plant growing wild in northern Europe, cultivated for use of its succulent root as food and for sugar extraction, Old English bete "beet, beetroot," from Latin beta, which is 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, cognates: Old Frisian bete, Middle Dutch bete, Old High German bieza, German Beete.
commercial name of an artificial sweetener, 1973, from aspartic acid (1836), formed irregularly from asparagine (1813, earlier in French), a crystalline compound found in asparagus, beet-root, etc., which was named from asparagus + chemical suffix -ine (2). The -ame is perhaps because aspartamine is an amide.
1590s, "the mutual pledging of things of value to be won or lost based on some future event," appearing simultaneously with the verb, originally in the argot of petty criminals, a word of unknown origin.
Perhaps it is a shortening of abet or else from obsolete beet "to make good" (related to better), if the original notion is "to improve" a contest by wagering on it, or to encourage a contestant. Or perhaps the word is from the "bait" sense in abet. The meaning "that which is wagered" is from 1796.
late 13c., "a step in walking," also "rate of motion; the space traveled by the foot in one completed movement in walking," from Old French pas "a step, pace, trace," and directly from Latin passus, passum "a step, pace, stride," noun use of past participle of pandere "to stretch (the leg), spread out," probably from PIE *pat-no-, nasalized variant form of root *pete- "to spread."
It also was, from late 14c., a lineal measurement of vague and variable extent, representing the space naturally traversed by the adult human foot in walking. In some places and situations it was reckoned as the distance from the place where either foot is taken up, in walking, to that where the same foot is set down again (a great pace), usually 5 feet or a little less. The pace of a single step (military pace) is about 2.5 feet.
To keep pace (with) "maintain the same speed, advance at an equal rate" is from 1580s. Pace-setter "one who establishes trends in fashion," is by 1895; it also had literal meanings.
It is customary for the contractor to employ some expert as a pace setter. A man who can thin an acre of beets a day commands as high as $2.00 per day as a pace setter. The other employees are paid in the proportion their work bears to that of the pace setter. The weak, lazy and unskillful get the smallest wage. Besides that the contractor runs a commissary department and feeds the gang. They sleep in tents or in the shade of trees near where they work. [report on Oxnard, Calif., beet harvesting in "The Louisiana Planter and Sugar Manufacturer," May 13, 1899]