beat a (hasty) retreat

beat a (hasty) retreat

To leave a place or situation quickly. I beat a hasty retreat when I saw my ex-boyfriend walk into the party. When the rain started, everyone on the field beat a retreat indoors.
See also: beat, retreat

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 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 hasty retreat

If you beat a hasty retreat, you leave a place quickly in order to avoid an embarrassing or dangerous situation. Cockburn decided it was time to beat a hasty retreat. Note: People sometimes just say that someone beats a retreat. I can still beat a retreat to my own hotel, and pretend that none of this ever happened. Note: Other adjectives such as quick and rapid are sometimes used instead of hasty. You weren't tempted to change your mind and beat a quick retreat?
See also: beat, hasty, retreat

beat a retreat

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