• synonyms


or be·tel pepper

  1. an East Indian pepper plant, Piper betle, the leaves of which are chewed with other ingredients.
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Origin of betel

1545–55; < Portuguese bétele, bétere < Malayalam viṟṟila or Tamil veṟṟilai
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for betel


  1. an Asian piperaceous climbing plant, Piper betle, the leaves of which are chewed, with the betel nut, by the peoples of SE Asia
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Word Origin for betel

C16: from Portuguese, from Malayalam vettila
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 betel


1550s, probably via Portuguese betel, from Malayalam vettila, from veru ila "simple leaf."

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper