beta

[bey-tuh or, esp. British, bee-]
noun
1.
the second letter of the greek alphabet (β, B).
2.
the consonant sound represented by this letter.
3.
(initial capital letter) Astronomy. a star that is usually the second brightest of a constellation: The second brightest star in Taurus is Beta Tauri.
4.
Chemistry.
a.
one of the possible positions of an atom or group in a compound.
b.
one of two or more isomeric compounds.
5.
the second of any series, as in chemistry or physics.
6.
Also called beta coefficient, beta line. Stock Exchange. an arbitrary measure of the volatility of a given stock using an index of the volatility of the market as a whole: A beta of 1.1 indicates a stock that is 10 percent more volatile than the market.
7.
(initial capital letter) Trademark. a brand of tape format for VCR tape, incompatible with other formats. Compare VHS.
8.
Chiefly British. a grade showing that a student is in the middle or second of three scholastic sections in a class. Compare alpha ( def 7 ), gamma ( def 9 ).

Origin:
< Latin < Greek bêta < Semitic; compare Hebrew bēth beth

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World English Dictionary
beta (ˈbiːtə)
 
n
1.  the second letter in the Greek alphabet (Β, β), a consonant, transliterated as b
2.  the second highest grade or mark, as in an examination
3.  (modifier)
 a.  involving or relating to electrons: beta emitter
 b.  relating to one of two or more allotropes or crystal structures of a solid: beta iron
 c.  relating to one of two or more isomeric forms of a chemical compound
 
[from Greek bēta, from Hebrew; see beth]

Beta (ˈbiːtə)
 
n
(foll by the genitive case of a specified constellation) a star in a constellation, usually the second brightest: Beta Persei

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

beta
second letter of the Gk. alphabet, c.1300, from Gk., from Hebrew/Phoenician beth (see alphabet); used to designate the second of many things. Beta particle is attested from 1904.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

beta be·ta (bā'tə, bē'-)
n.


  1. Symbol β The second letter of the greek alphabet.

  2. The second item in a series or system of classification.

  3. A beta particle.

  4. A beta ray.

adj.
  1. Of or relating to the second position from a designated carbon atom in an organic molecule at which an atom or a radical may be substituted.

  2. Of or relating to an isomeric variation of a chemical compound, such as a stereoisomer.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Slang Dictionary

beta

/bay't*/, /be't*/ or (Commonwealth) /bee't*/ n.
1. Mostly working, but still under test; usu. used with `in': `in beta'. In the Real World, systems (hardware or software) software often go through two stages of release testing: Alpha (in-house) and Beta (out-house?). Beta releases are generally made to a group of lucky (or unlucky) trusted customers.
2. Anything that is new and experimental. "His girlfriend is in beta" means that he is still testing for compatibility and reserving judgment.
3. Flaky; dubious; suspect (since beta software is notoriously buggy).

Historical note: More formally, to beta-test is to test a pre-release (potentially unreliable) version of a piece of software by making it available to selected (or self-selected) customers and users. This term derives from early 1960s terminology for product cycle checkpoints, first used at IBM but later standard throughout the industry. `Alpha Test' was the unit, module, or component test phase; `Beta Test' was initial system test. These themselves came from earlier A- and B-tests for hardware. The A-test was a feasibility and manufacturability evaluation done before any commitment to design and development. The B-test was a demonstration that the engineering model functioned as specified. The C-test (corresponding to today's beta) was the B-test performed on early samples of the production design, and the D test was the C test repeated after the model had been in production a while.
FOLDOC
Computing Dictionary

BETA definition


Kristensen, Madsen , Moller-Pedersen & Nygaard, 1983. Object-oriented language with block structure, coroutines, concurrency, strong typing, part objects, separate objects and classless objects. Central feature is a single abstraction mechanism called "patterns", a generalisation of classes, providing instantiation and hierarchical inheritance for all objects including procedures and processes.
Mjolner Informatics ApS, Aarhus, implementations for Mac, Sun, HP, Apollo.
E-mail: .
Mailing list: .
["Object-Oriented Programming in the BETA Programming Language", Ole Lehrmann et al, A-W June 1993, ISBN 0-201-62430-3].
[Jargon File]
(1995-10-31)

beta definition


/bay't*/, /be't*/ or (Commonwealth) /bee't*/
See beta conversion, beta test.
[Jargon File]

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010 http://foldoc.org
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Example sentences
The private beta is available to you as well: sign up if you're interested.
Beta waves are characteristics of a strongly engaged mind.
Beta blockers are a type of drug used to treat high blood pressure.
And it would have to stick to beta amyloid in preference to anything else.
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