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beat

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verb beat pronunciation in British English /biːt/ 
Word Forms
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present tense
I/you/we/theybeat
he/she/itbeats
present participlebeating
past tensebeat
past participlebeaten
  1. 1
    [transitive] to defeat someone in a game, competition, election, or battle

    England needed to beat Germany 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 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

  2. 2
    [transitive] to arrive before someone else
    beat someone to/back/up etc:

    See if you can beat me back to the house!

    1. a.
      to do something before a planned time or before something happens
      beat the deadline/clock:

      He was always trying to beat the clock and finish early.

  3. 3
    [transitive] to hit someone violently several times

    They were arrested for beating their children.

    Synonyms and related words for this sense of beat
  4. 4
    [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 for this sense of beat
    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 for this sense of beat
    2. b.
      [intransitive/transitive] if a bird or insect beats its wings, or if its wings beat, it hits them together several times
      Synonyms and related words for this sense of beat
      Synonyms and related words for this sense of beat
    3. 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 for this sense of beat
  5. 5
    [intransitive] if someone's heart beats, it makes the same sound and movements again and again as it pumps blood around their body

    The shock had made my heart beat faster.

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