beta-line Unabridged


[bey-tuh or, esp. British, bee-]
the second letter of the greek alphabet (β, B).
the consonant sound represented by this letter.
(initial capital letter) Astronomy. a star that is usually the second brightest of a constellation: The second brightest star in Taurus is Beta Tauri.
one of the possible positions of an atom or group in a compound.
one of two or more isomeric compounds.
the second of any series, as in chemistry or physics.
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.
(initial capital letter) Trademark. a brand of tape format for VCR tape, incompatible with other formats. Compare VHS.
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 ).

< Latin < Greek bêta < Semitic; compare Hebrew bēth beth Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
beta (ˈbiːtə)
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)
(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
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

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'-)

  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.

  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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