Off-beat



[beet] /bit/

verb (used with object), beat, beaten or beat, beating.
1.
to strike violently or forcefully and repeatedly.
2.
to dash against:
rain beating the trees.
3.
to flutter, flap, or rotate in or against:
beating the air with its wings.
4.
to sound, as on a drum:
beating a steady rhythm; to beat a tattoo.
5.
to stir vigorously:
Beat the egg whites well.
6.
to break, forge, or make by blows:
to beat their swords into plowshares.
7.
to produce (an attitude, idea, habit, etc.) by repeated efforts:
I’ll beat some sense into him.
8.
to make (a path) by repeated treading.
9.
to strike (a person or animal) repeatedly and injuriously:
Some of the hoodlums beat their victims viciously before robbing them.
10.
Music. to mark (time) by strokes, as with the hand or a metronome.
11.
Hunting. to scour (the forest, grass, or brush), and sometimes make noise, in order to rouse game.
12.
to overcome in a contest; defeat.
13.
to win over in a race:
We beat the English challenger to Bermuda.
14.
to be superior to:
Making reservations beats waiting in line.
15.
to be incomprehensible to; baffle:
It beats me how he got the job.
16.
to defeat or frustrate (a person), as a problem to be solved:
It beats me how to get her to understand.
17.
to mitigate or offset the effects of:
beating the hot weather; trying to beat the sudden decrease in land values.
18.
Slang. to swindle; cheat (often followed by out):
He beat him out of hundreds of dollars on that deal.
19.
to escape or avoid (blame or punishment).
20.
Textiles. to strike (the loose pick) into its proper place in the woven cloth by beating the loosely deposited filling yarn with the reed.
verb (used without object), beat, beaten or beat, beating.
21.
to strike repeated blows; pound.
22.
to throb or pulsate:
His heart began to beat faster.
23.
to dash; strike (usually followed by against or on):
rain beating against the windows.
24.
to resound under blows, as a drum.
25.
to achieve victory in a contest; win:
Which team do you think will beat?
26.
to play, as on a drum.
27.
to scour cover for game.
28.
Physics. to make a beat or beats.
29.
(of a cooking ingredient) to foam or stiffen as a result of beating or whipping:
This cream won’t beat.
30.
Nautical. to tack to windward by sailing close-hauled.
noun
31.
a stroke or blow.
32.
the sound made by one or more such blows:
the beat of drums.
33.
a throb or pulsation:
a pulse of 60 beats per minute.
34.
the ticking sound made by a clock or watch escapement.
35.
one’s assigned or regular path or habitual round:
a policeman’s beat.
36.
Music.

37.
Theater. a momentary time unit imagined by an actor in timing actions:
Wait four beats and then pick up the phone.
38.
Prosody. the accent stress, or ictus, in a foot or rhythmical unit of poetry.
39.
Physics. a pulsation caused by the coincidence of the amplitudes of two oscillations of unequal frequencies, having a frequency equal to the difference between the frequencies of the two oscillations.
40.
Journalism.

41.
a subdivision of a county, as in Mississippi.
42.
(often initial capital letter) Informal. .
adjective
43.
Informal. exhausted; worn out.
44.
(often initial capital letter) of or characteristic of members of the Beat Generation or .
Verb phrases
45.
beat about,

46.
beat back, to force back; compel to withdraw:
to beat back an attacker.
47.
beat down,

48.
beat off,

49.
beat out,

50.
beat up,

Idioms
51.
beat all, Informal. to surpass anything of a similar nature, especially in an astonishing or outrageous way:
The way he came in here and ordered us around beats all!
52.
beat a retreat. (def 12).
53.
beat around / about the bush. 1 (def 16).
54.
beat it, Informal. to depart; go away:
He was pestering me, so I told him to beat it.
55.
beat the air / wind, to make repeated futile attempts.
56.
beat the rap. 1 (def 17).
57.
off one’s beat, outside of one’s routine, general knowledge, or range of experience:
He protested that nonobjective art was off his beat.
58.
on the beat, in the correct rhythm or tempo:
By the end of the number they were all finally playing on the beat.
/biːt/
verb beats, beating, beat, beaten, beat
1.
when intr, often foll by against, on, etc. to strike with or as if with a series of violent blows; dash or pound repeatedly (against)
2.
(transitive) to punish by striking; flog
3.
to move or cause to move up and down; flap: the bird beat its wings heavily
4.
(intransitive) to throb rhythmically; pulsate: her heart beat fast
5.
(transitive) to make (one’s way) by or as if by blows: she beat her way out of the crowd
6.
(cookery) (transitive) sometimes foll by up. to stir or whisk (an ingredient or mixture) vigorously
7.
(transitive) sometimes foll by out. to shape, make thin, or flatten (a piece of metal) by repeated blows
8.
(transitive) (music) to indicate (time) by the motion of one’s hand, baton, etc, or by the action of a metronome
9.
when tr, sometimes foll by out. to produce (a sound or signal) by or as if by striking a drum
10.
to sound or cause to sound, by or as if by beating: beat the drums!
11.
to overcome (an opponent) in a contest, battle, etc
12.
(transitive; often foll by back, down, off etc) to drive, push, or thrust
13.
(transitive) to arrive or finish before (someone or something); anticipate or forestall: they set off early to beat the rush hour
14.
(transitive) to form (a path or track) by repeatedly walking or riding over it
15.
to scour (woodlands, coverts, or undergrowth) so as to rouse game for shooting
16.
(transitive) (slang) to puzzle or baffle: it beats me how he can do that
17.
(intransitive) (physics) (of sounds or electrical signals) to combine and produce a pulsating sound or signal
18.
(intransitive) (nautical) to steer a sailing vessel as close as possible to the direction from which the wind is blowing
19.
(transitive) (slang, mainly US) to cheat or defraud: he beat his brother out of the inheritance
20.
beat about the bush, to avoid the point at issue; prevaricate
21.
beat a retreat, to withdraw or depart in haste
22.
(slang) (often imperative) beat it, to go away
23.
beat one’s breast, See breast (sense 10)
24.
(slang) beat someone’s brains out, to kill by knocking severely about the head
25.
(informal) beat someone to it, to reach a place or achieve an objective before someone else
26.
(Brit) beat the bounds, (formerly) to define the boundaries of a parish by making a procession around them and hitting the ground with rods
27.
(slang) can you beat it?, can you beat that?, an expression of utter amazement or surprise
noun
28.
a stroke or blow
29.
the sound made by a stroke or blow
30.
a regular sound or stroke; throb
31.

