Green’s Dictionary of Slang

beat adj.

[SE beaten]

1. [late 18C+] (also beat out, bet) of a person, exhausted, tired out, emotionally and physically.

2. [mid-19C–1930s] (US, also beaten) amazed, astonished, at a loss.

3. [1930s+] depressed, emotionally raw; post 1950s esp. in comb. beat generation.

4. [1930s+] of a thing, worn out, no longer fashionable.

5. [1930s+] (orig. US black) of people, out of funds.

6. [1940s–50s] (US drugs) adulterated.

7. [1940s+] (US) useless, worthless, boring.

8. [1940s+] (orig. US) disillusioned, sad, world-weary.

9. [1950s] (US drugs) of an addict, craving for a dose of a drug.

10. [1950s–70s] of objects, shabby, battered, worn-out.

11. [1980s] (US campus) bad, depressing.

12. [1980s+] (US campus) very ugly.

13. [1980s+] (US campus) stupid, weak, ineffectual.

In phrases

beat for (adj.)

1. [1940s–60s] short of, usu. money.

2. [1960s] to be deprived of.

beat for the yolk (adj.)

[1940s] (US black/Harlem) short of cash, temporarily impoverished.

beat to the ass (adj.) [ass n. (2)]

[1980s] (US) extremely exhausted.

beat to the socks (adj.) (also beat to the heels)

[1930s–50s] (US black) tired out, utterly exhausted.