be·​tel | \ ˈbē-tᵊl How to pronounce betel (audio) \

Definition of betel

: a climbing pepper (Piper betle) of southeastern Asia whose leaves are chewed together with betel nut and mineral lime as a stimulant masticatory

Examples of betel in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Local media report that three paan stores, selling a betel leaf and nut combination that is chewed for its stimulant effect, have been closed to prevent consumers spitting out the remains, plastering walls and sidewalks with unsightly stains. Rob Crilly, Washington Examiner, "India hides slum and pumps fresh water into dirty river ahead of Trump visit," 20 Feb. 2020 In the same vein, it was earlier reported that local paan shops (betel vendors) were shut down, but the local administration in Ahmedabad denied any such move. Manavi Kapur, Quartz India, "A wall and seven layers of security: How India is preparing for Donald Trump’s visit," 20 Feb. 2020 Beer cans, cigarettes, and areca nuts wrapped in betel leaves are laid on crumbling roadside walls, folksy cries for good fortune. Chris Schalkx, Condé Nast Traveler, "A Road Trip Through Taiwan's Hot Springs and Tea Plantations," 7 Feb. 2020 From the snack section, try the miang ($14 for four): a tiny, colorful universe of seasonal fruit brunoise, shaved coconut, cured trout roe, julienned makrut lime leaf and fish sauce caramel arranged on betel leaves. Soleil Ho,, "Bold and fearless, Nari is SF’s most exciting new restaurant," 14 Nov. 2019 Uncle Boon’s is a place of deep inspiration — amazing betel leaves and eye-wateringly hot banana blossom salad that make both of us hiccup with delight. New York Times, "Where Should You Eat in New York? Go to These Favorite Spots," 26 Sep. 2019 Dungeness crab sits atop miang kham, little betel leaf wraps; braised pork cheek comes dusted with truffle powder; and prawn cakes get a hit of flavor from local morel mushrooms. Fortune, "Vancouver Is a Haven for Cheap but Delicious Tasting Menus," 18 Aug. 2019 The overall course progression remains about the same today, starting with prawns and grapefruit wrapped in bitter betel leaf or diver scallops and coconut cream cradled in a crispy rice cup that collapses on the tongue. Michael Russell,, "Langbaan serves Thai-inspired tasting menus in a hidden room behind Portland’s PaaDee (2019 review)," 1 Aug. 2019 Savory betel leaf wrapped around a simple yet tasty beef sausage and then charcoal-grilled — the charcoal grill adds a very deep flavor to the leaves — and finished off with a complex dipping sauce. Veronica Hinke,, "The best meal of 2017 – Chicago-area chefs describe their favorite bites," 14 Dec. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'betel.' 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 betel

1553, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for betel

Portuguese bétele, from Tamil veṟṟilai

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Cite this Entry

“Betel.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Mar. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of betel

: the dried leaves of a climbing plant that are chewed by some people in southeastern Asia


be·​tel | \ ˈbēt-ᵊl How to pronounce betel (audio) \

Medical Definition of betel

: a climbing pepper (Piper betle) of southeastern Asia whose leaves are chewed together with betel nut and mineral lime as a stimulant masticatory

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