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

  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 LL. or G. form is the original is uncertain;
     if the LL., it is perh. from the same source as E. box a
     case. Cf. Ambush, Boscage, Bouquet, Box a case.]
     1. A thicket, or place abounding in trees or shrubs; a wild
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     Note: This was the original sense of the word, as in the
           Dutch bosch, a wood, and was so used by Chaucer. In
           this sense it is extensively used in the British
           colonies, especially at the Cape of Good Hope, and also
           in Australia and Canada; as, to live or settle in the
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     2. A shrub; esp., a shrub with branches rising from or near
        the root; a thick shrub or a cluster of shrubs.
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              To bind a bush of thorns among sweet-smelling
              flowers.                              --Gascoigne.
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     3. A shrub cut off, or a shrublike branch of a tree; as,
        bushes to support pea vines.
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     4. A shrub or branch, properly, a branch of ivy (as sacred to
        Bacchus), hung out at vintners' doors, or as a tavern
        sign; hence, a tavern sign, and symbolically, the tavern
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              If it be true that good wine needs no bush, 't is
              true that a good play needs no epilogue. --Shak.
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     5. (Hunting) The tail, or brush, of a fox.
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     To beat about the bush, to approach anything in a
        round-about manner, instead of coming directly to it; -- a
        metaphor taken from hunting.
     Bush bean (Bot.), a variety of bean which is low and
        requires no support ({Phaseolus vulgaris, variety nanus).
        See Bean, 1.
     Bush buck, or Bush goat (Zool.), a beautiful South
        African antelope ({Tragelaphus sylvaticus); -- so called
        because found mainly in wooden localities. The name is
        also applied to other species.
     Bush cat (Zool.), the serval. See Serval.
     Bush chat (Zool.), a bird of the genus Pratincola, of the
        Thrush family.
     Bush dog. (Zool.) See Potto.
     Bush hammer. See Bushhammer in the Vocabulary.
     Bush harrow (Agric.) See under Harrow.
     Bush hog (Zool.), a South African wild hog
        ({Potamoch[oe]rus Africanus); -- called also bush pig,
        and water hog.
     Bush+master+(Zool.),+a+venomous+snake+({Lachesis+mutus">Bush master (Zool.), a venomous snake ({Lachesis mutus) of
        Guinea; -- called also surucucu.
     Bush pea (Bot.), a variety of pea that needs to be bushed.
     Bush shrike (Zool.), a bird of the genus Thamnophilus,
        and allied genera; -- called also batarg. Many species
        inhabit tropical America.
     Bush tit (Zool.), a small bird of the genus Psaltriparus,
        allied to the titmouse. Psaltriparus minimus inhabits
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