ​hitrepeatedly: [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 ​mixfood with a ​fastcircularmotion: [M] Beat in the ​eggyolks.
  • beat verb (RHYTHM)

[I/T] (past tense beat, past participle beaten  /ˈbit·ən/ or beat) to make a ​rhythmicsound 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, ​yourheart could not beat ​correctly.

beatnoun [C usually sing]

 us   /bit/
an ​area for which someone, esp. a ​policeofficer, has ​responsibility as ​part of the ​job: People are comforted to ​seecops on the beat.
music the ​rhythmicsound in ​music that ​repeatsregularly: We ​clapped in ​time to the beat.


 us   /bit/ infml
  • beat adjective (TIRED)

extremelytired: I’m beat – I’m going to ​bed.
(Definition of beat from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"beat" in Business English

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beatverb [T]

uk   us   /biːt/ (beat, beaten, US also beat)
to do better than someone or something: Yesterday's ​close beat the ​record set ​Feb. 1. With their ​lowestpriceguarantee, they will beat the ​price of a competitor's ​product by 10%.beat estimates/expectations/forecasts Declines in ​shares of the world's biggest ​chipmaker halted when the ​company beat ​expectations for ​profits. They are ​selling the ​softwarepackages 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 ​retaintalentedstaff.
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 ​volatileperformance on Wall Street.beat a retreat from sth The ​prime minister's ​cabinet continues to beat a ​retreat from many ​economicreforms.
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 ​mergersfail to ​delivervalue to ​shareholders, but the bank's new ​presidentthinks 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 ​domesticdistributor will become the ​exclusive U.S. ​importer for the popular ​foreignbrands.
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)
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“beat” in Business English

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