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1. To exhaust or discourage someone. In this usage, a person's name or pronoun is used between "beat" and "down." The long winters here just beat me down. I miss the warmth of the sun! I think working three jobs has finally beaten Alicia down—all she does these days is come home and sleep.
2. To strike someone or something repeatedly. That bully is always beating down on the smaller kids in our class. Just yesterday, he gave Joey a bloody nose. The rain has been beating down on our roof for hours, and I'm starting to worry that we'll have a leak.
3. To strike something so violently as to cause its collapse. In this usage, a noun can be used between "beat" and "down." I'm coming! Geez, you're going to beat the door down!
4. To strike something repeatedly in order to flatten it. That chicken needs to be thinner before we add the bread crumbs, so beat down on it some more.
beat down (on someone or something)
to fall on someone or something. The rain beat down on us for an hour. The rock slide beat down on the car and totally ruined the body.
beat someone down
Fig. to defeat or demoralize someone. The constant bombing finally beat them down. The attackers beat down the defenders.
beat something down
1. to break something in; to break through something. Don't beat the door down! I'm coming! Please don't beat down the door!
2. to flatten something. Sam beat the veal down to the thickness of a half an inch. First you beat down the meat to a very thin layer.
beat somebody down
to make someone tired or unable to continue doing something I like the work, but the schedule just beats me down and wears on me.
Usage notes: often used in the form be beaten down: Paul was so beaten down by his debts that he couldn't even think.
1. Force or drive down; defeat or subdue. For example, "And finally to beat down Satan under our feet" ( The Book of Common Prayer, 1552). [c. 1400]
2. Strike violently, as in the The sun kept beating down on us all day long. [Mid-1800s]
3. beat someone down. Make someone lower a price, as in He's always trying to beat us down. Economist Jeremy Bentham used this idiom in 1793: "Thus monopoly will beat down prices." [Slang; late 1700s]
1. To hit something until it falls down: The police beat down the door of the suspect's house. They approached the crumbling wall and beat it down with their bare hands.
2. To defeat or demoralize someone: The constant criticism beat me down, and it was hard for me to try again. The invaders beat down every village they passed through.
3. To fall down steadily and heavily: The rain beat down on the roof.
4. To persuade someone to reduce the price of something: The clerk wanted $40 for the shoes but I beat him down to $30.