beat (one) to the punch

beat (one) to the punch

To do or obtain something before someone else does. The phrase is thought to have originated from boxing. I was going to suggest that idea to the boss today, but unfortunately one of my co-workers beat me to the punch. If you ever scare me like that again, I'll beat you to within an inch of your life, I swear!
See also: beat, punch

beat someone to the punch

 and beat someone to the draw
Fig. to do something before someone else does it. I wanted to have the new car, but Sally beat me to the punch. I planned to write a book about using the new software program, but someone else beat me to the draw.
See also: beat, punch