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BE'TLE, n. A species of pepper, the leaves of which are chewed by the inhabitants of the East Indies. It is a creeping or climbing plant like the ivy, the leaves somewhat resembling those of the citron. It is planted by a tree, or supported by props. In India, betel is taken after meals; during a visit, it is offered to friends when they meet, and when they separate; in short, nothing is to be done without betel. To correct the bitterness of the leaves, a little areca is wrapped in them with the chinam, a kind of burnt lime made of shells.