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

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

Variants of beta

or

β-



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

a leading champion of a cause

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

  • fox-in-front-of-cabin-in-winter
  • The month of December comes from a Latin word that referred to which month of the year?
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