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in the U.S.
since 1880
Last Name
in the U.S.
in 2010
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Meaning and Origin

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Origin and Meaning of Beat

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Webster's Unabridged Dictionary
verb Beat
  1. To strike repeatedly; to lay repeated blows upon; as, to beat one's breast; to beat iron so as to shape it; to beat grain, in order to force out the seeds; to beat eggs and sugar; to beat a drum."Thou shalt beat some of it [spices] very small." [Ex. xxx. 36.]"They did beat the gold into thin plates." [Ex. xxxix. 3.]
  2. To punish by blows; to thrash.
  3. To scour or range over in hunting, accompanied with the noise made by striking bushes, etc., for the purpose of rousing game."To beat the woods, and rouse the bounding prey." [Prior.]
  4. To dash against, or strike, as with water or wind."A frozen continent . . . beat with perpetual storms." [Milton.]
  5. To tread, as a path."Pass awful gulfs, and beat my painful way." [Blackmore.]
  6. To overcome in a battle, contest, strife, race, game, etc.; to vanquish, defeat, or conquer; to surpass or be superior to."He beat them in a bloody battle." [Prescott.]"For loveliness, it would be hard to beat that." [M. Arnold.]
  7. To cheat; to chouse; to swindle; to defraud; -- often with out.(Colloq)
  8. To exercise severely; to perplex; to trouble."Why should any one . . . beat his head about the Latin grammar who does not intend to be a critic?" [Locke.]
  9. [Mil] To give the signal for, by beat of drum; to sound by beat of drum; as, to beat an alarm, a charge, a parley, a retreat; to beat the general, the reveille, the tattoo. See Alarm Charge Parley, etc.
  10. to baffle or stump; to defy the comprehension of (a person); as, it beats me why he would do that.
  11. to evade, avoid, or escape (blame, taxes, punishment); as, to beat the rap (be acquitted); to beat the sales tax by buying out of state.
    synonyms: To strike; pound; bang; buffet; maul; drub; thump; baste; thwack; thrash; pommel; cudgel; belabor; conquer; defeat; vanquish; overcome.

Etymology: OE. beaten beten, AS. beátan; akin to Icel. bauta, OHG. bōzan. Cf. 1st Butt Button

