beat a retreat


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to beat a retreat: beat out, beat the bushes

beat a (hasty) retreat

to withdraw from a place very quickly. We went out into the cold weather, but beat a retreat to the warmth of our fire. The dog beat a hasty retreat to its own yard.
See also: beat, retreat

beat a (hasty) retreat

to quickly leave When the cold grows overwhelming, visitors can beat a retreat to Joe Mulligan's warm bar and restaurant.
Etymology: based on the military meaning of beat a retreat (to drum a signal to soldiers that they are to move back from a fight, usually one they have lost)
See also: beat, retreat

beat a retreat

to leave a place because it is dangerous or unpleasant When the cold grows overwhelming, visitors can beat a retreat to Joe Mulligan's warm saloon. When we saw the police arriving we beat a hasty retreat.
See also: beat, retreat

beat a retreat

Also, beat a hasty retreat. Reverse course or withdraw, usually quickly. For example, I really don't want to run into Jeff-let's beat a retreat. This term originally (1300s) referred to the military practice of sounding drums to call back troops. Today it is used only figuratively, as in the example above.
See also: beat, retreat

beat a retreat

To make a hasty withdrawal.
See also: beat, retreat