Etymology
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beating (n.)

c. 1200, beatunge "action of inflicting blows," verbal noun from beat (v.). Meaning "pulsation" is recorded from c. 1600. Nautical sense of "sailing against the wind" is by 1883.

updated on April 25, 2017

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Definitions of beating from WordNet

beating (n.)
the act of overcoming or outdoing;
Synonyms: whipping
beating (n.)
the act of inflicting corporal punishment with repeated blows;
Synonyms: thrashing / licking / drubbing / lacing / trouncing / whacking
From wordnet.princeton.edu, not affiliated with etymonline.