[ bee-tuh-een, -in; bih-tey-een, -in ]
/ ˈbi təˌin, -ɪn; bɪˈteɪ in, -ɪn /

noun Chemistry, Pharmacology.

a colorless, crystalline, water-soluble, sweet-tasting alkaloid, C5H11NO2, usually obtained from sugar beets or synthesized from glycine, used chiefly in medicine.
Also be·ta·in [bee-tuh-in, bih-tey-] /ˈbi tə ɪn, bɪˈteɪ-/.

Origin of betaine

1875–80; < Latin bēta beet + -ine2 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for betaine

British Dictionary definitions for betaine

/ (ˈbiːtəˌiːn, -ɪn, bɪˈteɪiːn, -ɪn) /


a sweet-tasting alkaloid that occurs in the sugar beet and other plants and in animals. Formula: C 5 H 11 NO 2
(plural) a group of chemical compounds that resemble betaine and are slightly basic zwitterions

Word Origin for 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

Medicine definitions for betaine

[ bētə-ēn′, -ĭn ]


A sweet crystalline alkaloid found in sugar beets and other plants, used to treat homocystinuria and other disorders.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Science definitions for betaine

[ bētə-ēn′, -ĭn ]

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.
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.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.