to beat the band


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to beat the band

To a huge or the greatest possible extent or degree. They've been selling Girl Scout cookies to beat the band ever since they set up shop right outside. The child started screaming to beat the band when her parents took away her cotton candy.
See also: band, beat
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

to beat the band

very briskly; very fast. He's selling computers to beat the band since he started advertising. She worked to beat the band to get ready for this.
See also: band, beat
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

to beat the band

Also, to beat all. To the greatest possible degree. For example, The baby was crying to beat the band, or The wind is blowing to beat the band, or John is dressed up to beat all. This idiom uses beat in the sense of "surpass." The first term may, according to one theory, allude to a desire to arrive before the musicians who led a parade, so as to see the entire event. Another theory holds that it means "make more noise than (and thereby beat) a loud band." [Colloquial; late 1800s]
See also: band, beat
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.

to beat the band

in such a way as to surpass all competition. North American informal
1995 Patrick McCabe The Dead School He was polishing away to beat the band.
See also: band, beat
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

to beat the band

mod. very hard and very fast. He’s selling computers to beat the band since he started advertising.
See also: band, beat
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.

to beat the band

To an extreme degree.
See also: band, beat
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

to beat the band

Outstandingly, surpassing all others. One writer believes this term comes from the idea of making more noise than a loud band, and the OED concurs, saying it means literally to drown out the band. It originated in late-nineteenth-century Britain and soon traveled to the United States, Canada, and other English-speaking lands. “I was driving lickety-split to beat the band,” boasted C. M. Flandrau (Harvard Episodes, 1897).
See also: band, beat
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in periodicals archive ?
And it will probably still be about 30 degrees out and snowing to beat the band.
And as we pound our hooves toward the pond, waddling to beat the band, she's right.
"The society they ruled over was extremely complicated and sophisticated - amazing, considering at the time local chieftains around them were murdering each other to beat the band."
Now dithering to beat the band, Howard talks himself into a big ticket for littering.
The exciting new corporate brand had everyone in fine form at top Dublin nightspot Krystle, where we danced to beat the band - and squeezed in a few drinks as well.
Although half starved we adjourned to the nearby bar where the local diablos were betting there lives away on TV lotto and drinking hard liquor to beat the band.
They reported the cat was "howling to beat the band," police spokeswoman Kerry Delf said.
Nielson, in the showiest role, totters around on strappy heels and mugs to beat the band.
Sure, the Dutchman can score goals to beat the band. But his French rival is a far more rounded player who, when he turns it on, can almost take your breath away.