Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
- (transitive) To drive something away with blows or military force. Now often used figuratively.
1697, Carradoc Of Lhancarvan, The history of Wales, page 33:
- ...which Action did not so much grieve the English, as trouble and vex the Picts and Scots, who were incessantly gauled and frequently beat off by these Danish Troops.
- (intransitive, idiomatic, vulgar, colloquial, chiefly US, Canada) To masturbate, usually a man of himself.
2003, David Burke, The Slangman guide to dirty English: dangerous expressions Americans use, page 13:
- Example 1: "I don't need a girlfriend. I just need some swimsuit catalogs, so I can beat off six or seven times a day."
- (intransitive, idiomatic, vulgar, colloquial) To waste time.
- I beat off at work all day; I didn't get anything done.