from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. The first letter of the Greek alphabet. See Table at alphabet.
- n. The first one; the beginning.
- n. Chemistry The first position from a designated carbon atom in an organic molecule at which an atom or radical may be substituted.
- n. Astronomy The brightest or main star in a constellation.
- n. The mathematical estimate of the return on a security when the return on the market as a whole is zero. Alpha is derived from a in the formula Ri = a + bRm, which measures the return on a security (Ri) for a given return on the market (Rm) where b is beta.
- adj. Being the highest ranked or most dominant individual of one's sex. Used of social animals: the alpha female of the wolf pack.
- adj. Chemistry Closest to the functional group of atoms in an organic molecule.
- adj. Alphabetical.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. The name of the first letter of the Greek alphabet (Α, α), followed by beta. In the Latin alphabet it is the predecessor to A.
- n. Latin alpha
- n. The name of the symbols Α and α used in science and mathematics, often interchangeable with the symbols when used as a prefix.
- n. The return of a given asset or portfolio adjusted for systematic risk.
- n. An alpha male.
- n. Alphabet.
- adj. Designates the first in an order of precedence.
- adj. associated with the alpha male/female archetype.
- adj. Designates the brightest star in a constellation.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. The first letter in the Greek alphabet, answering to A, and hence used to denote the beginning.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. The first letter in the Greek alphabet (A,
α), answering to A.
- n. The first; the beginning: as in the phrase “alpha and omega,” the beginning and the end, the first and the last, omega being the last letter of the Greek alphabet.
- n. As a classifier: In astronomy, the chief star of a constellation. In chem., the first of two or more isomerous modifications of the same organic compound, as alpha-naphthol, in distinction from beta-naphthol.
- n. In natural history, the first subspecies, etc.
- n. [capitalized] The name given by Carl Neumann, the mathematical physicist, to a supposed body to which all motion, especially motion of rotation, is relative.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- adj. first in order of importance
- n. the beginning of a series or sequence
- adj. early testing stage of a software or hardware product
- n. the 1st letter of the Greek alphabet
Greek, of Phoenician origin; see אlp in Semitic roots.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From the Ancient Greek ἄλφα (alpha), the first letter of the Greek alphabet, from the Phoenician aleph. (Wiktionary)