beta

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

Definition of beta 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the 2nd letter of the Greek alphabet — see Alphabet Table
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 : a nearly complete prototype of a product (such 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

beta

adjective

Definition of beta (Entry 2 of 2)

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

Examples of beta in a Sentence

Noun

a program that is currently in beta

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Because of their high levels of beta-carotene, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, and carrots are some of the best foods for your immune system and vision. Woman's Day Kitchen, Woman's Day, "Pumpkin-Carrot Soup," 7 Jan. 2019 Protect against vision loss: Just one cup of kale has more than your whole day's worth of the carotenoids lutein, zeaxanthin, and beta-carotene, which help shield ocular tissues from harmful UV damage and may reduce your risk of cataracts. Jaclyn London, Ms, Rd, Cdn, Good Housekeeping, "Kale Is Actually One of the Healthiest Things You Can Eat," 17 Dec. 2018 Geofencing is currently launched in public beta, but is now available for testing. Timothy Dahl, Popular Mechanics, "Milwaukee Adds Geofencing To Track Your Tools," 20 Dec. 2018 Google Fi for iOS is still in beta, so Google warns that not all Fi features will be supported. Michael Simon, PCWorld, "Google Fi wireless service now works with iPhones and most Android phones, but there’s a catch," 28 Nov. 2018 Apple is currently blocking the release of a Steam Link app designed for Apple TV and iOS devices, but similar apps are available for Samsung Galaxy devices and other Android phones (in beta). Kyle Orland, Ars Technica, "Valve quietly discontinues Steam Link hardware production," 20 Nov. 2018 Later this month, the company goes a step further, testing a beta program called Sleep Score, which will assign a nightly number grade. Laura Regensdorf, Vogue, "How to Get a Better Night’s Sleep—And Why It Should Be Your Top Priority (Really)," 1 Nov. 2018 One feature, in beta in the U.S., allows some independent artists to upload their music directly to the service. Anne Steele, WSJ, "Spotify Reports Profit but Tempers Outlook for New Subscribers," 1 Nov. 2018 Members of the Windows Insider beta program have already had a chance to test out its new features and improvements. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Microsoft launches next-gen Surface Pro 6, Surface Laptop, Surface Studio and more," 2 Oct. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Microsoft has restarted the Windows 10 October 2018 Update to members of its Windows Insider beta team. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Microsoft restarts Windows 10 October 2018 Update, blaming data loss on misdirected folders," 9 Oct. 2018 More evidence of the stand, which is supposed to be a wireless charger that docks your phone in portrait mode, was found by 9to5Google today hidden within a beta version of the Google app. Dami Lee, The Verge, "Animation reveals possible Google Pixel wireless charging stand," 21 Sep. 2018 PROTOTYPES Beer and beta testing Visit the Wayfair office for an evening of beta testing beer prototypes provided by beverage delivery app Drizly. Margeaux Sippell, BostonGlobe.com, "Business agenda," 26 June 2018 But there are also wine betas like my friend Peggy, who are knowledgeable but prefer the beta role. Lettie Teague, WSJ, "Are You a Wine Alpha or a Wine Beta?," 8 June 2018 This is expressed in a number of ways, most clearly through the existence of more distinct communities of species among the sacred groves than in the control sites (this phenomenon is known as beta diversity). John Healey, John Halley And Kalliopi Stara, Smithsonian, "Sacred Sites Can Also Be Hotspots of Conservation," 17 May 2018 Intel has issued beta patches for these, as well as some of the Arrandale and Clarkdale chips. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Intel issues Meltdown/Spectre fixes for Ivy Bridge, Sandy Bridge as patch effort winds down," 9 Mar. 2018 Long before Microsoft hoovered the game up in a multibillion-dollar deal and even before the game’s relatively popular beta version, Minecraft came to my attention through an innocuous post on Facebook. Steven Strom, Ars Technica, "One main mystery makes survival in Subnautica worthwhile," 27 Feb. 2018 Cherries are high in antioxidants and vitamin C, beta carotene, potassium, magnesium, iron, fiber and foliate. Indianapolis Star, "Cherry Recipes," 16 Feb. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'beta.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of beta

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

1862, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for beta

Noun

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

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Statistics for beta

Last Updated

14 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for beta

The first known use of beta was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for beta

beta

noun

Financial Definition of beta

What It Is

Beta is a measure of a stock's volatility relative to the overall market. It is most often calculated using a stock's movements relative to the S&P 500 Index over the trailing 12-month period.

How It Works

A stock's beta is determined by analyzing how much its return fluctuates in relation to the overall market return. A stock with a beta of 1.0 will tend to move higher and lower in lockstep with the overall market. Stocks with a beta greater than 1.0 tend to be more volatile than the market, and those with betas below 1.0 tend to be less volatile than the underlying index. Stocks with betas of zero generally move independently of the broader market. And finally, stocks with negative betas tend to move in the opposite direction relative to the broader market. When the S&P tumbles, stocks with negative betas will move higher, and vice versa.

For example, a stock with a beta of 2.0 is usually twice as volatile as the broader market. If the S&P 500 were to fall by -10% next year, then the stock would be expected to fall about -20% (assuming that the stock behaves similar to how it has in the past). The stock would also be expected to gain more in an up market.

Beta is a measure of systematic risk.

Why It Matters

The definition of beta on InvestingAnswersBeta can help investors choose investments that match their specific risk preferences. A risk-averse investor, for example, may want to avoid overweighting their portfolio with high-beta stocks to avoid excessive volatility.

Individual stock betas are extremely important when putting together a portfolio of assets. A diversified portfolio consisting of assets with different betas lowers the overall risk of the portfolio.

Investors should note that beta is calculated using past price fluctuations and does not ensure that a security will behave the same going forward. Beta is used (most frequently in the Capital Asset Pricing Model, or CAPM) to forecast expected return of a stock or portfolio, not the actual return.

Source: Investing Answers

beta

noun

English Language Learners 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

beta

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

Medical Definition of beta 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the second letter of the Greek alphabet symbol Β or β
3 : beta wave

beta

adjective
variants: or β-

Medical Definition of beta (Entry 2 of 2)

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on beta

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with beta

Spanish Central: Translation of beta

Nglish: Translation of beta for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of beta for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about beta

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