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Beat Definition

The rhythmic or musical quality of a poem. In metrical verse, this is determined by the regular pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables. However, free verse often features a beat e.g. the work of Walt Whitman. Beat is one of the main things distinguishing poetry from prose.

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Other Beat Definition

[n] the act of beating to windward; sailing as close as possible to the direction from which the wind is blowing
[n] a stroke or blow; "the signal was two beats on the steam pipe"
[n] a regular rate of repetition; "the cox raised the beat"
[n] the basic rhythmic unit in a piece of music; "the piece has a fast rhythm"; "the conductor set the beat"
[n] (prosody) the accent in a metrical foot of verse
[n] the sound of stroke or blow; "he heard the beat of a drum"
[n] the rhythmic contraction and expansion of the arteries with each beat of the heart; "he could feel the beat of her heart"
[n] a regular route for a sentry or policeman; "in the old days a policeman walked a beat and knew all his people by name"
[n] a member of the beat generation; a nonconformist in dress and behavior
[n] a single pulsation of an oscillation produced by adding two waves of different frequencies; has a frequency equal to the difference between the two oscillations
[v] be a mystery or bewildering to; "This beats me!"; "Got me--I don't know the answer!"; "a vexing problem"
[v] wear out completely; "This kind of work exhausts me"; "I'm beat"; "He was all washed up after the exam"
[v] come out better in a competition, race, or conflict; "Agassi beat Becker in the tennis championship"; "We beat the competition"; "Harvard defeated Yale in the last football game"
[v] beat through cleverness and wit; "I beat the traffic"; "She outfoxed her competitors"
[v] make by pounding or trampling; "beat a path through the forest"
[v] give a beating to; subject to a beating, either as a punishment or as an act of aggression; "Thugs beat him up when he walked down the street late at night"; "The teacher used to beat the students"
[v] hit repeatedly; "beat on the door"; "beat the table with his shoe"
[v] strike (water or bushes) repeatedly to rouse animals for hunting
[v] strike (a part of one's own body) repeatedly, as in great emotion or in accompaniment to music; "beat one's breast"; "beat one's foot rhythmically"
[v] stir vigorously; "beat the egg whites"; "beat the cream"
[v] shape by beating; "beat swords into ploughshares"
[v] produce a rhythm by striking repeatedly; "beat the drum"
[v] move with or as if with a regular alternating motion; "the city pulsated with music and excitement"
[v] move rhythmically; "Her heart was beating fast"
[v] indicate by beating; as with the fingers or drumsticks; "Beat the rhythm"
[v] sail with much tacking or with difficulty; "The boat beat in the strong wind"
[v] move with a flapping motion; "The bird's wings were flapping"
[v] move with a thrashing motion; "The bird flapped its wings"; "The eagle beat its wings and soared high into the sky"
[v] glare or strike with great intensity; "The sun was beating down on us"
[v] make a rhythmic sound; "Rain drummed against the windshield"; "The drums beat all night"
[v] make a sound like a clock or a timer; "the clocks were ticking"; "the grandfather clock beat midnight"
[v] deprive somebody of something by deceit; "The con-man beat me out of $50"; "This salesman ripped us off!"; "we were cheated by their clever-sounding scheme"; "They chiseled me out of my money"
[v] be superior; "Reading beats watching television"; "This sure beats work!"

See Also...

