1 of 2


in certain card games
: subject to a penalty for failure to fulfill one's contract
also : down, beaten


2 of 2


plural -s
: failure by the bidder (as in auction pinochle) to fulfill his or her contract
also : the penalty for such failure

Word History



probably from French bête, literally, blockhead, beast (in faire la bête to pass in a card game), from Old French beste beast

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Dictionary Entries Near bete

Cite this Entry

“Bete.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Jan. 2023.

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