beat

Definitions

General English

Cricket

  • verb to break through a batsman’s defence, though without necessarily dismissing him
    Citation ‘Charlie Griffith did not take a wicket, but … he beat the bat repeatedly and at times looked the most dangerous of them all’ (Manley 1988)
    Citation ‘Then Madan Lal dismissed both within three balls, Heron touching a simple catch to Kirmani and Paterson beaten by one which kept low’ (Tony Pawson, Observer 12 June 1983)

Electronics

  • A pulsation in amplitude which is the result of the mixing of two signals of slightly different frequencies.
  • A new frequency which is generated by mixing two or more signals in a nonlinear device.

Food

  • verb to mix something fast, e.g. to combine ingredients or to incorporate air into a mixture

Law

  • noun an area which a policeman patrols regularly

Politics

  • verb to defeat someone in an election

Slang

  • adjective excellent, admirable, fashionable. A synonym for cool, in vogue since 2000 and used by pop singer Britney Spears among others.
  • noun a member of the ‘beat generation’ or aspirer to its values. The term, coined by the influential American writer jack Kerouac and first published by john Clellon Holmes in his novel Go, is derived both from the notion of being beaten, downtrodden or poor, and from the notion of beatitude or holiness. The phrase ‘the beat generation’, coined in imitation of other literary groups such as the Lost Generation of the 1920s, originally applied to a relatively small group of writers, artists and bohemians in America immediately after World War II, whose activities and beliefs were minutely chronicled in autobiographical, mystical and experimental prose and poetry by Kerouac, Holmes, gregory Corso, William Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg, among others. The term beatniks (employing the Slavonic ‘-nik’ suffix disparagingly) was applied to these and later followers by members of straight society, hostile to what they saw as the licentious, irreligious and communistic aspects of the beat lifestyle. In Britain the beats were a youth subculture of the early- to mid-1960s, which co-existed with the mods and rockers and metamorphosed into the hippies.

Origin & History of “beat”

Old English bēatan and the related Old Norse bauta may be traced back to a prehistoric Germanic *bautan. It has been conjectured that this could be connected with *fu-, the base of Latin confūtāre and refūtāre (source respectively of English confute (16th c.) and refute (16th c.)) and of Latin fustis ‘club’ (from which English gets fusty (14th c.)).
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