Also found in: Acronyms.
(it) beats me
slang A response when one does not know the answer to a question. A: "How long has this milk been in the fridge?" B: "Beats me. Check the expiration date." When's Ali's birthday? Beats me! It beats me—I have no idea how to get to the mall from here.
(It) beats me.and (It's) got me beat.; You got me beat.
Inf. I do not know the answer.; I cannot figure it out. The question has me stumped. (The stress is on me.) Bill: When are we supposed to go over to Tom's? Bill: Beats me. Sally: What's the largest river in the world? Bob: You got me beat.
This baffles or puzzles me, as in I don't know how he does it-beats me! This term originally may have alluded to a winning poker hand. It may also be related to the even earlier usage of beat for "astonished" or "at a loss." [Slang; mid-1800s]
tv. [the answer is] not known to me. (The emphasis is on me.) I don’t know the answer. Beats me!