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  1. any of various biennial plants belonging to the genus Beta, of the amaranth family, especially B. vulgaris, having a fleshy red or white root.Compare sugar beet.
  2. the edible root of such a plant.
  3. the leaves of such a plant, served as a salad or cooked vegetable.

Origin of beet

before 1000; Middle English bete, Old English bēte < Latin bēta
Related formsbeet·like, adjective
Can be confusedbeat beet (see synonym study at beat) Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for beet

chard, beta, borscht

Examples from the Web for beet

Historical Examples of beet

British Dictionary definitions for beet


  1. any chenopodiaceous plant of the genus Beta, esp the Eurasian species B. vulgaris, widely cultivated in such varieties as the sugar beet, mangelwurzel, beetroot, and spinach beetSee also chard
  2. the leaves of any of several varieties of this plant, which are cooked and eaten as a vegetable
  3. red beet the US name for beetroot

Word Origin for beet

Old English bēte, from Latin bēta
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for beet

Old English bete "beet, beetroot," from Latin beta, said to be of Celtic origin. Common in Old English, then lost till c.1400. Still usually spoken of in plural in U.S. A general West Germanic borrowing, cf. Old Frisian bete, Middle Dutch bete, Old High German bieza, German Beete.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper