beat the rap

This page is about the idiom beat the rap

American English INFORMAL


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.


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

a. still in jail

b. back home

c. due in court
a) still in jail b) back home c) due in court
beat the rap

See Idiom of the Day today

Contributor: Matt Errey