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From mis- +‎ beat.


misbeat (plural misbeats)

  1. A false, wrong, or incorrect beat; a beat in the wrong time or rhythm.
    • 2001, Gayle G. Roper, Spring Rain:
      Leigh's heart gave a little misbeat as she watched the exchange.
    • 2007, John Banville, Eclipse: A Novel:
      Was it that same phial of precious ichor, still inside me, that spilled in the cinema that afternoon, and that I carry in me yet, and that yet will overflow at the slightest movement, the slightest misbeat of my heart?
    • 2011, Susan Donovan, Celeste Bradley, A Courtesan's Guide to Getting Your Man:
      How could so much warmth and unassuming gentleness be subtracted from the world by the simple misbeat of an organ?


misbeat (third-person singular simple present misbeats, present participle misbeating, simple past misbeat, past participle misbeat or misbeaten)

  1. (transitive, intransitive) To beat out of rhythm; beat incorrectly.
    • 1996, David Levinson, Religion: a cross-cultural encyclopedia:
      The assistant's role is not a minor one: When they become shaman, after they start in, his assistants have to know just what song to sing and how to beat the drum. If they misbeat the drum, the shaman just become normal again.
    • 2000, Peter Tremayne, Hemlock at Vespers: fifteen Sister Fidelma mysteries:
      “I fear he will not be with us beyond the winter. He has already had two problems with his heart, which grows continually weaker.” “How weak?” “Twice it has misbeat. The third time may prove fatal.”