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From: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)

 Beat, v. i.
 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.
 A beating wind Naut., a wind which necessitates tacking in order to make progress.
 To beat about, to try to find; to search by various means or ways. --Addison.
 To beat about the bush, to approach a subject circuitously.
 To beat up and down Hunting, to run first one way and then another; -- said of a stag.
 To beat up for recruits, to go diligently about in order to get helpers or participators in an enterprise.
 To beat the rap, to be acquitted of an accusation; -- especially, by some sly or deceptive means, rather than to be proven innocent.