Betamax (n.) Look up Betamax at Dictionary.com
1975, proprietary name (Sony), from Japanese beta-beta "all over" + max, from English maximum.
betcha Look up betcha at Dictionary.com
representing casual pronunciation of bet you, attested by 1904.
bete noire (n.) Look up bete noire at Dictionary.com
"insufferable person," 1844, from French bête noire "personal aversion," as an adjective, "stupid, foolish;" literally "the black beast."
beteach (v.) Look up beteach at Dictionary.com
Old English betæcan, from be- + teach. Related: Betaught; beteaching.
betel (n.) Look up betel at Dictionary.com
1550s, probably via Portuguese betel, from Malayalam (Dravidian) vettila, from veru ila "simple leaf."
Betelgeuse Look up Betelgeuse at Dictionary.com
bright star in the shoulder of Orion, 1515, from Arabic Ibt al Jauzah "the Armpit of the Central One." Intermediary forms include Bed Elgueze, Beit Algueze.
Bethany Look up Bethany at Dictionary.com
Biblical village, its name in Hebrew or Aramaic (Semitic) is literally "house of poverty," from bet "house of" (construct state of bayit "house") + 'anya "poverty."
bethel (n.) Look up bethel at Dictionary.com
1610s, "a place where God is worshipped," from Hebrew beth El "house of God," from beth, construct state of bayit "house." Popular as a name for religious meeting houses among some Protestant denominations. Beth also was the name of the second letter of the Hebrew alphabet, so called for its shape, and was borrowed into Greek as beta.
Bethesda Look up Bethesda at Dictionary.com
1857, name of a pool in Jerusalem (John v.2), from Greek Bethesda, from Aramaic (Semitic) beth hesda "house of mercy," or perhaps "place of flowing water." Popular as a name for religious meeting houses among some Protestant denominations.
bethink (v.) Look up bethink at Dictionary.com
reflexive verb, Old English beþencan "to consider," from be- + þencan "to think" (see think). Related: Bethought.
Bethlehem Look up Bethlehem at Dictionary.com
the name probably means "House of Lahmu and Lahamu," a pair of Mesopotamian agricultural deities.
betide (v.) Look up betide at Dictionary.com
"to happen, befall," late 12c., from be- + tiden "to happen" (see tide).
betimes (adv.) Look up betimes at Dictionary.com
"at an early period," early 14c., from betime (c. 1300, from be- + time) + adverbial genitive -s.
betoken (v.) Look up betoken at Dictionary.com
late 12c., from be- + Old English tacnian "to signify," from tacn "sign" (see token). Related: Betokened; betokening.
betray (v.) Look up betray at Dictionary.com
late 13c., bitrayen "mislead, deceive, betray," from be- + obsolete Middle English tray, from Old French traine "betrayal, deception, deceit," from trair (Modern French trahir) "betray, deceive," from Latin tradere "hand over," from trans "across" (see trans-) + dare "to give" (see date (n.1)). Related: Betrayed; betraying.
betrayal (n.) Look up betrayal at Dictionary.com
1816; from betray + -al (2). Earlier in the same sense were betrayment (1540s), betraying (late 14c.).
betrayer (n.) Look up betrayer at Dictionary.com
1520s, agent noun from betray (v.).
betroth (v.) Look up betroth at Dictionary.com
c. 1300, betrouthen, from bi-, here probably with a sense of "thoroughly," + Middle English treowðe "truth," from Old English treowðe "truth, a pledge" (see troth). Related: Betrothed; betrothing.
betrothal (n.) Look up betrothal at Dictionary.com
1844, from betroth + -al (2). Earlier in same sense were betrothment (1580s), betrothing (14c.).
betrothed (adj.) Look up betrothed at Dictionary.com
1530s, past participle adjective from betroth (v.). As a noun, in use by 1580s.
Betsy Look up Betsy at Dictionary.com
fem. pet name, a diminutive of Bet, itself short for Elizabet or Elizabeth. Betsy as the typical a pet name for a favorite firearm is attested in American English by 1856 (compare Brown Bess, by 1785, British army slang for the old flintlock musket).
better (adj.) Look up better at Dictionary.com
Old English bettra, earlier betera, from Proto-Germanic *batizo-, from PIE *bhad- "good;" see best. Comparative adjective of good in the older Germanic languages (compare Old Frisian betera, Old Saxon betiro, Old Norse betr, Danish bedre, Old High German bezziro, German besser, Gothic batiza). In English it superseded bet in the adverbial sense by 1600. Better half "wife" is first attested 1570s.
better (n.) Look up better at Dictionary.com
late 12c., "that which is better," from better (adj.). Specific meaning "one's superior" is from early 14c. To get the better of (someone) is from 1650s, from better in a sense of "superiority, mastery," which is recorded from mid-15c.
better (v.) Look up better at Dictionary.com
Old English *beterian "improve, amend, make better," from Proto-Germanic *batizojan (source also of Old Frisian beteria, Dutch beteren, Old Norse betra, Old High German baziron, German bessern), from *batiz- (see better (adj.)). Related: Bettered; bettering.
betterment (n.) Look up betterment at Dictionary.com
1590s, from better (v.) + -ment.
bettor (n.) Look up bettor at Dictionary.com
also better (OED notes that English agent nouns in -er tend to shift toward -or as their senses become more specific), agent noun from bet (v.).
Betty Look up Betty at Dictionary.com
fem. pet name, from Bet, shortened from Elizabeth, + -y (3).
