From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishbeatbeat1 /biːt/ ●●● S2 W2 verb (past tense beat, past participle beaten /ˈbiːtn/) 1 competition/election [transitive]BEAT/DEFEAT to get the most points, votes etc in a game, race, or competition syn defeat Brazil were beaten 2–1. Labour easily beat the Conservatives in the last election.beat somebody at/in something I beat him more often at pool than he beats me.beat somebody hollow British English, beat the pants off somebody American English (=defeat them easily)2 hit [transitive]HIT to hit someone or something many times with your hand, a stick etc photographs of rioters beating a policeman He was questioned and beaten. The woman had been beaten to death by her husband. Two prisoners were beaten unconscious.beat somebody black and blue (=hit someone until it makes marks on their body)beat the living daylights out of somebody (=beat someone very hard)► see thesaurus at hit3 hit against [intransitive always + adverb/preposition]HIT to hit against something many times or continuouslybeat on/against/at etc Waves beat against the cliffs. rain beating on the windows Sid beat on the door with his hand.4 do betterBETTER [transitive] to do something better, faster etc than what was best beforebeat a record/score etc The record set by Kierson in '84 has yet to be beaten. The company’s profits are unlikely to beat last year’s £10 million.5 be better [transitive not in progressive] especially spokenBETTER to be much better and more enjoyable than something else Fresh milk beats powdered milk any time.beat doing something ‘Well, ’ said Culley, ‘it beats going to the office.’ You can’t beat swimming as a good all-body exercise. Nothing beats homemade cake.you can’t beat something (for something) For excitement, you just can’t beat college basketball. 6 food [intransitive, transitive]MIX to mix things together quickly with a fork or special kitchen machine Beat the eggs, then add the milk.beat something in Gradually beat in the sugar.beat something together Beat the butter and sugar together until fluffy.► see thesaurus at mix7 control/deal with [transitive] to successfully deal with a problem that you have been struggling with syn conquer advice on how to beat depression the government’s long fight to beat inflation8 heart [intransitive]HBHM when your heart beats, it moves in a regular rhythm as it pumps your blood The average person’s heart beats 70 times a minute. Jennifer’s heart was beating fast.9 drums [intransitive, transitive]CAPM if you beat drums, or if drums beat, they make a regular continuous sound10 wings [intransitive, transitive]HBB if a bird beats its wings, or if its wings beat, they move up and down quickly and regularly syn flap 11 → take some beating12 EARLYavoid [transitive] to avoid situations in which a lot of people are trying to do something, usually by doing something early We left at four a.m. to beat the traffic. Shopping by mail order lets you beat the queues. Shop now and beat the Christmas rush!13 do before somebody else [transitive] informalLOSE A GAME, COMPETITION, OR WAR to get or do something before someone else, especially if you are both trying to do it firstbeat somebody to something John had beaten me to the breakfast table. I wanted the last piece of pie, but somebody beat me to it. They wanted to make it into a film, but another studio beat them to the punch.14 → beat about/around the bush15 → beat the system16 → beat a path to somebody’s door17 → beat a (hasty) retreat18 → beat the clock19 → (it) beats me20 → beat it!21 → can you beat that/it?22 → beat your brains out23 → if you can’t beat 'em, join 'em24 → beat the rap25 → beat time26 → beat a path/track27 → to beat the band28 → beat the heat29 metal (also beat out) [transitive]HCMTI to hit metal with a hammer in order to shape it or make it thinner30 hunting [intransitive, transitive]DSO to force wild birds and animals out of bushes, long grass etc so that they can be shot for sport31 → beat your breast → beaten, beatingCOLLOCATIONSadverbseasily beat somebodyJason easily beats me at chess every time we play.narrowly beat somebody (=by only a few points, votes etc)New Zealand narrowly beat the Springboks in South Africa.comfortably beat somebody (=by more than a few points, votes etc)He comfortably beat the second placed candidate.soundly beat somebody (=by a lot of points, votes etc)In each event she soundly beat her opponents.beat somebody hands down (=beat someone very easily)He should be able to beat them all hands down.comprehensively beat somebody (=by a lot of points, votes etc)There’s no point trying to