To beat time

To beat time
Beat Beat (b[=e]t), v. t. [imp. {Beat}; p. p. {Beat}, {Beaten}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Beating}.] [OE. beaten, beten, AS. be['a]tan; akin to Icel. bauta, OHG. b[=o]zan. Cf. 1st {Butt}, {Button}.] 1. To strike repeatedly; to lay repeated blows upon; as, to beat one's breast; to beat iron so as to shape it; to beat grain, in order to force out the seeds; to beat eggs and sugar; to beat a drum. [1913 Webster]

Thou shalt beat some of it [spices] very small. --Ex. xxx. 36. [1913 Webster]

They did beat the gold into thin plates. --Ex. xxxix. 3. [1913 Webster]

2. To punish by blows; to thrash. [1913 Webster]

3. To scour or range over in hunting, accompanied with the noise made by striking bushes, etc., for the purpose of rousing game. [1913 Webster]

To beat the woods, and rouse the bounding prey. --Prior. [1913 Webster]

4. To dash against, or strike, as with water or wind. [1913 Webster]

A frozen continent . . . beat with perpetual storms. --Milton. [1913 Webster]

5. To tread, as a path. [1913 Webster]

Pass awful gulfs, and beat my painful way. --Blackmore. [1913 Webster]

6. To overcome in a battle, contest, strife, race, game, etc.; to vanquish, defeat, or conquer; to surpass or be superior to. [1913 Webster]

He beat them in a bloody battle. --Prescott. [1913 Webster]

For loveliness, it would be hard to beat that. --M. Arnold. [1913 Webster]

7. To cheat; to chouse; to swindle; to defraud; -- often with out. [Colloq.] [1913 Webster]

8. To exercise severely; to perplex; to trouble. [1913 Webster]

Why should any one . . . beat his head about the Latin grammar who does not intend to be a critic? --Locke. [1913 Webster]

9. (Mil.) To give the signal for, by beat of drum; to sound by beat of drum; as, to beat an alarm, a charge, a parley, a retreat; to beat the general, the reveille, the tattoo. See {Alarm}, {Charge}, {Parley}, etc. [1913 Webster]

10. to baffle or stump; to defy the comprehension of (a person); as, it beats me why he would do that. [1913 Webster]

11. to evade, avoid, or escape (blame, taxes, punishment); as, to beat the rap (be acquitted); to beat the sales tax by buying out of state. [1913 Webster]

{To beat down}, to haggle with (any one) to secure a lower price; to force down. [Colloq.]

{To beat into}, to teach or instill, by repetition.

{To beat off}, to repel or drive back.

{To beat out}, to extend by hammering.

{To beat out of} a thing, to cause to relinquish it, or give it up. ``Nor can anything beat their posterity out of it to this day.'' --South.

{To beat the dust}. (Man.) (a) To take in too little ground with the fore legs, as a horse. (b) To perform curvets too precipitately or too low.

{To beat the hoof}, to walk; to go on foot.

{To beat the wing}, to flutter; to move with fluttering agitation.

{To beat time}, to measure or regulate time in music by the motion of the hand or foot.

{To beat up}, to attack suddenly; to alarm or disturb; as, to beat up an enemy's quarters. [1913 Webster]

Syn: To strike; pound; bang; buffet; maul; drub; thump; baste; thwack; thrash; pommel; cudgel; belabor; conquer; defeat; vanquish; overcome. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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  • beat time — {v. phr.} To follow the rhythm of a piece of music by moving one s fingers or feet. * /Jack was beating time with his foot during the concert, which annoyed his neighbor./ …   Dictionary of American idioms

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