beaten


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Related to beaten: beating, beaten up

along the beaten track

Following that which is commonly used by or known to most people, as of a course, route, or trend. I know people say to be adventurous when traveling, but I like to stay along the beaten track in places I don't know very well. I generally stay along the beaten track with books. I'm not fond of reading those that get too weird or are meant for academics.
See also: beaten, track

be off the beaten path

To be little-known or in a remote or lesser-known area, as of a place or business. We'll definitely be able to get a table at that restaurant, it's really off the beaten path. I chose that island as a vacation spot because I knew it was off the beaten path and would give me some much-needed solitude.
See also: beaten, off, path

be off the beaten track

To be little-known or in a remote or lesser-known area, as of a place or business. We'll definitely be able to get a table at that restaurant, it's really off the beaten track. I chose that island as a vacation spot because I knew it was off the beaten track and would give me some much-needed solitude.
See also: beaten, off, track

beat (one) hands down

To defeat or best one easily or decisively. We were really unprepared for our last game, so the other team beat us hands down. Popular opinion has been that the president beat his opponent hands down in last night's debate.
See also: beat, down, hand

beat (one) to within an inch of (one's) life

To physically attack one, as with punches and other blows, such that they suffer significant, life-threatening injury. This phrase can be used both literally and hyperbolically. Our neighbor is in the hospital because a burglar beat him to within an inch of his life. I'm worried that the captain of the football team will beat me to within an inch of my life if he finds out that I'm secretly seeing his girlfriend. If you ever scare me like that again, I'll beat you to within an inch of your life, I swear!
See also: beat, inch, life, of, to, within

beat (one's) brain

To struggle to recall or think of something. I've been beating my brain, but I still can't remember what Lydia's husband's name is. He beat his brain all weekend trying to think of a solution to the problem.
See also: beat, brain

beat (one's) brains out

1. To put forth one's maximum effort. I've been beating my brains out trying to get a passing grade this semester, so failing by two measly points is incredibly frustrating. Don't beat your brains out trying to please these people—they'll never appreciate it.
2. To physically attack one, as with punches and other blows, such that they suffer significant injury. This phrase can be used both literally and hyperbolically. I'm worried that the captain of the football team will beat my brains out if he finds out that I'm secretly seeing his girlfriend. As if I didn't feel bad enough after losing the case, my boss beat my brains out for it once I got back to the office.
See also: beat, brain, out

beat (one's) head against a stone wall

To attempt, continuously and fruitlessly, to accomplish some task or achieve some goal that is or seems ultimately hopeless. I feel like I've been beating my head against a stone wall trying to understand this math equation. Some people are never going to agree with you on this, so it's no use beating your head against a stone wall to try and convince everyone.
See also: beat, head, stone, wall

beat (something) in

To put forth effort so that someone learns or remembers something. I stayed up all night, beating these physics equations in so I'd remember them for the exam. Guys, do I have to beat it in every day? Clean up after yourselves!
See also: beat

beat a (quick) retreat

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

beat a dead horse

To continue to focus on an issue or topic that is no longer of any importance or relevance. We've all moved on from that problem, so there's no use beating a dead horse.
See also: beat, dead, horse

beat down

1. To exhaust or discourage someone. In this usage, a person's name or pronoun is used between "beat" and "down." The long winters here just beat me down. I miss the warmth of the sun! I think working three jobs has finally beaten Alicia down—all she does these days is come home and sleep.
2. To strike someone or something repeatedly. That bully is always beating down on the smaller kids in our class. Just yesterday, he gave Joey a bloody nose. The rain has been beating down on our roof for hours, and I'm starting to worry that we'll have a leak.
3. To strike something so violently as to cause its collapse. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "beat" and "down." I'm coming! Geez, you're going to beat the door down!
4. To strike something repeatedly in order to flatten it. That chicken needs to be thinner before we add the bread crumbs, so beat down on it some more.
See also: beat, down

beat swords into ploughshares

To abstain from destructive activities, such as war and violence (symbolized by swords), in favor of peaceful, constructive activities (symbolized by ploughshares, a farming implement). The phrase comes from the Bible. We must beat swords into ploughshares so that our children can inherit a peaceful world.
See also: beat, ploughshares, sword

beat swords into plowshares

To abstain from destructive activities, such as war and violence (symbolized by swords), in favor of peaceful, constructive activities (symbolized by plowshares, a farming implement). The phrase comes from the Bible. We must beat swords into plowshares so that our children can inherit a peaceful world.
See also: beat, plowshare, sword

