/bi:t/ past tense beat
past participle beaten
1 DEFEAT (T)a) to get the most points, votes etc in a game, race, or competition: Brazil were beaten in the final 2-1. | I could always beat my brother at chess. | beat sb hollow (=defeat them easily)b) to successfully deal with or defeat a problem that you have been struggling with: The Administration claims to have beaten inflation: .-see win 12 HIT (T) to hit someone or something many times with your hand or with a stick: In those days children were often beaten at school. | I've been beating the rugs and I'm covered in dust. | beat sb to death/beat sb unconscious etc (=beat them until they die etc) | beat sb black and blue (=make marks on their body by beating them hard) | beat the living daylights out of informal (=beat someone very hard)3 beat a record/score etc to do better than a record etc that already exists: The record set by Kierson in '84 has yet to be beaten.4 HIT AGAINST (intransitive always + adv/prep) to knock or hit against something continuously: beat on/against etc: Waves beat against the cliffs. | We could hear the rain beating on the roof.5 beat sb to it informal to get or do something before someone else, especially if you are both trying to do it first: I really wanted that car but someone else had beaten me to it.6 (it) beats me spoken used to say that you cannot understand or explain something: "How can these kids afford clothes like that?" "Beats me."7 MIX (T) to mix things together with a fork or machine when preparing food: Beat the eggs until they are light and fluffy.8 DRUMS (I, T) if you beat the drums or if drums beat, they make a regular continuous sound9 HEART (I) when your heart beats, it moves in a regular rhythm (1) as it pumps your blood: He's still alive - I can feel his heart beating.10 WINGS (I, T) if a bird beats its wings or its wings beat, they move up and down quickly and regularly11 you can't beat spoken used to say that someone or something is better than anything else: You can't beat motor racing for excitement and danger.12 take some beatinga) to be difficult to beat: Schumacher has 42 points, which will take some beating.b) to be better, more enjoyable etc than almost anything else of the same type: As a winter sports center, Edmonton takes some beating.13 BE BETTER (transitive not in progressive) spoken to be much better and more enjoyable than something else: This job sure beats tending bar!14 beat the rush to do something earlier than normal in order to avoid problems when everyone does it: Shop now and beat the Christmas rush!15 beat about/around the bush to avoid or delay talking about something embarrassing or unpleasant: Stop beating about the bush and tell me why you're here.16 beat the system to find ways of avoiding or breaking the rules of an organization, system etc, in order to achieve what you want17 beat it! spoken used to tell someone to leave at once because they are annoying you or should not be there18 beat your brains out AmE informal to think about something very hard and for a long time19 beat the rap AmE informal to avoid being punished for something you have done20 if you can't beat `em, join `em spoken used when you decide to take part in something although you disapprove of it, because everyone else is doing it and you cannot stop them21 beat time to make regular movements or sounds to show the speed at which music should be played: a conductor beating time with his baton22 can you beat that/it? spoken used to show that you are surprised or annoyed by something: He's taken the money and gone! Can you beat that?23 beat a path (to sb's door) if people beat a path to your door, they are interested in something you are selling, a service you are providing etc: They'll be beating a path to your door after this ad.24 to beat the band AmE informal in large amounts or with great force: It's raining to beat the band.25 beat the heat AmE informal to make yourself cooler: Let's go swimming to beat the heat.26 METAL (T) to hit metal with a hammer in order to shape it or make it thinner27 HUNTING (I, T) to force wild birds and animals out of bushes, long grass etc so that they can be shot for sport.28 beat your breast literary to show clearly that you are very upset or sorry about something-see also: beaten, beating
Longman dictionary of contemporary English. 2004.