(1)   The act of beating to windward; sailing as close as possible to the direction from which the wind is blowing
(2)   A stroke or blow
"The signal was two beats on the steam pipe"
(3)   A regular rate of repetition
"The cox raised the beat"
(4)   The basic rhythmic unit in a piece of music
"The piece has a fast rhythm"
"The conductor set the beat"
(5)   (prosody) the accent in a metrical foot of verse
(6)   The sound of stroke or blow
"He heard the beat of a drum"
(7)   The rhythmic contraction and expansion of the arteries with each beat of the heart
"He could feel the beat of her heart"
(8)   A regular route for a sentry or policeman
"In the old days a policeman walked a beat and knew all his people by name"
(9)   A member of the beat generation; a nonconformist in dress and behavior
(10)   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)   Wear out completely
"This kind of work exhausts me"
"I'm beat"
"He was all washed up after the exam"
(12)   Be a mystery or bewildering to
"This beats me!"
"Got me--I don't know the answer!"
"A vexing problem"
"This question really stuck me"
(13)   Come out better in a competition, race, or conflict
"Agassi beat Becker in the tennis championship"
"We beat the competition"
"Harvard defeated Yale in the last football game"
(14)   Give a beating to; subject to a beating, either as a punishment or as an act of aggression
"Thugs beat him up when he walked down the street late at night"
"The teacher used to beat the students"
(15)   Hit repeatedly
"Beat on the door"
"Beat the table with his shoe"
(16)   Stir vigorously
"Beat the egg whites"
"Beat the cream"
(17)   Shape by beating
"Beat swords into ploughshares"
(18)   Produce a rhythm by striking repeatedly
"Beat the drum"
(19)   Make by pounding or trampling
"Beat a path through the forest"
(20)   Move rhythmically
"Her heart was beating fast"
(21)   Indicate by beating, as with the fingers or drumsticks
"Beat the rhythm"
(22)   Sail with much tacking or with difficulty
"The boat beat in the strong wind"
(23)   Move with a flapping motion
"The bird's wings were flapping"
(24)   Move with a thrashing motion
"The bird flapped its wings"
"The eagle beat its wings and soared high into the sky"
(25)   Glare or strike with great intensity
"The sun was beating down on us"
(26)   Make a rhythmic sound
"Rain drummed against the windshield"
"The drums beat all night"
(27)   Make a sound like a clock or a timer
"The clocks were ticking"
"The grandfather clock beat midnight"
(28)   Avoid paying
"Beat the subway fare"
(29)   Be superior
"Reading beats watching television"
"This sure beats work!"

Etymology 1

From . Confer Old High German , Old Norse .


  1. A pulsation or throb.
  2. A pulse on the beat level, the metric level at which pulses are heard as the basic unit. Thus a beat is the basic time unit of a piece.
  3. A rhythm.
  4. The interference between two tones of almost equal frequency
  5. A pause with the camera focused on one shot, often a characters face (often used in screenplays/teleplays).
  6. The route of a patrol by a guard or officer as in walk the beat.
  7. In newspapering, the primary focus of a reporter's stories (such as police/courts, education, city government, business etc.).
  8. A small part of a dramatic play.


  1. To hit; to knock; to pound; to strike.
    As soon as she heard the news, she went into a rage and beat the wall with her fists until her knuckles bled.
  2. To strike or pound repeatedly, usually in some sort of rhythm.
    He danced hypnotically while she beat the atabaque.
  3. To win against; to defeat; to do better than, outdo, or excel someone in a particular, competitive event.
    Jan had little trouble beating John in tennis. He lost five games in a row.
    No matter how quickly Joe finished his test, Roger always beat him.
  4. To sail to windward using a series of alternate tacks across the wind.
  5. To mix food in a rapid fashion. Compare whip.
    Beat the eggs and whip the cream.
  6. (impersonal): It beats X Y = X cannot understand Y, where Y is an indirect question.
    (said by Fred Dibnah): It beats me how she [= the Queen] keeps tabs on everybody


  1. (gay slang) fabulous
    Her makeup was beat!
  2. exhausted
    After the long day, she was feeling completely beat.