beat (one) to (something)
1. To do or obtain something before one. 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 one. 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.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
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.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.