beat down

Idioms & Phrases

beat down

  1. Force or drive down; defeat or subdue. For example, "And finally to beat down Satan under our feet" (The Book of Common Prayer, 1552). [c. 1400]

  2. Strike violently, as in the The sun kept beating down on us all day long. [Mid-1800s]

  3. beat someone down. Make someone lower a price, as in He's always trying to beat us down. Economist Jeremy Bentham used this idiom in 1793: "Thus monopoly will beat down prices." [Slang; late 1700s]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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