beat

beat vb 1 Beat, pound, pummel, thrash, buffet, baste, belabor are comparable when they mean to strike re-peatedly.
Beat, the usual and general word of this group, may imply no more than the simple action of repeated striking (as with one's hands or an implement). The purpose is usually suggested by the object beaten, even when the manner of beating or the kind of implement used is not specifically stated
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clean a rug by beating it

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beat his breast in anguish

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the shocking increase in the battered child syndrome, the physical result of viciously beating a young child

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the horse restlessly beat the ground with his hooves

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Pound suggests beating with a weight or pestle to crush or reduce to a pulp or powder (as in grinding meal). More often the term implies heavier, more damaging blows than beat; it may suggest repeated striking (as by a heavy hammer, strong doubled fists, the hooves of horses, bombs, or shells), and it often also suggests rhythmical, loud, and heavy sounds
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the big boys who sit at the tables pound them and cheer— Hughes

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the hooves of the horses pounding on the bridge— Anderson

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he could hear his own heart pounding

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he pounded on the door in an effort to rouse the sleeping family

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night after night the port was pounded by bombs

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Pummel implies the beating of a person with one's fists: although it does not suggest as heavy blows as pound, it carries a stronger suggestion of continuous raining of blows and, often, of the infliction of injury than beat
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a desire to pummel and wring the nose of the aforesaid Stiggins— Dickens

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he pummeled and slapped and scrubbed the somewhat obese nudity of his companion— Buchan

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Thrash in its basic sense means to separate the grain (as of wheat) from the husks and straw, originally by beating or striking again and again (as with a flail). Consequently thrash usually means to strike repeatedly in a manner suggestive of strokes with a flail and usually with an implement (as a stick or whip)
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thrash a hedge with a cane in order to drive out the rabbits

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propelled himself through the water with wildly thrashing arms

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everyone fought fire. Everyone went to the woods and thrashed out some new blaze— Vorse

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Buffet implies a repeated striking with or as if with an open hand: it therefore suggests a slapping rather than a pounding and in extended use is employed chiefly with reference to something which dashes against the face or the body in the manner of a slap or which one fights as if by slapping
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the two hands of Madame Defarge buffeted and tore her face— Dickens

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buffeted by high waves

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Baste implies a sound vigorous thrashing with any weapon (including the tongue)
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I took a broom, and basted her, till she cried extremely— Pepys

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if you will give me the loan of a horsewhip, I'll baste the backs of these lazy fellows of yours— Wheelwright

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Belabor implies a prolonged and mighty basting or buffeting
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he saw Virago Nell belabor, with Dick's own staff his peaceful neighbor— Swift

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a group of demonstrating Egyptians being belabored by police— Dot

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Analogous words: slug, clout, swat, punch, *strike, hit, smite, slap, box, cuff
2 defeat, lick, *conquer, vanquish, subdue, subjugate, reduce, overcome, surmount, overthrow, rout
Analogous words: surpass, excel, outstrip (see EXCEED): confound, nonplus (see PUZZLE)
3 *pulsate, throb, pulse, palpitate
Analogous words: quiver, quaver, quake (see SHAKE): vibrate, oscillate, fluctuate, pendulate (see SWING)
beat n pulsation, pulse, throb, palpitation (see under PULSATE)
Analogous words: accent, accentuation, stress (see EMPHASIS): *rhythm, cadence

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

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