- A biennial plant, Beta vulgaris vulgaris, grown as an annual for the swollen root which grows at ground level. Most are deep red but there are pink and yellow varieties. The roots contain a high proportion of sugar and as the red colour easily leaches out they are boiled in their skins as a vegetable. They are also used for soup (borscht) and pickled in vinegar. The young leaves may be used as a vegetable.
- noun a vegetable with a dark red root, often eaten cooked as salad, or pickled with vinegar