beat to

beat (someone) to (something)

1. To do or obtain something before someone else does. I was going to suggest that idea to the boss today, but unfortunately one of my co-workers beat me to it. Tim's older cousins usually beat him to the best parts of the turkey, but this year he got first pick.
2. To reach a destination before someone else does. They beat us to the restaurant, so they're going to get a table. If you run your fastest, no one will be able to beat you to the finish line.
See also: beat

beat someone to something

to get to something before someone else; to claim something before someone else does. (See also beat someone into something.) You beat me to it and took the last cookie. Ken beat John to the door.
See also: beat

beat to

1. To get to a place before someone else: You're fast—I'm sure you can beat all the other runners to the finish line.
2. To finish or achieve before someone else: I beat all the other students to the end of the test.
See also: beat
References in classic literature ?
He gave over playing with me, and started on the long beat to Vallejo.
This can be minimized by first swaying back and forth, clapping or patting thighs while chanting a steady beat to help the student focus before performing with the manipulative.
With so much of act one devoted to the Chicago experience, there needs to be a beat in 'Da Beat to explain why the story is moving eastward to Harlem in the midst of its famed Renaissance.