- 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.
- 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 beetSee 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
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.