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Beat a retreat   /bit ə ritrˈit/   Listen
Beat a retreat

Depart hastily.

WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University

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"Beat a retreat" Quotes from Famous Books

... the morning. These ants eat away floors and sometimes cause the collapse of houses by wearing away the wooden supports. Another frequent guest is the driver ant, which travels in armies and frequently takes complete possession of a house. It destroys all the vermin but the human inmates must beat a retreat ...
— An African Adventure • Isaac F. Marcosson

... deck, and eluding the compliments of Barker and Sturleson, hastened to the cuddy door, bowing to the ladies as he passed. He meant to beat a retreat to his cabin. But Margaret was determined to call him to account for having ...
— Doctor Claudius, A True Story • F. Marion Crawford

... gardens was gradually formed between the besiegers and the besieged; and on the heaps of broken walls and burnt rafters, the obstinate contest was renewed from day to day.' At last relief arrived from London; and Goring, in savage dudgeon, beat a retreat, notwithstanding the wild oath he had registered, either to reduce that haughty town, or to lay his bones in ...
— Chambers's Edinburgh Journal, No. 439 - Volume 17, New Series, May 29, 1852 • Various

... leaves and rippling the surface of the water, so that no loon can be heard or seen, though his foes sweep the pond with spy-glasses, and make the woods resound with their discharges. The waves generously rise and dash angrily, taking sides with all water-fowl, and our sportsmen must beat a retreat to town and shop and unfinished jobs. But they were too often successful. When I went to get a pail of water early in the morning I frequently saw this stately bird sailing out of my cove within a few rods. If I endeavored to overtake him in a boat, in order to see how he would manoeuvre, he would ...
— Walden, and On The Duty Of Civil Disobedience • Henry David Thoreau

... Thirty now was to blockade the place; by shutting off all the avenues of supplies, they thought to force the garrison to capitulate. But this project was interrupted by a steady downfall of snow that night and the following day. Baffled by this all-pervading enemy they beat a retreat to the city, but not without the sacrifice of many of their camp-followers, who fell a prey to the men in Phyle. The next anxiety of the government in Athens was to secure the farms and country houses against the plunderings and forays to which they would be exposed, ...
— Hellenica • Xenophon

... to break the news? Monsieur Baptiste, that is Frank Castlewood, turned very red, and looked towards Esmond; the Colonel bit his lips, and fairly beat a retreat into the window: it was Lady Castlewood that opened upon Beatrix with the news which we knew would ...
— The History of Henry Esmond, Esq. • W. M. Thackeray

... am Chobei, the chief of the Otokodate, at your service. I have learnt with deep regret that two of my men insulted and attacked you last night. However, happily, even Gompachi, famous swordsman though he be, was no match for you, and had to beat a retreat before you. I know, therefore, that you must be a noble Samurai, who by some ill chance have become a cripple and a beggar. Now, therefore, I pray you tell me all your story; for, humble wardsman as I am, I may be able to assist you, if you will ...
— Tales of Old Japan • Algernon Bertram Freeman-Mitford

... a great school of sperm whales appeared, disporting all around the ship, apparently conscious of our helplessness to interfere with them. Notwithstanding our extraordinary haul, Captain Slocum went black with impotent rage, and, after glowering at the sportive monsters, beat a retreat below, unable to bear the sight any longer. During his absence we had a rare treat. The whole school surrounded the ship, and performed some of the strangest evolutions imaginable. As if instigated by one common ...
— The Cruise of the Cachalot - Round the World After Sperm Whales • Frank T. Bullen

... Respected sirs! Pray enter! The performance is about to begin! Free!"—he was shouting in a cracked voice.—"Hey there! Champagne! Bang! In the forehead! On the ceiling! Akh, thou rascal, Paul de Kock!"—Luckily, he did not catch sight of me, and I hastily beat a retreat. ...
— A Reckless Character - And Other Stories • Ivan Turgenev

... had named Victoria; his baggage and even his crown jewels were captured; more than half of his army were slain or taken, and the rest fled in confusion to Cremona (18th February 1248). It was necessary for Frederic to beat a retreat, and he appeared no more in Lombardy. His son Enzio, whom he left to represent him, was captured next year by the Bolognese and sentenced to ...
— Medieval Europe • H. W. C. Davis

... crags. One man's leg was crushed to pieces. Xenophon was left by his shield-bearer, who carried off his shield, but Eurylochus of Lusia (4), an Arcadian hoplite, ran up to him, and threw his shield in front to protect both of them; so the two together beat a retreat, and so too the rest, and joined the serried ranks of ...
— Anabasis • Xenophon

... mad by their unmusical noises, actually jumped into the stream to go to their attack. In a moment he had quantities of ariranhas upon him, and was bitten savagely, one ear being nearly torn off. He endeavoured to beat a retreat, but by that time he was in mid-stream and struggling for dear life against his enemies. We put out in the canoe at once and went to his rescue, eventually getting him on board in an exhausted condition, ...
— Across Unknown South America • Arnold Henry Savage Landor

... the arms and legs of the attackers and the attacked in a desire to rescue the youngest, a child of two, but I soon beat a retreat, having no mind to become a punching bag ...
— Our Next-Door Neighbors • Belle Kanaris Maniates

... appeared every morning before him with a string of hypocritical grievances, and opposing his orders with steady, irritating inertia. It seemed as if she were endeavoring to render his life at Vivey hateful to him, so that he would be compelled finally to beat a retreat. ...
— A Woodland Queen, Complete • Andre Theuriet

... that of young Smith who at the next moment stood up and turned the light of a pocket flash upon them as they hastily beat a retreat to ...
— The Hilltop Boys on the River • Cyril Burleigh

Words linked to "Beat a retreat" :   quit, take leave, depart

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