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Misc. Definitions

\Beat\, 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?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. Thou shalt beat some of it [spices] very small. --Ex. xxx. 3
6. They did beat the gold into thin plates. --Ex. xxxix.
2. To punish by blows; to thrash.
3. To scour or range over in hunting, accompanied with the noise made by striking bushes, etc., for the purpose of rousing game. To beat the woods, and rouse the bounding prey. --Prior.
4. To dash against, or strike, as with water or wind. A frozen continent . . . beat with perpetual storms. --Milton.
5. To tread, as a path. Pass awful gulfs, and beat my painful way. --Blackmore.
6. To overcome in a battle, contest, strife, race, game, etc.; to vanquish or conquer; to surpass. He beat them in a bloody battle. --Prescott. For loveliness, it would be hard to beat that. --M. Arnold.
7. To cheat; to chouse; to swindle; to defraud; -- often with out. [Colloq.]
8. To exercise severely; to perplex; to trouble. Why should any one . . . beat his head about the Latin grammar who does not intend to be a critic? --Locke.
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. {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. Syn: To strike; pound; bang; buffet; maul; drub; thump; baste; thwack; thrash; pommel; cudgel; belabor; conquer; defeat; vanquish; overcome.
\Beat\, v. i.
1. To strike repeatedly; to inflict repeated blows; to knock vigorously or loudly. The men of the city . . . beat at the door. --Judges. xix. 2
2. To move with pulsation or throbbing. A thousand hearts beat happily. --Byron.
3. To come or act with violence; to dash or fall with force; to strike anything, as, rain, wind, and waves do. Sees rolling tempests vainly beat below. --Dryden. They [winds] beat at the crazy casement. --Longfellow. The sun beat upon the head of Jonah, that he fainted, and wisbed in himself to die. --Jonah iv.
8. Public envy seemeth to beat chiefly upon ministers. --Bacon.
4. To be in agitation or doubt. [Poetic] To still my beating mind. --Shak.
5. (Naut.) To make progress against the wind, by sailing in a zigzag line or traverse.
6. To make a sound when struck; as, the drums beat.
7. (Mil.) To make a succession of strokes on a drum; as, the drummers beat to call soldiers to their quarters.
8. (Acoustics & Mus.) To sound with more or less rapid alternations of greater and less intensity, so as to produce a pulsating effect; -- said of instruments, tones, or vibrations, not perfectly in unison. {A beating wind} (Naut.), a wind which necessitates tacking in order to make progress. {To beat about}, to try to find; to search by various means or ways. --Addison. {To beat about the bush}, to approach a subject circuitously. {To beat up and down} (Hunting), to run first one way and then another; -- said of a stag. {To beat up for recruits}, to go diligently about in order to get helpers or participators in an enterprise.
\Beat\, n.
1. A stroke; a blow. He, with a careless beat, Struck out the mute creation at a heat. --Dryden.
2. A recurring stroke; a throb; a pulsation; as, a beat of the heart; the beat of the pulse.
3. (Mus.) (a) The rise or fall of the hand or foot, marking the divisions of time; a division of the measure so marked. In the rhythm of music the beat is the unit. (b) A transient grace note, struck immediately before the one it is intended to ornament.
4. (Acoustics & Mus.) A sudden swelling or re["e]nforcement of a sound, recurring at regular intervals, and produced by the interference of sound waves of slightly different periods of vibrations; applied also, by analogy, to other kinds of wave motions; the pulsation or throbbing produced by the vibrating together of two tones not quite in unison. See {Beat}, v. i.,
5. A round or course which is frequently gone over; as, a watchman's beat.
6. A place of habitual or frequent resort.
7. A cheat or swindler of the lowest grade; -- often emphasized by dead; as, a dead beat. [Low] {Beat of drum} (Mil.), a succession of strokes varied, in different ways, for particular purposes, as to regulate a march, to call soldiers to their arms or quarters, to direct an attack, or retreat, etc. {Beat of a watch}, or {clock}, the stroke or sound made by the action of the escapement. A clock is in beat or out of beat, according as the strokes is at equal or unequal intervals.
\Beat\, a. Weary; tired; fatigued; exhausted. [Colloq.] Quite beat, and very much vexed and disappointed. --Dickens.
\Beat\, n.
1. One that beats, or surpasses, another or others; as, the beat of him. [Colloq.]
2. The act of one that beats a person or thing; as: (a) (Newspaper Cant) The act of obtaining and publishing a piece of news by a newspaper before its competitors; also, the news itself; a scoop. It's a beat on the whole country. --Scribner's Mag. (b) (Hunting) The act of scouring, or ranging over, a tract of land to rouse or drive out game; also, those so engaged, collectively. ``Driven out in the course of a beat.'' --Encyc. of Sport. Bears coming out of holes in the rocks at the last moment, when the beat is close to them. --Encyc. of Sport. (c) (Fencing) A smart tap on the adversary's blade.

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