verb Beat
  1. To strike repeatedly; to inflict repeated blows; to knock vigorously or loudly."The men of the city . . . beat at the door." [Judges. xix. 22.]
  2. To move with pulsation or throbbing."A thousand hearts beat happily." [Byron.]
  3. To come or act with violence; to dash or fall with force; to strike anything, as rain, wind, and waves do."Sees rolling tempests vainly beat below." [Dryden.]"They [winds beat at the crazy casement." [Longfellow.]"The sun beat upon the head of Jonah, that he fainted, and wished in himself to die." [Jonah iv. 8.]"Public envy seemeth to beat chiefly upon ministers." [Bacon.]
  4. To be in agitation or doubt.(Poetic)"To still my beating mind." [Shak.]
  5. [Naut] To make progress against the wind, by sailing in a zigzag line or traverse.
  6. To make a sound when struck; as, the drums beat .
  7. [Mil] To make a succession of strokes on a drum; as, the drummers beat to call soldiers to their quarters.
  8. [Acoustics & Mus] To sound with more or less rapid alternations of greater and less intensity, so as to produce a pulsating effect; -- said of instruments, tones, or vibrations, not perfectly in unison.
noun Beat
  1. A stroke; a blow."He, with a careless beat, Struck out the mute creation at a heat." [Dryden.]
  2. A recurring stroke; a throb; a pulsation; as, a beat of the heart; the beat of the pulse.
  3. [Mus]
    1. The rise or fall of the hand or foot, marking the divisions of time; a division of the measure so marked. In the rhythm of music the beat is the unit.
    2. A transient grace note, struck immediately before the one it is intended to ornament.
  4. [Acoustics & Mus] A sudden swelling or reënforcement of a sound, recurring at regular intervals, and produced by the interference of sound waves of slightly different periods of vibrations; applied also, by analogy, to other kinds of wave motions; the pulsation or throbbing produced by the vibrating together of two tones not quite in unison. See Beat (v. i.), 8.
  5. A round or course which is frequently gone over; as, a watchman's beat ; analogously, for newspaper reporters, the subject or territory that they are assigned to cover; as, the Washington beat .
  6. A place of habitual or frequent resort.
  7. A cheat or swindler of the lowest grade; -- often emphasized by dead; as, a dead beat ; also, deadbeat.(Low)
adjective Beat
Weary; tired; fatigued; exhausted.
noun Beat
  1. One that beats, or surpasses, another or others; as, the beat of him.(Colloq)
  2. The act of one that beats a person or thing
    1. [Newspaper Cant]
      The act of obtaining and publishing a piece of news by a newspaper before its competitors; also, the news itself; -- also called a scoop or exclusive.
      "It's a beat on the whole country." [Scribner's Mag.]
    2. [Hunting]
      The act of scouring, or ranging over, a tract of land to rouse or drive out game; also, those so engaged, collectively.
      "Driven out in the course of a beat." [Encyc. of Sport.]
      "Bears coming out of holes in the rocks at the last moment, when the beat is close to them." [Encyc. of Sport.]
    3. [Fencing]
      A smart tap on the adversary's blade.
Other Dictionary Sources
  1. The act of beating to windward; sailing as close as possible to the direction from which the wind is blowing
  2. A stroke or blow ("the signal was two beats on the steam pipe")
  3. A regular rate of repetition ("the cox raised the beat")
  4. The basic rhythmic unit in a piece of music ("the conductor set the beat")
  5. (prosody) the accent in a metrical foot of verse
  6. The sound of stroke or blow ("he heard the beat of a drum")
  7. The rhythmic contraction and expansion of the arteries with each beat of the heart ("he could feel the beat of her heart")
  8. A regular route for a sentry or policeman ("in the old days a policeman walked a beat and knew all his people by name")
  9. A member of the beat generation; a nonconformist in dress and behavior
  10. A single pulsation of an oscillation produced by adding two waves of different frequencies; has a frequency equal to the difference between the two oscillations
  11. Wear out completely ("I'm beat")
  12. Be a mystery or bewildering to ("This beats me!")
  13. Come out better in a competition, race, or conflict ("Agassi beat Becker in the tennis championship" and "We beat the competition")
  14. Beat through cleverness and wit ("I beat the traffic")
  15. Give a beating to; subject to a beating, either as a punishment or as an act of aggression ("Thugs beat him up when he walked down the street late at night" and "The teacher used to beat the students")
  16. Hit repeatedly ("beat on the door" and "beat the table with his shoe")
  17. Strike (water or bushes) repeatedly to rouse animals for hunting
  18. Strike (a part of one's own body) repeatedly, as in great emotion or in accompaniment to music ("beat one's breast" and "beat one's foot rhythmically")
  19. Stir vigorously ("beat the egg whites" and "beat the cream")
  20. Shape by beating ("beat swords into ploughshares")
  21. Produce a rhythm by striking repeatedly ("beat the drum")
  22. Make by pounding or trampling ("beat a path through the forest")
  23. Move with or as if with a regular alternating motion
  24. Move rhythmically ("Her heart was beating fast")
  25. Indicate by beating, as with the fingers or drumsticks ("Beat the rhythm")
  26. Sail with much tacking or with difficulty ("The boat beat in the strong wind")
  27. Move with a flapping motion
  28. Move with a thrashing motion ("The eagle beat its wings and soared high into the sky")
  29. Glare or strike with great intensity ("The sun was beating down on us")
  30. Make a rhythmic sound ("The drums beat all night")
  31. Make a sound like a clock or a timer ("the grandfather clock beat midnight")
  32. Avoid paying ("beat the subway fare")
  33. Be superior ("Reading beats watching television" and "This sure beats work!")
  34. Very tired ("so beat I could flop down and go to sleep anywhere")

From Middle English beten, from Old English bēatan (“to beat, pound, strike, lash, dash, thrust, hurt, injure”), from Proto-Germanic *bautaną (“to push, strike”), from Proto-Indo-European *bhau- (compare Old Irish fo·botha (“he threatened”), Latin confutō (“I strike down”), fūstis (“stick, club”), Czech bít (“beat”), Albanian bahe (“sling”), Lithuanian baudžiù, Bulgarian бутам (butam, “I beat, knock”), Old Armenian բութ (butʿ)). Compare Occitan batre, French battre.

