I've come across some phrases with the word "beat" while reading a book. And though I looked it up in the dictionary, I failed to explain them by myself. I collected those "mysterious" phrases here:
New York Department of —what? After half a beat of confusion, I snatched up the phone. “Hello?”
“Are you saying that things are not okay for you at your grandparents’ home?” said Dave, without missing a beat.
<..> Dave (who chuckled, but awkwardly, and always a beat too late), he liked to laugh <..>
“Oh, ” said Mrs. Barbour, after a beat or two of surprise.
“I’m sorry, ” I said, a beat too late— <..>
It seems to me that "a beat" means "a moment" in all those cases (according to the context), but (2), in which it might mean "a piece of information" or "not losing the rhytm of speech" or whatever (?? I'm not sure). But all in all, I've never heard of such usage of the word "beat" and so that I have some doubts. However, someone probably could help me to understand them.
Thank you for any piece af advice!