Be·ta Israel (bātə)
1. A people of uncertain origin, living since ancient times in what is now central Ethiopia and practicing a form of Judaism. Between 1984 and 1991, most Ethiopian Jews were resettled in Israel.
2. A member of this people.
[Ge'ez beta 'əsrā'el, house of Israel : beta, bound form of bet, house + 'əsrā'el, Israel (from Hebrew yiśrā'ēl); see ISRAEL1.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.