  1. A stroke; a blow.
  2. A pulsation or throb.
    a of the heart; the of the pulse
  3. A pulse on the beat level, the metric level at which pulses are heard as the basic unit. Thus a beat is the basic time unit of a piece.
  4. A rhythm.
  5. The interference between two tones of almost equal frequency
  6. A short pause in a play, screenplay, or teleplay, for dramatic or comedic effect.
  7. The route patrolled by a police officer or a guard.
    to walk the beat
  8. (by extension) An area of a person's responsibility, especially
    1. In journalism, the primary focus of a reporter's stories (such as police/courts, education, city government, business etc.).
  9. (dated) An act of reporting news or scientific results before a rival; a scoop.
  10. (colloquial, dated) That which beats, or surpasses, another or others.
    the of him
  11. (dated) A place of habitual or frequent resort.
  12. (archaic) A low cheat or swindler.
    a dead
  13. The instrumental portion of a piece of hip-hop music.
  14. (hunting) The act of scouring, or ranging over, a tract of land to rouse or drive out game; also, those so engaged, collectively.
  15. (fencing) A smart tap on the adversary's blade.

From beatnik

  1. A beatnik.

    beat was also found in the following language(s): Catalan, Dutch, Finnish, Italian, Latin, Romanian, and Volapük

    Notable Persons Named Beat

    Reverend Beat-Man is a psychobilly, rockabilly, rock, roll, and blues musician. His most notable accomplishments were from 1980 to present. Reverend was given the name Beat Zeller . Reverend is also known as Beat-Man and Lightning Beat-Man.


    Beat was born on December 6th, 1954 in Schaffhausen.


    Seelenluft is an electronica and electronic dance music record producer and disc jockey. He was most prominent from 1997 to present. Seelenluft was given the name Beat Solèr on July 8th, 1971. Seelenluft is also known as Silvercity-Bob.


    Beat was born in 1977 in Atlanta.


    Beat Feuz is an athlete for the Alpine skiing at the 2014 Winter Olympics, FIS Alpine World Ski Championships 2011, and FIS Alpine World Ski Championships 2015. Beat was born on February 11th, 1987 in Schangnau.


    Beat was born in 1957.


    Notable Persons With the Last Name Beat

    Jackie Beat is a drag performer. Jackie was given the name Kent Fuher on November 8th, 1965 in West Covina, California.


    Fantom Of The Beat is a hip hop music, reggae, rhythm, and blues rapping and record producer. He plays MPC2000, Ensoniq ASR-10, [[#LOGIC]] Weapon of Choice, and Music Production Center. He has had major accomplishments since 1991. Fantom was given the name Carlos Evans on March 24th, 1971 in Brooklyn. Fantom is also known as Haas G and Haas G (UMCera).


    Janet was born in 1937.


    Where is the name Beat popular?

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    Popularity of Beat as a last name

    The map shows the absolute popularity of the name Beat as a last name in each of the states. See other popular names in California, Kansas, or Ohio.

    Common first names for Beat

    Ethnicity Distribution

    Ethnicity Beat U.S.
      White 92.79% 64.26%
      African American 0.00% 11.96%
      Asian, Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander 0.00% 4.85%
      American Indian and Alaska Native 0.00% 0.69%
      Two or More Ethnicities 2.30% 1.76%
      Hispanic or Latino 3.28% 16.26%

    Of Last Name Beat

    People with the last name Beat are most frequently White

    Entire United States

    Fun Facts about the name Beat

    • How Popular is the name Beat? As a last name Beat was the 65,066th most popular name in 2010.
    • When was the first name Beat first recorded in the United States? The oldest recorded birth by the Social Security Administration for the name Beat is Tuesday, January 10th, 1882.
    • How unique is the name Beat? From 1880 to 2017 less than 5 people per year have been born with the first name Beat. Hoorah! You are a unique individual.
    • Weird things about the name Beat: Your name in reverse order is Taeb. A random rearrangement of the letters in your name (anagram) will give Tbae. How do you pronounce that?
    • How many people have the last name Beat? In 2010, the U.S. Census Bureau surveyed 305 people with the last name Beat.
    • How likely are you to meet someone with the last name of Beat? Chances are, most people haven't met someone with Beat as their last name since less than 1 person in 1.0m people have that last name. If you know one, consider yourself lucky!

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    • Sources:
    • U.S. Census Bureau: Frequently Occurring Surnames from the Census 2000 (public domain).
    • 1913 Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary via the Collaborative International Dictionary of English (License)
    • Other Dictionary Sources: WordNet 3.1 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University (License).
    • Wiktionary: Titles and License.
    • Notable persons via Wikipedia: Titles and License. Click each image for the attribution information.