Beat (someone) To It

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Meaning of Idiom 'Beat (someone) To It'

To do get ahead of someone and do something before they can do it or to obtain something before they can attain it. 1,2

Usage Examples

"Hey, I wanted the last ice cream bar," said Jane. "Looks like I beat you to it," said John.

"He tried to break the story to the press to make us look bad, but we beat him to it."

"There was only one donut left and Frank beat Harry to the box."


Used since around 1900. 2

1. Heacock, Paul. Cambridge Dictionary of American Idioms. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2010.
2. Ammer, Christine. American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013.

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