The Past Tense of Beat: Here’s What It Is and How to Use It

Have you ever got stuck on the correct past tense of the English verb beat? This article will explain the conjugations of the word beat and also define beat and give you all the information you need about the word and how to use it correctly in English grammar.

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What Is the Definition of the Word Beat?

The word beat is defined as:

Intransitive verb 

  • to strike repeated blows; pound.
  • to throb or pulsate:
    • His heart began to beat faster.
  • to dash; strike (usually followed by against or on):
    • rain beating against the windows.
  • to resound under blows, as a drum.
  • to achieve victory in a contest; win:
    • Which team do you think will beat?
  • to play, as on a drum.
  • to scour cover for game.
  • Physics. to make a beat or beats.
  • (of a cooking ingredient) to foam or stiffen as a result of beating or whipping:
    • This cream won’t beat.
  • Nautical. to tack to windward by sailing close-hauled.

Transitive verb 

  • to strike violently or forcefully and repeatedly.
  • to dash against:
    • rain beating the trees.
  • to flutter, flap, or rotate in or against:
    • beating the air with its wings.
  • to sound, as on a drum:
    • beating a steady rhythm; to beat a tattoo.
  • to stir vigorously:
    • Beat the egg whites well.
  • to break, forge, or make by blows:
    • to beat their swords into plowshares.
  • to produce (an attitude, idea, habit, etc.) by repeated efforts:
    • I’ll beat some sense into him.
  • to make (a path) by repeated treading.
  • to strike (a person or animal) repeatedly and injuriously:
    • Some of the hoodlums beat their victims viciously before robbing them.
  • Music. to mark (time) by strokes, as with the hand or a metronome.
  • Hunting. to scour (the forest, grass, or brush), and sometimes make noise, in order to rouse game.
  • to overcome in a contest; defeat.
  • to win over in a race:
    • We beat the English challenger to Bermuda.
  • to be superior to:
    • Making reservations beats waiting in line.
  • to be incomprehensible to; baffle:
    • It beats me how he got the job.
  • to defeat or frustrate (a person), as a problem to be solved:
    • It beats me how to get her to understand.
  • to mitigate or offset the effects of:
    • beating the hot weather; trying to beat the sudden decrease in land values.
  • Slang. to swindle; cheat (often followed by out):
    • He beat him out of hundreds of dollars on that deal.
  • to escape or avoid (blame or punishment).
  • Textiles. to strike (the loose pick) into its proper place in the woven cloth by beating the loosely deposited filling yarn with the reed.


  • a stroke or blow.
  • the sound made by one or more such blows:
    • the beat of drums.
  • a throb or pulsation:
    • a pulse of 60 beats per minute.
  • the ticking sound made by a clock or watch escapement.
  • one’s assigned or regular path or habitual round:
    • a policeman’s beat.
  • Music.
  • the audible, visual, or mental marking of the metrical divisions of music.
  • a stroke of the hand, baton, etc., marking the time division or an accent for music during performance.
  • Theater. a momentary time unit imagined by an actor in timing actions:
    • Wait four beats and then pick up the phone.
  • Prosody. the accent stress, or ictus, in a foot or rhythmical unit of poetry.
  • Physics. a pulsation caused by the coincidence of the amplitudes of two oscillations of unequal frequencies, having a frequency equal to the difference between the frequencies of the two oscillations.

What Is the Past Tense of Beat?

The past tense of beat is spelled the same, beat since it is an irregular verb that doesn’t follow the rules of regular verbs. 

An example of present and past tense:

Present – We will beat the team next friday.

Past – We beat them by 20 points. 

How Do You Conjugate Beat?

Here are some conjugations and verb forms of the word beat including the past tense verb tenses:

Base Form/Infinitive: To beat

Past Participle Form: Beaten

Present Participle/Gerund: Beating

Past Perfect Tense: Had beaten

Present Perfect Tense: Have beaten

Simple Present TenseSimple Past Tense FormFuture Tense
I beatbeatAm beating
You beatbeatAre beating
Third-person he/she/it beatsbeatIs beating
We beatbeatAre beating
They beatbeatAre beating

The History and Origin of the Word

The word beat goes back to before 900 A.D. In Middle English it was beten, in Old English it was spelled bēatan.

Example Sentences of the Word in Context


Next time you need to write the word beat, you will be well prepared for everything you need to know what it is and how to use it efficiently. You should feel confident with the different conjugations, the history of the word, and the definition.