Note added at 2003-12-23 20:58:14 (GMT)
Voici toutes les définitions du mot \"beat\", ça peut t\'aider à varier les réponses, même si je crois que battements correspond à plusieurs d\'entre elles.
verb (past tense beat, past participle beaten or (now rare) beat, present participle beating)
1 to hit (a person, animal, etc) violently and repeatedly, especially to harm or punish them.
2 to strike something repeatedly, eg to remove dust or make a sound.
3 intrans (usually beat against or at or on something) to knock or strike repeatedly o rain beating against the window.
4 to defeat; to do something better, sooner or quicker than someone else o always beats me at chess.
5 to be too difficult to be solved or understood by someone o The last puzzle had me beaten. See also it beats me below.
6 (sometimes beat something up) to mix or stir thoroughly o Beat two eggs in a bowl.
7 (also beat something out)
a to make or shape it by repeatedly striking the raw material o beating out horseshoes on the forge;
b to flatten or reduce the thickness of it by beating.
8 intrans to move in a regular pattern of strokes, etc o heard my heart beating.
9 tr & intr to move rhythmically up and down o tent-flaps beating in the wind.
10 (usually beat time or beat out time) to mark or show (musical time or rhythm) with the hand or a baton, etc.
11 (especially beat someone or something back or down off) to push, drive or force them or it away.
12 (also beat up something) tr & intr to strike (bushes or trees, etc) to force birds or animals into the open for shooting.
1 a regular recurrent stroke, or its sound o the beat of my heart.
2 a in music and poetry, etc: the basic pulse, unit of rhythm or accent o two beats to the bar
b the conductor\'s stroke of the hand or baton indicating such a pulse o Watch the beat
c in popular music: rhythm; a strong rhythmic pulse.
3 a regular or usual course or journey o a policeman on his beat.
4 a in the 1950s and 60s: a member or follower of the beat generation;
b a beatnik
adj, colloq, especially US worn out; exhausted.
beater noun a person or thing that beats in any sense, eg a person who rouses or beats up game for shooting, an electric or hand-operated device for beating, etc. Also in compounds o egg-beater.
beat about the bush to talk tediously about a subject without coming to the main point.
beat a hasty retreat or beat a retreat to go away in a hurry, especially in order to escape or avoid an unpleasant or difficult situation. Compare beat the retreat below.
beat it slang to go away immediately and quickly.
beat one\'s brains or beat one\'s brains out colloq to puzzle long and hard over something.
beat one\'s breast to show unrestrained, wild or exaggerated signs of grief.
beat someone\'s brains out colloq to kill or seriously injure them by hitting them about the head.
beat someone to it to manage to do something before they can o I went back to tidy up, but someone had beaten me to it.
beat the bounds Brit to perform a traditional ceremony of tracing out the parish boundaries by walking around them, formally striking the boundary stones, etc with willow twigs. See also common-riding.
beat the clock to do or finish something within the time allowed.
beat the pants or socks off someone colloq to defeat them thoroughly.
beat the rap slang, originally US to escape without punishment.
beat the retreat to perform the military ceremony (beating the retreat) consisting of marching and military music, usually performed at dusk, originally marking the recall (by drum beat) of troops to their quarters.
Can you beat it? or Can you beat that? colloq as an expression of astonishment: Would you believe it, or that, to be possible, true, etc?
dead beat colloq very tired; exhausted.
it beats me colloq it is beyond my comprehension; I cannot understand it or work it out.
off the beaten track away from main roads and towns; isolated.
you can\'t beat something colloq there is no substitute for it, or nothing better than it.
Et joyeux Noël!