beat a retreat

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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
References in classic literature ?
Nobody does that out here--exceptin' during the services," she had said sharply to her daughter-in-law when Rose had told her of the hasty trip she and her aunt had made to the largest town in the county.
She resolved not to be hasty, and strolled through all the rooms once more, gazing earnestly upon the various ornaments and trying to decide which she would touch.
Twas hasty puddin', as ye say," said her husband, "and hurry-up turnips and get-a-move-on-ye coffee.
As he listened to his brother's argument with the professor, he noticed that they connected these scientific questions with those spiritual problems, that at times they almost touched on the latter; but every time they were close upon what seemed to him the chief point, they promptly beat a hasty retreat, and plunged again into a sea of subtle distinctions, reservations, quotations, allusions, and appeals to authorities, and it was with difficulty that he understood what they were talking about.
For God's sake, be not too hasty," she said; "it may be a friend--an acquaintance--a neighbour
After assuring himself of the identity of the latter, by a hasty but keen glance, he turned his attention, with a quickness and impatience, that proved the interest he took in the result, to a similar examination of her companion.
You are ever so hasty and so rash, Paul Hover, that I seldom know when I am safe with you.
I personally think the club was a bit hasty on the decision because he had another season on his contract.
April 14, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Last night the Hasty Pudding Institute of 1770 held their annual Order of the Golden Sphinx Gala at the Plaza Hotel in New York City.
Pratt was honored Friday night by Hasty Pudding Theatricals, whose members planned to parade him through Harvard Square and then roast him.
The referee was a bit hasty pulling out a second yellow card while Dougie was unlucky last Saturday when it was a case of two players just going for the ball.
9 ( ANI ): Neil Patrick Harris has been named Hasty Pudding's 2014 Man of the Year.
Elsewhere, the for sale sign is going up at the pub and even Roxy thinks Phil is being a little hasty.
Washington / NINA / Qatari ambassador in the United States, Ali Bin Fahad Al-Hajri described the personal representative of Tareq al-Hashemi in Washington, Marc Saleh as an obtrusive and hasty person.
London: August 20--(BNA)--The British government backed down from its plan to conduct a hasty parliamentary voting on a possible military intervention in Syria.