[ bee-tuh-een, -in; bih-tey-een, -in ]

nounChemistry, Pharmacology.
  1. a colorless, crystalline, water-soluble, sweet-tasting alkaloid, C5H11NO2, usually obtained from sugar beets or synthesized from glycine, used chiefly in medicine.

Origin of betaine

1875–80; <Latin bētabeet + -ine2
  • Also be·ta·in [bee-tuh-in, bih-tey-]. /ˈbi tə ɪn, bɪˈteɪ-/.

Words Nearby betaine Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use betaine in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for betaine


/ (ˈbiːtəˌiːn, -ɪn, bɪˈteɪiːn, -ɪn) /

  1. a sweet-tasting alkaloid that occurs in the sugar beet and other plants and in animals. Formula: C 5 H 11 NO 2

  2. (plural) a group of chemical compounds that resemble betaine and are slightly basic zwitterions

Origin of betaine

C19: from New Latin Bēta beet + -ine ²

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

Scientific definitions for betaine


[ tə-ēn′, -ĭn ]

  1. Any of a class of organic salts that are derived from amino acids and have a cationic (positively charged) component that consists of a nitrogen atom attached to three methyl (CH3) groups.

  2. A salt of this class that is a sweet crystalline alkaloid first found in sugar beets but also widely occurring in other plants and in animals. Betaine is used in the treatment of muscular weakness and degeneration. Chemical formula: C5H11NO2.

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