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Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English beter, betere, bettere, from Old English bēatere (a beater; fighter; champion), equivalent to beat +‎ -er.


beater (plural beaters)

  1. Someone or something that beats.
  2. A kitchen implement for mixing.
  3. A stick used to play a percussion instrument.
    Synonym: drum stick
  4. A person who drives game towards shooters in a hunting party, often working in a group.
    • 1934, George Orwell, chapter 14, in Burmese Days[1]:
      The beaters halted in a group to watch, and some of them could not refrain from clicking their tongues; they thought it queer and rather shocking to see a woman handle a gun.
  5. A papermaking machine for processing fibres by fibrillation in order to improve bonding strength
  6. (US, informal) An automobile in poor operating condition.
    • 2020 July 14, Ron Stodghill, “Black Behind the Wheel”, in New York Times[2]:
      Packed merrily into my friends’ beater, an old Ford Pinto, we headed into Jennings, a mostly Black North St. Louis County community heavily patrolled by white officers, to pick up one more college friend.
  7. A weaving tool designed to push the weft yarn securely into place. It contains the comb-like insert reed and is sometimes a part of the loom.
  8. (Canada) A harp seal pup after its first moult and before its second moult.
Derived terms[edit]
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Etymology 2[edit]

By shortening from wifebeater.


beater (plural beaters)

  1. (US, informal) A sleeveless undershirt.