32.
the basic rhythmic unit in a piece of music, usually grouped in twos, threes, or fours
33.

34.
(physics) the low regular frequency produced by combining two sounds or electrical signals that have similar frequencies
35.
(horology) the impulse given to the balance wheel by the action of the escapement
36.
(prosody) the accent, stress, or ictus in a metrical foot
37.
(nautical) a course that steers a sailing vessel as close as possible to the direction from which the wind is blowing
38.

39.
short for beatnik
40.
(fencing) a sharp tap with one’s blade on an opponent’s blade to deflect it
41.
(modifier, often capital) of, characterized by, or relating to the Beat Generation: a beat poet, beat philosophy
adjective
42.
(postpositive) (slang) totally exhausted
adj.

also offbeat, “unusual,” 1938, from off (adv.) + beat (n.). From earlier sense in reference to from music rhythm (1927).
v.

Old English beatan “inflict blows on, thrash” (class VII strong verb; past tense beot, past participle beaten), from Proto-Germanic *bautan (cf. Old Norse bauta, Old High German bozan “to beat”), from PIE root *bhau- “to strike” (see batter (v.)). Of the heart, c.1200, from notion of it striking against the breast. Meaning “to overcome in a contest” is from 1610s (the source of the sense of “legally avoid, escape” in beat the charges, etc., attested from c.1920 in underworld slang).

Past tense beat is from c.1500, probably not from Old English but a shortening of Middle English beted. Dead-beat (originally “tired-out”) preserves the old past participle. Meaning “strike cover to rouse or drive game” (c.1400) is source of beat around the bush (1570s), the metaphoric sense of which has shifted from “make preliminary motions” to “avoid, evade.” Command beat it “go away” first recorded 1906 (though “action of feet upon the ground” was a sense of Old English betan). To beat off “masturbate” is recorded by 1960s. For beat generation see beatnik.
n.

c.1300, “a beating, whipping; the beating of a drum,” from beat (v.). As “throb of the heart” from 1755. Meaning “regular route travelled by someone” is attested from 1731, also “a track made by animals” (1736), from the sense of the “beat” of the feet on the ground (late Old English), or perhaps that in beat the bushes to flush game (c.1400), or beat the bounds (1560s). Extended to journalism by 1875. Musical sense is by 1842, perhaps from the motion of the conductor and the notion of “beating the time”:

It is usual, in beating the time of a piece of music, to mark or signalize the commencement of every measure by a downward movement or beat of the hand, or of any other article that may be used for the purpose …. [“Godfrey Weber’s General Music Teacher,” 1842]

Earlier in music it meant a sort of grace note:

BEAT, in music, a transient grace note, struck immediately before the note it is intended to ornament. The beat always lies half a note beneath its principal, and should be heard so closely upon it, that they may almost seem to be struck together. [“The British Encyclopedia,” London, 1809]

adj.

“defeated, overcome by effort,” c.1400, from past tense of beat (v.). Meaning “tired, exhausted,” is by 1905, American English.

beat (bēt)
v. beat, beat·en (bēt’n), beat·ing, beats

n.
A stroke, impulse, or pulsation, especially one that produces a sound as of the heart or pulse.
beat
(bēt)
A fluctuation or pulsation, usually repeated, in the amplitude of a signal. Beats are generally produced by the superposition of two waves of different frequencies; if the signals are audible, this results in fluctuations between louder and quieter sound.

adjective

modifier

: anything I knew that I hadn’t told the beat man at the news conference

noun

verb

Related Terms

downbeat, offbeat, upbeat

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