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.

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Laboratory tests only showed low carotene and vitamin A, indicating malabsorption.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Carotenoids are usually red, orange, or yellow pigments, and include the familiar compound carotene, which gives carrots their color.’


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