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Beat (To)


To overcome or get the better of. This does not mean to strike, which is the Anglo-Saxon beátan, but to better, to be better, from the Anglo-Saxon verb bétan.

Dead beat. So completely beaten or wersted as to have no leg to stand on. Like a dead man with no fight left in him; quite tired out.

“Iʹm dead beat, but I thought Iʹd like to come in and see you all once more.”—Roe: Without a Home, p. 32.

Dead beat escapement (of a watch). One in which there is no reverse motion of the escape-wheel.

That beats Banʹagher. Wonderfully inconsistent and absurd — exceedingly ridiculous. Banagher is a town in Ireland, on the Shannon, in King’s County. It formerly sent two members to Parliament, and was, of course, a famous pocket borough. When a member spoke of a family borough where every voter was a man employed by the lord, it was not unusual to reply, “Well, that beats Banagher.”

“‘Well,ʹ says he, ‘to gratify them I will. So just a morsel. But, Jack, this beats Bannagherʹ (sic).”—W. B. Yeats: Fairy Tales of the Irish Peasantry, p. 196.

That beats Termagant. Your ranting, raging pomposity, or exaggeration, surpasses that of Termagant (q.v.).

To beat hollow is to beat wholly, to be wholly the superior.

To beat up against the wind. To tack against an adverse wind; to get the better of the wind.

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Entry taken from Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, edited by the Rev. E. Cobham Brewer, LL.D. and revised in 1895.

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Beard (To)
Bearded Women:
Bearnais (Le)
Beasts (Heraldic):
Beastly Drunk
Beat (To)
Beat (To)
Beat. (French, abattre, to abate.)
Beaten to a Mummy
Beaten with his own Staff
Beating about the Bush
Beating the Bounds
Beati Possidentes
Beatific Vision
Beau Ideal