To beat means to hit something repeatedly or in a specific pattern. When you beat someone or something, you usually use a great deal of force to cause great harm or to reach a desired result. This can be positive or negative.
Julia Child was famous for her bread recipes. She said the best way to make dough was to beat flour and water together against the worktop until it was soft and easy to shape.
Jim thinks children should be punished for their bad behaviour. But he doesn't believe a parent should beat his child out of anger. That will only cause emotional pain for the child.
Another use of the verb beat is to defeat the competition. In this way, beating someone else means winning a competition, game, election, or tournament.
After practicing for months for the chess tournament, Raul was ready to beat his opponent. He had studied every possible play he could make and knew just what he had to do to win.
To strike means to hit something or someone very quickly. You can strike with your hand or an instrument. Usually, to strike something well takes a lot of focus and determination. To strike something down means to use force to make it fall.
Jules is one of the best bowlers in town. She is very skilled at using the round, bowling ball to strike down all the bowling pins in one solid move.
After seeing the ball coming towards him from center plate, James struck the ball quickly with his bat. He hit it so hard it flew over the fence and across the street.
Just like to strike means to hit something with focus or determination, three strikes and you're out means that after trying three times you will fail. The phrase three strikes and you're out means you have a limited amount of chances for success.
Josh was so determined to win the poker game that he was prepared to stay all night. But the manager told him three strikes and you're out. So, Josh had to leave before winning a game.
It was always three strikes and you're out in the newsroom. After three wrong stories, you are sure to lose your job immediately.