- 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 (figurative) His heart missed a beat when he saw her.
- 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 rhythm
- 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. Wordfinderbeat, harmony, melody, music, note, rhythm, sing, tempo, tone, vocal See related entries: Describing music of police officer
- 4[countable, usually singular] the area that 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. See related entries: The police Word Origin Old English bēatan, of Germanic origin.Extra examples Count four beats and then start singing. He chants his lyrics over an infectious disco beat. She felt the beat of his heart. They danced to the rhythmic beat of the music. We have two officers walking the beat after midnight. We heard the beat of distant drums. officers on the beatIdioms used to say that somebody has a sudden feeling of fear, excitement, etc. My heart missed a beat when I saw who it was. 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. (of police officers) to walk around the area that they are responsible for