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See also: betamax


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According to Sony, the name had a double meaning: beta is the Japanese word used to describe the way in which signals are recorded on the tape; and the shape of the Greek letter beta β resembles the course of the tape through the transport. The suffix -max, from maximum, was added to suggest greatness.

Proper noun[edit]


  1. A home videocassette recording format, now known for having lost the format war to VHS.



Betamax (third-person singular simple present Betamaxes, present participle Betamaxing, simple past and past participle Betamaxed)

  1. (transitive, informal) To make obsolete.
    • 2006, Ian David Aronson, DV Filmmaking, From Start to Finish, volume 1, O'Reilly Media, →ISBN, page 98:
      If you don’t want to get Betamaxed, or stuck with a dated technology, it might be a good idea to purchase the latest, fastest computer available.
    • 2008, Chris DiBona, Mark Stone, and Danese Cooper, Open Sources 2.0, The Continuing Evolution, O'Reilly Media, →ISBN, page 159:
      DRM can't stop piracy, but it can prevent anyone from Betamaxing another industry, commercializing disruptive technology development without content-industry sanction.
    • 2012, Michael Meyers, CompTIA A+ Certification All-in-One Exam Guide, edition 8, McGraw Hill Professional, →ISBN, page 253:
      CRIMM RDRAM offered dramatic possibilities for high-speed PCs but ran into three roadblocks that Betamaxed it.

See also[edit]