Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A sweet-tasting crystalline alkaloid, C5H11NO2, found in sugar beets and other plants, used to treat certain metabolic disorders, especially an enzyme defect that causes excessive levels of homocysteine in the blood and urine.
  • noun Any of several alkaloids with similar structures.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Chem.) 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 Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun uncountable, organic chemistry 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-
  • noun countable, organic chemistry Any derivative of this compound.
  • noun countable, organic chemistry, by extension Any similar compound, based on sulfur or phosphorus etc, having an onium ion with no hydrogen atom adjacent to the anionic atom.

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

  • noun a sweet tasting alkaloid that occurs in sugar beets

Etymologies

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

[Latin bēta, beet + –ine.]

Examples

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