1. (also beat out, bet) of a person, exhausted, tired out, emotionally and physically.
|in Essex Institute Historical Collections (Salem, MA) XVIII 92: Some was very much beat out by their march from Northampton [OED].|
|Real Life in London I 189: Limping Billy, who though beat to a stand still, was after some difficulty lifted up behind.|
|Poetical Works (1842) 72: Till fairly beat, the saint gave o’er .|
|Sam Slick in England I 92: ‘Fairly beat out,’ said he, ‘I am shockin’ tired.’.|
|Hillingdon Hall II 321: Our friend, however, was beat, and before he got half over the next field he acknowledged it.|
|Widow Bedott Papers (1883) 93: She looked dretful tired and beat out.|
|Recollections of G. Hamlyn (1891) 365: The lad was getting beat, and couldn’t a’ gone much further.|
|(con. 1840s–50s) London Labour and London Poor III 421/1: Since that I’ve done nothing, and was so beat out that I had to pass two days and nights in the streets. [Ibid.] 210/2: I was so beat that I dropt down about a mile before we got to the town.|
|Oldtown Folks 87: Well, she does look beat eout [sic] to be sure.|
|Hoosier Mosaics 116: I stole him slicker ’n a eel. I had him ’fore he knowed it, and you jist better bet he was one clean beat conductor fore I was done wi’ ’im.|
|(con. c.1840) Huckleberry Finn (2001) 345: We cruised along up-shore till we got kind of tired and beat out.|
|Adventures of Jack Dobell 114: I arrived a little after sunset, so ‘beat out’ with my day’s tramp that I turned into bed.|
|Man from Snowy River (1902) 66: You’ve done for me! you dog, I’m beat!‘The Man from Ironbark’ in|
|Boy’s Own Paper 29 June 613: But look here, he’s getting beat out.|
|Wind in the Willows (1995) 68: We’ll have a good rest before we try again, for we’re both of us pretty dead beat.|
|Valley of the Moon (1914) 8: I’m just tired, that‘s all, and my feet hurt. [...] I’m just beat out.|
|Moods of Ginger Mick 24: Mick strikes a light an’ sits down on ’is truck, / An’ chews ’is fag – a sign ’is nerve is beat.‘War’ in|
|Anna Christie Act II: I’m bate out – bate out entirely.|
|Haxby’s Circus 15: I’m fair beat.|
|‘Jive Blues’ [lyrics] Baby, I’m beat to my socks, do you did just what i mean.|
|Really the Blues 335: If I’d known I was being significant, instead of just hungry and beat, I sure would have changed my ways.|
|Man with the Golden Arm 33: A beat-out deck ’n a dirty shirt is what you really bring.|
|Waiters 213: ‘I’m beat,’ he said wearily. ‘I’m beat right down to my socks.’.|
|(con. 1943) Big War 13: You’re all beat-out and bushed.|
|Rage in Harlem (1969) 25: ‘You look beat,’ the counterman said.|
|The Park and Other Stories (1983) 26: ‘Yer too much beat but I go eat yer sometime’ Sly called after her.|
|(con. 1920s) Emerald Square 168: ‘Bet from the drink,’ Mag whispered.|
|London Fields 349: I’m often too beat to get out of her way.|
|Skull Session 36: I’m beat.|
|At End of Day (2001) 139: Come home at night, exhausted, beat to shit.|
2. (US, also beaten) amazed, astonished, at a loss.
|Georgia Scenes (1848) 194: Well, the law me, I’m clear beat!|
|Dict. Americanisms 28: to beat. [...] to overcome with astonishment, to surprise. We sometimes hear, especially from the mouths of old people, such expressions as ‘I felt beat,’ ‘I was quite beat,’ i. e. utterly astonished.|
|Dundee Courier 28 Jan. 3/2: Ladies and gentlemen, I confess that I am dead beat by the way in which the psalmody is conducted in this church.|
|Picked Up in the Streets 230: I’m fair beat to make out what it is.|
|Lyrics of Lowly Life 47: I’ve been list’nin’ to them lawyers / In the court house up the street, / An’ I’ve come to the conclusion / That I’m most completely beat.‘The Lawyers’ Ways’ in|
|Jest Of Fate (1903) 47: Well, suh, [...] ef you ain’t the beatenes’ man to fin’ out things I evah seen.|
|Ten ‘Lost’ Plays (1995) 190: What you can see in these skirts has got me beat.The Movie Man in|
|Digger Smith [Internet] ‘Why do they do it? I dunno,’ / Sez Digger Smith. ‘Yeh got me beat.’.‘The Boys Out There’ in|
|Courtship of Uncle Henry 26: Just sulked got drunk most nights he could had the M.O.s and the psychiatrist beat.|
3. depressed, emotionally raw; post 1950s esp. in comb. beat generation.
|We Who Are About to Die 194: I’ll bet that kid was very beat.|
|in N.Y. Times Mag. 16 Nov. 10/2: It was the face of a Beat Generation... It was John Kerouac...who...several years ago..said ‘You know, this is really a beat generation’. The origins of the word beat are obscure, but the meaning is only too clear to most Americans. More than the feeling of weariness, it implies the feeling of having been used, of being raw. It involves a sort of nakedness of mind.|
|Big Rumble 116: Larry felt hung-up, completely beat, holed with no way out, treed with no way down.|
4. of a thing, worn out, no longer fashionable.
