American English

Definition of beat noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary

     

    beat

     noun
    noun
    NAmE//bit//
     
     
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    of drums/heart/wings
  1. 1 [countable] a single blow to something, such as a drum, or a movement of something, such as your heart; the sound that this makes several loud beats on the drum His heart skipped a beat when he saw her.
  2. 2[singular] a series of regular blows to something, such as a drum; the sound that this makes the steady beat of the drums see also heartbeat
  3. rhythm
  4. 3[countable] the main rhythm, or a unit of rhythm, in a piece of music, a poem, etc. This type of music has a strong beat to it. The piece has four beats to the bar. Pause for two beats and then repeat the chorus.
  5. of police officer
  6. 4[countable] the area which a police officer walks around regularly and which he or she is responsible for More police officers out on the beat may help to cut crime.
  7. Idioms
    somebody's heart skips a beat
     
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    used to say that someone has a sudden feeling of fear, excitement, etc. My heart skipped a beat when I saw who it was.
    march to (the beat of) a different drummer/drum
     
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    to behave in a different way from other people; to have different attitudes or ideas She was a gifted and original artist who marched to a different drummer.
    not miss a beat, without missing a beat
     
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    to do something or continue doing something without showing surprise or shock Despite the unexpected remark, she continued her speech without missing a beat.
    walk a/the beat
     
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    (of police officers) to walk around the area that they are responsible for
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: beat