To beat about the bush
Beat Beat, v. i. 1. To strike repeatedly; to inflict repeated blows; to knock vigorously or loudly. [1913 Webster]

The men of the city . . . beat at the door. --Judges. xix. 22. [1913 Webster]

2. To move with pulsation or throbbing. [1913 Webster]

A thousand hearts beat happily. --Byron. [1913 Webster]

3. To come or act with violence; to dash or fall with force; to strike anything, as rain, wind, and waves do. [1913 Webster]

Sees rolling tempests vainly beat below. --Dryden. [1913 Webster]

They [winds] beat at the crazy casement. --Longfellow. [1913 Webster]

The sun beat upon the head of Jonah, that he fainted, and wished in himself to die. --Jonah iv. 8. [1913 Webster]

Public envy seemeth to beat chiefly upon ministers. --Bacon. [1913 Webster]

4. To be in agitation or doubt. [Poetic] [1913 Webster]

To still my beating mind. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

5. (Naut.) To make progress against the wind, by sailing in a zigzag line or traverse. [1913 Webster]

6. To make a sound when struck; as, the drums beat. [1913 Webster]

7. (Mil.) To make a succession of strokes on a drum; as, the drummers beat to call soldiers to their quarters. [1913 Webster]

8. (Acoustics & Mus.) To sound with more or less rapid alternations of greater and less intensity, so as to produce a pulsating effect; -- said of instruments, tones, or vibrations, not perfectly in unison. [1913 Webster]

{A beating wind} (Naut.), a wind which necessitates tacking in order to make progress.

{To beat about}, to try to find; to search by various means or ways. --Addison.

{To beat about the bush}, to approach a subject circuitously.

{To beat up and down} (Hunting), to run first one way and then another; -- said of a stag.

{To beat up for recruits}, to go diligently about in order to get helpers or participators in an enterprise.

{To beat the rap}, to be acquitted of an accusation; -- especially, by some sly or deceptive means, rather than to be proven innocent. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • To beat about the bush — Bush Bush (b[.u]sh), n. [OE. bosch, busch, buysch, bosk, busk; akin to D. bosch, OHG. busc, G. busch, Icel. b[=u]skr, b[=u]ski, Dan. busk, Sw. buske, and also to LL. boscus, buscus, Pr. bosc, It. bosco, Sp. & Pg. bosque, F. bois, OF. bos. Whether …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • beat about the bush — or[beat around the bush] {v. phr.}, {slang} To talk about things without giving a clear answer; avoid the question or the point. * /He would not answer yes or no, but beat about the bush./ * /He beat about the bush for a half hour without coming… …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • beat about the bush — or[beat around the bush] {v. phr.}, {slang} To talk about things without giving a clear answer; avoid the question or the point. * /He would not answer yes or no, but beat about the bush./ * /He beat about the bush for a half hour without coming… …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • beat\ about\ the\ bush — • beat about the bush • beat around the bush v. phr. slang To talk about things without giving a clear answer; avoid the question or the point. He would not answer yes or no, but beat about the bush. He beat about the bush for a half hour without …   Словарь американских идиом

  • beat about the bush — If someone doesn t say clearly what they mean and try to make it hard to understand, they are beating about (around) the bush …   The small dictionary of idiomes

  • beat about the bush — ► beat about the bush discuss a matter without coming to the point. Main Entry: ↑beat …   English terms dictionary

  • beat about the bush — phrasal also beat around the bush : to fail or refuse to come to the point in discourse * * * beat about the bush see under ↑bush1 • • • Main Entry: ↑beat beat about the bush To prevaricate, avoid coming to the point • • • …   Useful english dictionary

  • beat about the bush — beat about/around the bush to avoid talking about a difficult or embarrassing subject because you are worried about upsetting the person you are talking to. Don t beat around the bush. Just tell me where my brother is. (usually negative) There is …   New idioms dictionary

  • beat about the bush — or beat around the bush phrasal to fail or refuse to come to the point in discourse …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • beat about the bush —    If someone doesn t say clearly what they mean and try to make it hard to understand, they are beating about (around) the bush.   (Dorking School Dictionary) …   English Idioms & idiomatic expressions

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