|Jazzmen 5: He came from the beat side of town.|
|Orig. Hbk of Harlem Jive 13: Your jive is beat and sour as limes.|
|On the Road (The Orig. Scroll) (2007) 120: The beat yellow windowshades pulled. [Ibid.] 121: He wore a beat sweater and baggy pants.|
|(con. 1958) Been Down So Long (1972) 146: Plucked petals, by any other name / would be as beat.|
|Campus Sl. Nov. 1: beat – old and boring.|
|Campus Sl. Oct.|
|Campus Sl. Mar.|
|Online Sl. Dict. [Internet] beat adj [...] 2. lacking excitement or people. (‘When we got to that party it was beat.’).|
|Ebonics Primer at www.dolemite.com [Internet] beat Definition: over used. (played out) worn out, not fun. Example: That club’s beat yo.|
5. (orig. US black) of people, out of funds.
|Pittsburgh Courier (PA) 27 Apr. 7/7: We have all been beat to our socks [...] When you fall into a scoff pad and you are beat for a rough or so, play the high-speiler.|
|New Hepsters Dict. in Calloway (1976) 253: beat (adj.): [...] (2) lacking anything. Ex., ‘I am beat for my cash’; ‘I am beat to my socks’ (lacking everything).|
|(con. early 1930s) Harlem Glory (1990) 42: ‘You’re a bum [...] and you are beat.’.|
|Teen-Age Gangs 49: And I’m clean beat. Got hardly enough to eat on.|
|(con. 1940s–60s) Straight from the Fridge Dad.|
6. (US drugs) adulterated.
|Duke 3: You only get mad when you get beat stuff, stuff that’s no good.|
|Monkey On My Back (1954) 44: They bought some junk from a cat in the park, but it was real beat stuff (highly adulterated).|
|Teen-Age Mafia 7: When I go to a pusher, do you think he dares hand me any beat stuff?|
|Diet of Treacle (2008) 95: It’s good stuff [...] Your customers will dig it. You never get beat stuff from the Mau–Mau.|
7. (US) useless, worthless, boring.
|Junkie (1966) 110: The others were a beat, nowhere bunch of people.|
|Campus Sl. Mar. 1: beat – undesirable, in bad taste, boring: That was really a beat party.|
|Campus Sl. Sept.|
8. (orig. US) disillusioned, sad, world-weary.
|letter 19 Feb. in Harris (1993) 11: What they want is some beat clerk who feels with some reason that other people don’t like him.|
|On The Road (1972) 59: The beat and evil days that come to young guys in their twenties.|
|Through Beatnik Eyeballs 13: They not hipsters, you understand, just beat.|
9. (US drugs) of an addict, craving for a dose of a drug.
|Golden Spike 21: ‘Are you beat?’ Chico asked. ‘No, I had me a fix.’ [Ibid.] glossary: Beat – ‘sick.’ In need of the drug.|
10. of objects, shabby, battered, worn-out.
|On The Road (1972) 19: The beat yellow windowshades pulled over the smoky scene of the railyards.|
|Ladies’ Man (1985) 212: He wore [...] a green beat-to-shit corduroy jacket that wasn’t doing dick about the cold.|
11. (US campus) bad, depressing.
|Campus Sl. Oct. 1: beat – not good: ‘I failed my exam today.’ ‘Man that’s beat.’.|
12. (US campus) very ugly.
|Sl. U. 3: That chick is so beat that she’s been mistaken for Mike Tyson.|
|OnLine Dict. of Playground Sl. [Internet] Beat adj. An incredibly ugly woman, e.g. That chick was BEAT! Possible from the shortened phrase ‘looks like she was beaten with the ugly stick’, or simply looked like a boxer!|
|UNC-CH Campus Sl. 2011.(ed.)|
13. (US campus) stupid, weak, ineffectual.
|Sl. U. 33: beat [...] stupid, lame.|
1. short of, usu. money.
|Orig. Hbk of Harlem Jive 17: Shortly after, the skull came up on the tab action, and gassed the scribe that he was beat for some beater.|
|Last Exit to Brooklyn (1966) 6: It was a drag of a night, beat for loot, and they flipped their cigarettes out the doors.|
2. to be deprived of.
|On the Yard (2002) 94: That’s one box I hope I get beat for.|
|Pimp 61: It’s better to get beat for the stash than beat by the heat.|
(US black/Harlem) short of cash, temporarily impoverished.
|Orig. Hbk of Harlem Jive 16: I’m beat for the yolk, and dying to meet some folk who’ll be with it on the knock play.|
|The Rap 53: I been beat for the yolk all my live-long days, scoffing fishheads and scrambling for the gills.|
(US) extremely exhausted.
|Memphis-Nam-Sweden 165: Hoof it. All the way back to the hotel. No food, no sleep. We were beat to the ass.|
|Deadly Woods 92: Problem is, the chopper pilot is beat to the ass.|
(US black) tired out, utterly exhausted.
|Esquire 2 98/2: Beat to the socks (penniless).|
|Pic (N.Y.) Mar. 8: beat to the socks. — all fogged out. Prima’s band falls apart between sessions.|
|Novels and Stories (1995) 1002: Didn’t I see you last night with dat beat chick, scoffing a hot dog? Dat chick you had was beat to de heels.‘Story in Harlem Sl.’ in|
|Book of Negro Folklore 481: beat: Bad looking, depressed, tired. I’m beat to my sox.|