Definition of carotene in US English:



  • An orange or red plant pigment found in carrots and many other plant structures. It is a terpenoid hydrocarbon with several isomers, including beta-carotene.

    • ‘Laboratory tests only showed low carotene and vitamin A, indicating malabsorption.’
    • ‘Your body converts their carotene into Vitamin A, which it needs for proper vision.’
    • ‘In most cases, early spring grass will contain fairly high levels of carotene (precursor to vitamin A) and will adequately meet the cow's requirement.’
    • ‘Carotenoids are usually red, orange, or yellow pigments, and include the familiar compound carotene, which gives carrots their color.’
    • ‘The best defense then, is to provide a wide variety of fresh fruits and vegetables to gain as many nutrients as possible, while frequently offering those foods known to be high in carotene or vitamin A.’


Mid 19th century: coined in German from Latin carota (see carrot).