Definition of breast-beating in US English:



  • A loud, emotional expression of remorse.

    ‘the breast-beating of American media commentators’
    as modifier ‘the breast-beating advocates of the people’
    • ‘In the aftermath of a victory on Election Day, the breast-beating and halo-preening exercises have intensified.’
    • ‘By indulging in metaphorical breast-beating, he conveyed a smug sense that the country can do no wrong.’
    • ‘Broadcasters will find ways to cope, though between now and then there will be plenty of breast-beating and tantrums.’
    • ‘The singer phrases with eloquence, without degrading into Romantic breast-beating.’
    • ‘Her approach is light and luckily devoid of that ominous breast-beating cliché.’
    • ‘That breast-beating and everything, I mean, look where we are now.’
    • ‘First we had the breast-beating from countless outraged callers to radio phone-ins.’
    • ‘I appreciate anything which goes some way in countering the breast-beating of other hospital dramas.’
    • ‘Cultures vary wildly in the behaviors they deem appropriate at the death of a loved one, from breast-beating to acceptance.’
    • ‘They wanted a spectacle: breast-beating, remorse, tears if possible.’
    • ‘Despite more than a thousand books and endless breast-beating, no satisfactory account has yet appeared.’
    • ‘Do you remember the breast-beating about attacks on that religious group?’
    • ‘I'm always torn between believing his breast-beating woe and assuming it's just a ruse.’
    • ‘So there is much breast-beating in hospitals these days.’
    • ‘We attune ourselves to the beat of drums; gradually, we realise that it is the rhythm of ritual breast-beating.’
    • ‘His innovations freed the stage from the breast-beating style adopted by too many of the lesser players.’
    • ‘The editorials and breast-beating must look quaint and mystifying at the very least.’
    • ‘If you read the pages of any Indian publication here, you might encounter a lot of breast-beating about apathy among Indians.’
    • ‘The writer's mischievousness is perfect for a story that's ‘not about breast-beating,’ she says, but ‘about fun.’’
    • ‘Expect plenty of breast-beating in the future from the press and civil rights advocates.’



/ˈbrɛst ˌbitɪŋ/