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[beet] /bit/
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.
the edible root of such a plant.
the leaves of such a plant, served as a salad or cooked vegetable.
before 1000; Middle English bete, Old English bēte < Latin bēta
Related forms
beetlike, adjective
Can be confused
beat, beet (see synonym study at beat) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for beets
  • In terms of energy produced per acre of land, sugarcane is a better bet than sugar beets, corn or soybeans.
  • To tint homemade lip balm, add a little juice from beets or cranberries.
  • Knight also highlighted the impact of sugar beets and other crops that may require a lot of water, used to sweeten the drink.
  • Unless someone told you, you'd never know the beets were fertilized with human urine.
  • However, tens of thousands of acres world wide are used for tobacco which could be used for say sugar beets or sugar cane.
  • There will be beets or squid ink in the dough, all right, but only for the color.
  • Many more products have been developed or are in the pipeline, including seeds for sugar beets and alfalfa.
  • Green beans cooked in pork stock, beets in a vinaigrette sauce.
  • beets and tomatoes can sometimes make stools appear reddish.
  • The roasted beets and leek salad was a model of textural contrasts, supplied by dandelions, shards of blue cheese and walnuts.
British Dictionary definitions for beets


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 beet See also chard
the leaves of any of several varieties of this plant, which are cooked and eaten as a vegetable
red beet, the US name for beetroot
Word Origin
Old English bēte, from Latin bēta
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for beets



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
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