beat time

beat time

To demonstrate the tempo and rhythm of a piece of music via metronomic actions of the body, such as clapping one's hands, tapping one's feet, nodding one's head, etc. I can't help but beat time whenever I hear a song come on the radio. I always wanted to play an instrument, but I'm not good at beating time.
See also: beat, time

beat time

Mark musical time by beating a drum, clapping, tapping the foot, or a similar means. For example, Even as a baby, Dave always beat time when he heard music. [Late 1600s]
See also: beat, time

beat ˈtime

show the rhythm of a piece of music by striking something, moving your hands, etc: She beat time with her fingers.
See also: beat, time
References in classic literature ?
He had performed many eminent services for the crown, had great natural and acquired parts, adorned with integrity and honour; but so ill an ear for music, that his detractors reported, "he had been often known to beat time in the wrong place;" neither could his tutors, without extreme difficulty, teach him to demonstrate the most easy proposition in the mathematics.
Perhaps not,' Alice cautiously replied: `but I know I have to beat time when I learn music.
And indeed everybody in the room looked with a smile of pleasure at the jovial old gentleman, who standing beside his tall and stout partner, Marya Dmitrievna, curved his arms, beat time, straightened his shoulders, turned out his toes, tapped gently with his foot, and, by a smile that broadened his round face more and more, prepared the onlookers for what was to follow.
Hither she had been led by two of her disguised ravishers, and on being thrust into the little cell, she found herself in the presence of an old sibyl, who kept murmuring to herself a Saxon rhyme, as if to beat time to the revolving dance which her spindle was performing upon the floor.
He beat time with his heels on the planks of the boat and sang:
They danced so beautifully that the tall white lilies peeped in at the window and watched them, and the great red poppies nodded their heads and beat time.
He beat time with his forefinger to the singing upstairs; he asked me about
One after another they beat time absently with their fingers to the waltz which the musicians happened to be playing at the moment.
Let her footstep, as she comes and goes, in these pages, be like that other footstep to whose airy fall your own heart once beat time.
He listened to himself with obvious satisfaction and sometimes gently beat time to his own music with his head or rounded a sentence with his hand.
She can beat time with acute precision, or swoop and persuade balletically (much in the manner of Nelsons - perhaps it's a Baltic trait).
The Economic Development Board and Tamkeen are headed towards a knowledge industry where you're pushed to beat time.
Kids receive a Geox Beat Time voice-activated watch with every pair.
On an extremely windy day, the Netherland's Terpstra set a time of 14:03 on the out and back course at Losail to beat time trial world champion Bradley Wiggins of Team Sky and four-time time trial world champion Fabian Cancellara of Trek Factory Racing in the 10.
In order to quantify the spatiotemporal relationship between movement and beat, the phase angle of beat time was calculated (Fig.