1

beta

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

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) <the beta version>; also :  a stage of development in which a product is nearly complete but not yet ready for release <released in beta>

Examples of beta in a sentence

  1. a program that is currently in beta

Origin and Etymology 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


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


BETA Defined for English Language Learners

1

beta

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

Definition of beta for English Language Learners

  • : 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


Medical Dictionary

1

beta

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

Medical Definition of beta

  1. 1:  the second letter of the Greek alphabet—symbol Β or β

  2. 2:  beta particle

  3. 3:  beta wave


2

beta

adjective be·ta
variants: or

β-

Medical Definition of beta

  1. 1:  of or relating to one of two or more closely related chemical substances <the beta chain of hemoglobin> <β-yohimbine>—used somewhat arbitrarily to specify ordinal relationship or a particular physical form and especially one that is allotropic, isomeric, stereoisomeric, or sometimes polymeric (as in β-D-glucose)

  2. 2:  second in position in the structure of an organic molecule from a particular group or atom; also :  occurring at or having a structure characterized by such a position <beta substitution>

  3. 3:  producing a zone of decolorization when grown on blood media—used of some hemolytic streptococci or of the hemolysis they cause



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

burden, obligation, or blame

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

  • m-ws-new-words-quiz
  • Which word means "inability to recognize faces"?
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