1. To fail or be defeated. Down by 10 points with only two minutes left, we knew we were beat.
2. To be thoroughly fatigued or physically exhausted. After two hours in the gym and another hour swimming, I was beat by the time I got home.
See also: beat
1. mod. exhausted; worn-out. The whole family was beat after the game.
2. mod. down and out; ruined. This thing is beat. I don’t want it.
3. n. the area that a worker, a police officer, reporter, etc., is assigned to cover. That’s not on my beat. You’ll have to talk to someone else.
4. n. [in music] the rhythm, especially the bass. Man, that is just the kind of beat I like.
5. mod. having to do with the Bohemian youths of the 1950s. My brother looked sort of beat, but I was neat as a pin.
6. mod. broke. Man, I’m beat. I got no copper, no bread.
7. tv. to get free from a specific criminal charge or rap. I beat it twice, but there is no third time.
8. mod. having to do with counterfeit or bogus drugs. (Drugs.) This stuff is beat. Ditch it!
9. mod. having to do with marijuana after the smokable substance is exhausted; cashed. Who sold you this beat dope?
10. mod. lousy; unfortunate. (Collegiate.) What a beat deal you got!
beat/flog a dead horse
1. To continue to pursue a cause that has no hope of success.
2. To dwell tiresomely on a matter that has already been decided.
beataround/about the bush
To fail to confront a subject directly.