beat to the punch
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Related to beat to the punch: come in handy, get the ball rolling, worse for wear
beat (one) to the punch
To do or obtain something before someone else does. The phrase is thought to have originated from boxing. Primarily heard in US. I was going to suggest that idea to the boss today, but unfortunately one of my co-workers beat me to the punch.
beat someone to the punchand beat someone to the draw
Fig. to do something before someone else does it. I wanted to have the new car, but Sally beat me to the punch. I planned to write a book about using the new software program, but someone else beat me to the draw.