Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary
1

beta

play
noun be·ta \ˈbā-tə, chiefly British ˈbē-\

Simple Definition of beta

  • : the second letter of the Greek alphabet

  • : a version of a product (such as a computer program) that is almost finished and that is used for testing

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of beta

  1. 1 :  the 2d letter of the Greek alphabet — see alphabet table

  2. 2 :  beta particle

  3. 3 :  a measure of the risk potential of a stock or an investment portfolio expressed as a ratio of the stock's or portfolio's volatility to the volatility of the market as a whole

  4. 4 :  a nearly complete prototype of a product (as software) <released in beta> <the beta version>

Examples of beta in a sentence

  1. a program that is currently in beta



Origin of beta

Middle English betha, from Latin beta, from Greek bēta, of Semitic origin; akin to Hebrew bēth beth


First Known Use: 14th century

Other Alphabet Terms

Rhymes with beta


2

beta

adjective be·ta

Definition of beta

  1. :  second in position in the structure of an organic molecule from a particular group or atom <beta substitution> —often used in combination —symbol β



1862

First Known Use of beta

1862

Other Chemical Engineering Terms


Learn More about beta


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up beta? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to defraud especially of money

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image567572573

Which of these is a synonym of unctuous?

maudlin prompt oily angry
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