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beat the rap American English Informal

Meaning: If someone beats the rap, they avoid being found guilty of a crime.

For example:

  • Everyone knows that Jimmy the Snitch did the robbery in Green St., but he beat the rap because he's in with the cops.

  • Henry was charged with drunk driving, but his lawyer helped him beat the rap on some technical detail.

Variety: This idiom is typically used in American English but may be used in other varieties of English too.

Quick Quiz:

Sonny was arrested for robbery, but he beat the rap so now he's
  1. still in jail
  2. back home
  3. due in court

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