from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A sweet crystalline alkaloid, C5H11NO2, occurring in sugar beets and other plants and used in the treatment of certain metabolic disorders.
  • n. Any of several alkaloids with similar structures.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A sweet, crystalline compound (not an alkaloid), trimethylammoniumacetate, found in sugar beet and similar plants, sometimes used to treat muscular degeneracy; the zwitterion (CH3)3N+CH2COO-
  • n. Any derivative of this compound.
  • n. Any similar compound, based on sulfur or phosphorus etc, having an onium ion with no hydrogen atom adjacent to the anionic atom.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A nitrogenous base, C5H11NO2, produced artificially, and also occurring naturally in beet-root molasses and its residues, from which it is extracted as a white crystalline substance; -- called also lycine and oxyneurine. It has a sweetish taste.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a sweet tasting alkaloid that occurs in sugar beets


Latin bēta, beet + -ine2.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)



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