beat the rap

Idioms & Phrases

beat the rap

Escape punishment; win acquittal. For example, The youngsters were caught shoplifting, but somehow they were able to beat the rap. The rap in this idiom means "the legal charge against one." [Slang; 1920s]

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