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

  • n. An evergreen Indo-Malayan climbing or trailing shrub (Piper betle), having usually ovate leaves used to wrap betel nuts.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Either of two plants often used in combination

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A species of pepper (Piper betle), the leaves of which are chewed, with the areca or betel nut and a little shell lime, by the inhabitants of the East Indies. It is a woody climber with ovate many-nerved leaves.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A species of pepper, Piper betle, a creeping, or climbing plant, a native of the East Indies, natural order Piperaceæ.
  • n. A piece of betel-nut.

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

  • n. Asian pepper plant whose dried leaves are chewed with betel nut (seed of the betel palm) by southeast Asians


Portuguese, from Malayalam vettila, veṟṟila, from Tamil veṟṟilai.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Tamil வெற்றிலை (veṟṟilai) Tamil ("vettr"=variety ref + இலை (ilai, "leaf")), (Source: OED) (Wiktionary)



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  • another usage note on bhang

    March 17, 2008

  • "...his teeth were indeed quite black from the chewing of betel..."
    --Patrick O'Brian, The Thirteen Gun Salute, 111

    March 4, 2008