Betula (n.) Look up Betula at Dictionary.com
genus of the birches, from Latin betula "birch," from Gaulish betu- "bitumen" (source also of Middle Irish beithe "box tree," Welsh bedwen "birch tree"). According to Pliny, so called because the Gauls extracted tar from birches. Birch tar is still sold as an analgesic and stimulant and made into birch beer by the Pennsylvania Dutch.
between (prep.) Look up between at Dictionary.com
Old English betweonum "between, among, by turns," Mercian betwinum, from bi- "by" (see be-) + tweonum dative plural of *tweon "two each" (compare Gothic tweih-nai "two each"). Between a rock and a hard place is from 1940s, originally cowboy slang. Between-whiles is from 1670s.
betweenity (n.) Look up betweenity at Dictionary.com
1760, a jocular formation, perhaps coined by Horace Walpole, from between + -ity.
betweenness (n.) Look up betweenness at Dictionary.com
1881, from between + -ness.
betwixt (prep., adv.) Look up betwixt at Dictionary.com
Old English betweox "between, among, amidst, meanwhile," from bi- "by" (see be-) + tweox "for two," from Proto-Germanic *twa "two" + *-isk "-ish." With unetymological -t that first appeared in Old English and became general after c. 1500 (see amidst).
Beulah Look up Beulah at Dictionary.com
fem. proper name, from Hebrew be'ulah "married woman," fem. past participle of ba'al "he married" (see baal).
bevel (adj.) Look up bevel at Dictionary.com
1560s, possibly from Old French *baivel (Modern French béveau, biveau), possibly from bayer "to gape, yawn," from Latin *batare "to yawn, gape," from Latin root *bat-, possibly imitative of yawning. If so, the time gap is puzzling. The verb is first recorded 1670s. The noun is 1670s, from the adjective.
beverage (n.) Look up beverage at Dictionary.com
mid-13c., from Anglo-French beverage, Old French bevrage, from Old French boivre "to drink" (Modern French boire; from Latin bibere "to imbibe;" see imbibe) + -age, suffix forming mass or abstract nouns (see -age).
Beverly Hills Look up Beverly Hills at Dictionary.com
city in southern California, U.S., named 1911, earlier Beverly (1907), named for Beverly Farms, Massachusetts, summer home of U.S. President Taft, which ultimately is named for the Yorkshire town Beverly, which means, in Old English, "beaver lodge."
bevy (n.) Look up bevy at Dictionary.com
early 15c., collective noun of quails and ladies, from Anglo-French bevée, which is of unknown origin. One supposed definition of the word is "a drinking bout;" this perhaps is a misprint of bever (see beverage), but if not perhaps the original sense is birds gathered at a puddle or pool for drinking or bathing.
bewail (v.) Look up bewail at Dictionary.com
c. 1300, from be- + wail (v.). Related: Bewailed; bewailing.
beware (v.) Look up beware at Dictionary.com
c. 1200, probably a contraction of be ware "be wary," from Middle English ware (adj.), from Old English wær "prudent, aware, alert, wary" (see wary). Old English had the compound bewarian "to defend," which perhaps contributed to the word.
beweep (v.) Look up beweep at Dictionary.com
Old English bewepan, cognate with Old Frisian biwepa, Old Saxon biwopian; see be- + weep. Related: Bewept.
bewig (v.) Look up bewig at Dictionary.com
1714, from be- + wig (n.). Related: Bewigged; bewigging.
bewilder (v.) Look up bewilder at Dictionary.com
1680s, from be- "thoroughly" + archaic wilder "lead astray, lure into the wilds," probably a back-formation from wilderness. An earlier word with the same sense was bewhape (early 14c.). Related: Bewildered; bewildering; bewilderingly.
bewildered (adj.) Look up bewildered at Dictionary.com
1680s, past participle adjective from bewilder (q.v.).
bewilderment (n.) Look up bewilderment at Dictionary.com
1789, "condition of being bewildered," from bewilder + -ment; meaning "thing or situation which bewilders" is from 1840.
bewitch (v.) Look up bewitch at Dictionary.com
c. 1200, biwicchen, "cast a spell on; enchant, bewitch," from be- + Old English wiccian "to enchant, to practice witchcraft" (see witch). Literal at first, figurative sense of "to fascinate" is from 1520s. *Bewiccian may well have existed in Old English, but it is not attested. Related: Bewitched; bewitching; bewitchingly.
bewitched (adj.) Look up bewitched at Dictionary.com
late 14c. in the literal sense, past participle adjective from bewitch; figurative use from 1570s.
bewray (v.) Look up bewray at Dictionary.com
early 13c., "to inform against;" mid-13c., "to speak ill of," biwreien from be- + Middle English wreien. "betray," from Old English wregan. Sense of "to reveal, expose" is from late 14c. "Probably more or less of a conscious archaism since the 17th c." [OED] Related: Bewrayed; bewraying.
bey (n.) Look up bey at Dictionary.com
"governor of a Turkish district," 1590s, from Turkish bey, a title of honor, the Osmanli equivalent of Turkish beg.
beyond (prep.) Look up beyond at Dictionary.com
Old English begeondan "beyond, from the farther side," from be- "by," here probably indicating position, + geond "yonder" (prep.); see yond. A compound not found elsewhere in Germanic.
bezant (n.) Look up bezant at Dictionary.com
gold coin, c. 1200, from Old French besant (12c.), from Latin byzantius, short for Byzantius nummus "coin of Byzantium."