The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Beat \Beat\, v. i.
1. To strike repeatedly; to inflict repeated blows; to knock
vigorously or loudly.
The men of the city . . . beat at the door.
2. To move with pulsation or throbbing.
A thousand hearts beat happily. --Byron.
3. To come or act with violence; to dash or fall with force;
to strike anything, as rain, wind, and waves do.
Sees rolling tempests vainly beat below. --Dryden.
They [winds] beat at the crazy casement.
The sun beat upon the head of Jonah, that he
fainted, and wished in himself to die. --Jonah iv.
Public envy seemeth to beat chiefly upon ministers.
4. To be in agitation or doubt. [Poetic]
To still my beating mind. --Shak.
5. (Naut.) To make progress against the wind, by sailing in a
zigzag line or traverse.
6. To make a sound when struck; as, the drums beat.
7. (Mil.) To make a succession of strokes on a drum; as, the
drummers beat to call soldiers to their quarters.
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.
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.