beat about the bush

Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to beat about the bush: beat around the bush

beat (about/around) the bush

To speak vaguely or euphemistically so as to avoid talking directly about an unpleasant or sensitive topic. Don't beat around the bush—just tell me the truth. Why are you beating around the bush? Are you leaving our company?
See also: beat, bush

beat about the bush

discuss a matter without coming to the point; be ineffectual and waste time.
This phrase is a metaphor which originated in the shooting or netting of birds; compare with beat the bushes below.
1992 Barry Unsworth Sacred Hunger I don't want to beat about the bush. Mr Adams is threatening to leave us.
See also: beat, bush

ˌbeat about the ˈbush

(British English) (American English ˌbeat around the ˈbush) take too long before saying what you want to say; avoid saying something directly: Don’t beat about the bush. Tell me exactly what you think is wrong with my work. OPPOSITE: call a spade a spade
See also: beat, bush
References in periodicals archive ?
But let's not beat about the bush - Mercedes were the quickest car, even though they ran into their issues.
I won't beat about the bush - I have spoken with the Dutch FA," said Hiddink.
If any of the celebrities are too far up their own backsides, he won't beat about the bush.
I won't beat about the bush - my season at Chelsea went very badly.
Sympathy ''To compound that and to book Gary Cahill for simulating which, let's not beat about the bush, what he is saying is that Gary Cahill was cheating in trying to gain an advantage of a penalty, that's one thing that lad would never do.
It is convenient to start the analysis with the definition of the opposite: beat about the bush 'approach a matter cautiously, indirectly, even over-cautiously or circuitously, because it is unpleasant, embarrassing, or delicate' (Brewer, CIDE, LDOCE3).
Dear Editor, Let's not beat about the bush, this Government is neither intellectually gifted nor tough enough to make a difference where it matters - in the safety its citizens.
And let's not beat about the bush here - breathtaking graphics, an incredible unreal game engine and a revolutionary tactical combat system make this unlike anything you've ever played before.
LET'S not beat about the bush, the British and Irish Lions have been wounded severely following their first-ever defeat at the hands of the New Zealand Maori in Hamilton at the weekend.