beat vs bead : Common Errors in English

About beat vs bead

In American English when you focus narrowly on something or define it carefully you “get a bead” or “draw a bead” on it. In this expression the term “bead” comes from the former name for the little metal bump on the end of a gun barrel which helped the shooter aim precisely at a target. “Beat” is often mistakenly substituted for “bead” by people who imagine that the expression has something to do with matching the timing of the person or activity being observed, catching up with it.

beat Meaning(s)

  • (n) a regular route for a sentry or policeman
  • (n) the rhythmic contraction and expansion of the arteries with each beat of the heart
  • (n) the basic rhythmic unit in a piece of music
  • (n) a single pulsation of an oscillation produced by adding two waves of different frequencies; has a frequency equal to the difference between the two oscillations
  • (n) a member of the beat generation; a nonconformist in dress and behavior
  • (n) the sound of stroke or blow
  • (n) (prosody) the accent in a metrical foot of verse
  • (n) a regular rate of repetition
  • (n) a stroke or blow
  • (n) the act of beating to windward; sailing as close as possible to the direction from which the wind is blowing
  • (v) come out better in a competition, race, or conflict
  • (v) give a beating to; subject to a beating, either as a punishment or as an act of aggression
  • (v) hit repeatedly
  • (v) move rhythmically
  • (v) shape by beating
  • (v) make a rhythmic sound
  • (v) glare or strike with great intensity
  • (v) move with a thrashing motion
  • (v) sail with much tacking or with difficulty
  • (v) stir vigorously
  • (v) strike (a part of one's own body) repeatedly, as in great emotion or in accompaniment to music
  • (v) be superior
  • (v) avoid paying
  • (v) make a sound like a clock or a timer
  • (v) move with a flapping motion
  • (v) indicate by beating, as with the fingers or drumsticks
  • (v) move with or as if with a regular alternating motion
  • (v) make by pounding or trampling
  • (v) produce a rhythm by striking repeatedly
  • (v) strike (water or bushes) repeatedly to rouse animals for hunting
  • (v) beat through cleverness and wit
  • (v) be a mystery or bewildering to
  • (v) wear out completely
  • (s) very tired

bead Meaning(s)

  • (n) a small ball with a hole through the middle
  • (n) a shape that is spherical and small
  • (n) a beaded molding for edging or decorating furniture
  • (v) form into beads, as of water or sweat, for example
  • (v) decorate by sewing beads onto
  • (v) string together like beads

beat in News

  1. Eats Beat

    EATS BEAT * Square 1682 - American Kitchen & Cocktails (121 S. 17th St., 215-563-5008, has a summer happy hour, 4-7 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays through Aug. 30. Wednesdays from 5-7 p.m. is Center City SIPS day. Expect $5 wines
    on June 13, 2013 Source: Philadelphia Daily News

  2. Timbers beat Rowdies 2-0 in US Open Cup

    PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- Michael Nanchoff and Jack Jewsbury scored and the Portland Timbers beat the Tampa Bay Rowdies 2-0 on Wednesday night to reach the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open Cup.
    on June 13, 2013 Source: The Associated Press via Yahoo! Sports

  3. Beat Publication Celebrates Rock’s Cast of Characters

    Beat, a new music publication from England, celebrates rock’s cast of characters.
    on June 12, 2013 Source: New York Times

bead in News

  1. Program is fighting obesity epidemic among veterans

    MILWAUKEE (WITI) — With every step and bead of sweat comes a sense of accomplishment as this group of warriors...
    on June 13, 2013 Source: FOX 6 Milwaukee

  2. Local bead store makes shift from storefront to website

    FREEPORT, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Shopping locally and supporting small businesses can happen in your jammies while you feed the dog, even if you're taking a trip to the bead store.
    on June 12, 2013 Source: WCSH 6 Portland

  3. Bead for Life Participant: Don't Keep Your Money, Invest It

    Watch Video A co-founder of Bead for Life and its participants talk about the business training program. In 2009, the PBS NewsHour profiled a group, Bead for Life , that trained Ugandan women to start businesses by rolling beads made of recycled paper and selling them as necklaces and bracelets. The women not only learned the craft of bead-making but also were enrolled in an 18-month-course ...
    on June 10, 2013 Source: The Online NewsHour

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