offer excuses as to why we were so comprehensively beaten.convincingly beat somebody (=in a way that clearly shows someone deserves to win)Mexico convincingly beat Brazil 2–0.phrasesbeat somebody into second/third etc placeHe was beaten into second place in the Monaco Grand Prix. THESAURUSbeat to get more points, votes etc than someone. Beat is used especially in spoken EnglishWe should have beaten them easily.I always beat my brother at tennis.defeat to beat someone. Defeat is more formal than beat and is used especially in writingEngland were defeated by 2 goals to 1.Bush defeated Kerry in the election.trounce /traʊns/ to defeat someone completely in a gameThey were trounced 20–0 by Kuwait.thrash British English informal, cream American English informal to beat someone very easily in a gameOf course, they totally creamed the other team.I hope we thrash them!wipe the floor with somebody informal to beat someone completely in a game or argumentShe wiped the floor with her opponent in the debate.They won a £1,000 prize after wiping the floor with the opposition in a bowling competition. → beat down → beat off → beat somebody/something ↔ out → beat up→ See Verb table
Examples from the Corpusbeat• Lewis was a tough boxer, and a hard man to beat.• Hey, it beats a bake sale.• Back then, girls were told that they could never beat a boy at tennis.• Jake's home-made burgers beat anything you can get at fast-food restaurants.• Whatever Messrs Mondale, Foot and Kinnock said about raising taxes in the 1980s, they were going to be beaten anyway.• It's not a particularly good job, but it certainly beats being unemployed.• It was clear that she had been badly beaten by her husband.• My Father used to let me beat him at chess.• Following the incident with the boy a Dig Daddy style man had gone to his door and beaten him up.• But UMass still won on the road against a team that should have beaten it.• Brazil beat Italy in the final.• He used to come home drunk and beat my mother.• Children were beating on different kinds of drums.• Convention delegates were beaten, stabbed, and shot promiscuously by the police.• On the ultrasound machine, I could see the baby's heart beating strongly.• Teachers are no longer allowed to beat students who misbehave.• Beat the cream into the fruit puree, pour into bowls, and chill.• Beat the eggs and pour in the milk.• Carry on beating the eggs with a fork until they're light and fluffy.• Do you think the Socialists will beat the Liberals in the election?• Osborne wanted to beat the living daylights out of Flanagan.• Police officers had beaten the man with their batons.• No one has figured out how to beat the problem of rodents eating the crops.• My torso and my wrists felt as though Edna had beaten them with sticks.• In a separate bowl, beat together the oil and flour.• Slaves were sometimes beaten with sticks or even whipped.beaten to death• A Chancellor of the Exchequer who had failed to prevent thieves penetrating his treasury was summarily beaten to death.• And when he himself was nearly beaten to death.• Her body will be covered with bruises, as if she had been beaten to death.• Recalcitrants were chained, starved and beaten to death.• In Westport, a 3-year-old boy was beaten to death after wetting his pants, authorities allege.• Apparently, he was beaten to death and, as a result, swore that he would for ever haunt the local area.• In the minutes that followed, McDuffie was beaten to death by a group of Dade County police officers.• We don't see gays being beaten to death in our country because of their sexuality.beat on/against/at etc• This type of groove should be played very tight, smack on the beat at all times, but with a little bounce.• With an electric mixer, beat at low speed until moistened and then at medium speed for 3 minutes.• Blend at lowest speed 30 seconds and then beat at medium speed 3 minutes.• The rain beat against my face, pasted my hair to my scalp, ran down my neck.• Recovering, Emmie seized the thin old hearthrug and began to beat at the flames.• When the sun is at its highest, it beats on the wall.• A young man was beaten on two occasions but never arrested for anything.you can’t beat something (for something)• For romance, you can't beat the Rainbow Lodge.beat ... to it• Book now before you're beaten to it!• Bridget had only just beaten her to it.• Gloria had beaten me to it.• Martin learnt later that another team had beaten him to it.• The Aldam family from Guildford have beaten them to it.• Gary had beaten them to it, and had demanded contributions for the mission.• He'd beaten Danny Crompton to it that time.