beat the bishop

vulgar slang To masturbate. A term only applied to males. A: "Why is he all embarrassed today?" B: "Oh, his crush walked in on him beating the bishop. How horrifying is that?"
See also: beat, bishop

beat the clock

To take action or finish a task before a deadline. We have to get these pages to the printer by 8, so work faster, people—we've got to beat the clock! Somehow, they were able to beat the clock and get to their seats before the bride walked down the aisle.
See also: beat, clock

beaten at the post

Defeated or overcome by someone by a very narrow margin or at the final, crucial moment, especially in a race, competition, or athletic event. Primarily heard in UK, Australia, Ireland. The favoured runner held the lead for the majority of the race, but he was beaten at the post by a relatively unknown competitor in the final 100 metres. It appears the current MP has been beaten at the post, being narrowly defeated by the youngest person to ever win a seat in parliament.
See also: beaten, post

off the beaten path

1. Little-known, or in a remote or lesser-known area. Said especially of a business or destination. A "beaten path" refers to a route that is frequently traveled. We'll definitely be able to get a table at that restaurant, it's really off the beaten path. I chose that island as a vacation spot because I knew it was off the beaten path and would give me some much-needed solitude.
2. Pursuing or following a trend, development, method, etc., that is unique or atypical. I tend not to stray off the beaten path when it comes to books. I don't like stuff that's too experimental or academic. None of us were surprised when James decided to study yoga in India instead of going to college. He has always kept off the beaten path in life.
See also: beaten, off, path

off the beaten track

1. Little-known, or in a remote or lesser-known area. Said especially of a business or destination. A "beaten track" refers to a route that is frequently traveled. We'll definitely be able to get a table at that restaurant, it's really off the beaten track. I chose that island as a vacation spot because I knew it was off the beaten track and would give me some much-needed solitude.
2. Pursuing or following a trend, development, method, etc., that is unique or atypical. I tend not to stray off the beaten track when it comes to books. I don't like stuff that's too experimental or academic. None of us were surprised when James decided to study yoga in India instead of going to college. He has always kept off the beaten track in life.
See also: beaten, off, track

on the beaten track

Following that which is commonly used by or known to most people, as of a course, route, or trend. I know people say to be adventurous when traveling, but I like to stay on the beaten track in places I don't know very well. I generally stay on the beaten track with books. I'm not fond of reading those that get too weird or are meant for academics.
See also: beaten, on, track

the beaten path

1. A course or route frequently or heavily traveled. I chose that island as a vacation spot because I knew it was off the beaten path and would give me some much-needed solitude. I know people say to be adventurous when traveling, but I like to stay along the beaten path in places I don't know very well.
2. A trend, development, method, etc., that is typical or unoriginal. I generally keep to the beaten path when it comes to books. I'm not fond of reading anything experimental or overly academic. None of us were surprised when James decided to study yoga in India instead of going to college. He has always gone off the beaten path in life.
See also: beaten, path

the beaten road is the safest

proverb It is less risky to do things in ways that have been tried and tested by others before you. I know you want to innovate with everything your company is doing, but you're going to go bankrupt if you don't have some form of stability in your day-to-day operations. When it comes to running a business, the beaten road is the safest.
See also: beaten, road, safe

the beaten track

1. A course or route frequently or heavily traveled. I chose that island as a vacation spot because I knew it was off the beaten track and would give me some much-needed solitude. I know people say to be adventurous when traveling, but I like to stay along the beaten track in places I don't know very well.
2. A trend, development, method, etc., that is typical or unoriginal. I generally keep to the beaten track when it comes to books. I'm not fond of reading anything experimental or overly academic. None of us were surprised when James decided to study yoga in India instead of going to college. He has always gone off the beaten track in life.
See also: beaten, track
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

beat down (on someone or something)

to fall on someone or something. The rain beat down on us for an hour. The rock slide beat down on the car and totally ruined the body.
See also: beat, down

beat someone down

Fig. to defeat or demoralize someone. The constant bombing finally beat them down. The attackers beat down the defenders.
See also: beat, down

beat something down

 
1. to break something in; to break through something. Don't beat the door down! I'm coming! Please don't beat down the door!
2. to flatten something. Sam beat the veal down to the thickness of a half an inch. First you beat down the meat to a very thin layer.
See also: beat, down

beat the clock

Fig. to do something before a deadline; to finish before the time is up. (Alludes to accomplishing something before a clock reaches a specific time.) Sam beat the clock, arriving a few minutes before the doors were locked. They were afraid they would be late and hurried in order to beat the clock.
See also: beat, clock

