Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word


 - definitions and thesaurus

What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.



The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

verb beat pronunciation in American English /bit/
Word Forms
present tense
present participlebeating
past tensebeat
past participlebeaten
  1. 1
    [transitive] to hit someone violently several times

    They were arrested for beating their children.

    Synonyms and related words
  2. 3
    [transitive] to defeat someone in a game, competition, election, or battle

    Hingis needed to beat Davenport to get to the final.

    In 2000, George W. Bush narrowly beat Al Gore in the election.

    1. a.
      to do something faster, for longer, more times, etc. than has been done before

      She beat the world record by 0.3 of a second.

      I’ll be happy if I beat my previous best score.

    2. b.
      to succeed despite a difficult situation

      It is one of the few businesses that has beaten the recession.

      women who have beaten breast cancer

  3. 4
    [transitive] informal to be better than something else

    For me, surfing the Net beats watching TV any time.

  4. 5
    [transitive] to hit something several times making a regular pattern of sounds, or to make this pattern of sounds

    Someone was beating a drum in the distance.

    Synonyms and related words
    1. a.
      [transitive] to hit an object or part of the body with your hands

      I beat my hands on the wall with rage.

      He suddenly beat the table with his fist.

      Synonyms and related words
    2. c.
      [intransitive/transitive] to hit something many times or for a long period of time
      beat against/on/at:

      The rain was beating against the windows with renewed force.

      waves beating on the shore

      Synonyms and related words



… a teaching method in which groups of children learn independently using a computer linked to the internet

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary


a derogatory word used for referring to people in the banking and investment industry who are thought of as taking serious risks in order to increase their own earnings …

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog