1. (US) an outstanding person, one who defeats all rivals; usu. as the beat of..., the equal of...
|Nature and Human Nature I 192: Sam, your head ain’t like anyone elses [...] I never see the beat of you.|
|Poganuc People 86: That Bill is sassy enough to physic a hornbug. I never see the beat of him.|
|Trimmed Lamp (1916) 209: Count Fernando Mazzini was his name. I never saw the beat of him for elegance.|
|World I Never Made 186: I never met the beat of you two boys.|
|(con. 1830s–60s) All That Swagger 82: I’ve never seen the beat of him.|
2. an outstanding object, an incomparable circumstance; usu. as the beat of..., the equal of...
|Clockmaker I 19: I expect the world don’t contain the beat of that.|
|Clockmaker II 59: There ain’t the beat of it to be found anywhere.|
|(con. c.1840) Tom Sawyer 150: Well, for the land’s sake! I never heard the beat of that in all my days!|
|Newspaper 54: Some managing editors are born with a ‘nose for news’; others achieve ‘beats’.|
|DN III:viii 592: the beat, n. Anything that would exceed or beat. ‘Did you ever see the beat of that?’.‘Word-List From Western Indiana’ in|
|Dinny on the Doorstep 117: Did ever anyone see the beat of that!|
|World I Never Made 447: Cripes, the way she talks! I never heard the beat of it.|
(US) to have at a disadvantage.
|Americanisms 46/1: To get a beat on is to get the advantage of [...] As used by thieves and their associates, to get a beat on one [...] also implies that the point has been scored by underhand, secret, or unlawful means.|