*off the beaten track

 and *off the beaten path
Fig. away from the frequently traveled routes. (*Typically: be ~; go ~; travel ~.) We found a nice little Italian restaurant off the beaten track.
See also: beaten, off, track
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

beat a dead horse

Also, flog a dead horse. Try to revive interest in a hopeless issue. For example, Politicians who favor the old single-tax idea are beating a dead horse. From the 1600s on the term dead horse was used figuratively to mean "something of no current value," specifically an advance in pay or other debt that had to be worked ("flogged") off. [Second half of 1800s]
See also: beat, dead, horse

beat down

1. Force or drive down; defeat or subdue. For example, "And finally to beat down Satan under our feet" ( The Book of Common Prayer, 1552). [c. 1400]
2. Strike violently, as in the The sun kept beating down on us all day long. [Mid-1800s]
3. beat someone down. Make someone lower a price, as in He's always trying to beat us down. Economist Jeremy Bentham used this idiom in 1793: "Thus monopoly will beat down prices." [Slang; late 1700s]
See also: beat, down

beat the clock

Finish something or succeed before time is up, as in The paper went to press at five o'clock, and they hurried to beat the clock. The term comes from various sports or races in which contestants compete within a certain time limit.
See also: beat, clock

off the beaten track

An unusual route or destination, as in We found a great vacation spot, off the beaten track. This term alludes to a well-worn path trodden down by many feet and was first recorded in 1860, although the phrase beaten track was recorded in 1638 in reference to the usual, unoriginal way of doing something.
See also: beaten, off, track
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

beat swords into ploughshares

or

turn swords into ploughshares

LITERARY
If people beat swords into ploughshares or turn swords into ploughshares, they stop fighting and instead use their resources and technology to do things to improve people's lives. Note: `Ploughshares' is spelled `plowshares' in American English. In a perfect world, there would be no need for any country to have armed forces and we would all beat our swords into ploughshares. For this country, turning swords into ploughshares and rocket plants into trolley bus factories is an economic necessity. Note: A ploughshare is one of the blades on a plough. This expression may come from the Bible: `They shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.' (Isaiah 2:4).
See also: beat, ploughshares, sword

off the beaten track

BRITISH or

off the beaten path

AMERICAN
COMMON If a place is off the beaten track, it is far away from places where most people live or go. The house is sufficiently off the beaten track to deter all but a few tourists. Rents at these malls, which are generally off the beaten path, are lower than at most suburban shopping centers. Note: A track here is a footpath or narrow road.
See also: beaten, off, track
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

beat the clock

perform a task quickly or within a fixed time limit.
See also: beat, clock

beaten (or pipped) at the post

defeated at the last moment.
The post alluded to here is the marker at the end of a race.
See also: beaten, post

off the beaten track (or path)

1 in or into an isolated place. 2 unusual.
2 1992 Iain Banks The Crow Road ‘Your Uncle Hamish…’ She looked troubled. ‘He's a bit off the beaten track, that boy.’
See also: beaten, off, track

beat (or turn) swords into ploughshares

devote resources to peaceful rather than aggressive or warlike ends.
The reference here is to the biblical image of God's peaceful rule: ‘they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks’ (Isaiah 2:4).
See also: beat, ploughshares, sword
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

beat the ˈclock

finish a task, race, etc. before a particular time
See also: beat, clock

off the ˌbeaten ˈtrack

far away from where people normally live or go: Our house is a bit off the beaten track.
See also: beaten, off, track
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

beat down

v.
1. To hit something until it falls down: The police beat down the door of the suspect's house. They approached the crumbling wall and beat it down with their bare hands.
2. To defeat or demoralize someone: The constant criticism beat me down, and it was hard for me to try again. The invaders beat down every village they passed through.
3. To fall down steadily and heavily: The rain beat down on the roof.
4. To persuade someone to reduce the price of something: The clerk wanted $40 for the shoes but I beat him down to $30.
See also: beat, down
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.

beaten track, (off) the

A well-worn path, (not) the usual route or method. The origin seems obvious, since a much-used route would indeed be flattened by the tramp of many feet. The phrase began to be used figuratively, in the sense of trite or unoriginal, in the seventeenth century or before, and off the beaten track, in the meaning of new or unusual, is just about as old. Samuel Johnson spelled it out in 1751 when he wrote, “The imitator treads a beaten walk.”
See also: beaten
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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