1

alpha

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noun al·pha \ˈal-fə\

Definition of alpha

  1. 1 :  the 1st letter of the Greek alphabet — see alphabet table

  2. 2 :  something that is first :  beginning

  3. 3 :  alpha wave

  4. 4 :  alpha particle

  5. 5 :  the first version of a product (such as a computer program) that is being developed and tested —usually used before another noun alpha versions alpha testing; also :  a stage of product development in which alpha prototypes are released a product that is available in alpha — compare beta

Examples of alpha in a sentence

  1. money is not the alpha and omega—the beginning and end—of life's purpose

Origin and Etymology of alpha

Middle English, from Latin, from Greek, of Semitic origin; akin to Hebrew āleph aleph


First Known Use: 13th century

Other Alphabet Terms


2

alpha

adjective al·pha

Definition of alpha

  1. 1 :  closest in the structure of an organic molecule to a particular group or atom —symbol α α-substitution

  2. 2 :  socially dominant especially in a group of animals an alpha male

  3. 3 :  alphabetic

1842

First Known Use of alpha

1842

Other Alphabet Terms


ALPHA Defined for English Language Learners

1

alpha

play
noun al·pha \ˈal-fə\

Definition of alpha for English Language Learners

  • : the first letter of the Greek alphabet

  • : the first version of a product (such as a computer program) that is being developed and tested


2

alpha

adjective al·pha

Definition of alpha for English Language Learners

  • : having the most power in a group of animals or people


Medical Dictionary

1

alpha

play
noun al·pha \ˈal-fə\

Medical Definition of alpha

  1. 1:  the 1st letter of the Greek alphabet—symbol Α or α

  2. 2:  alpha particle

  3. 3:  alpha wave


2

alpha

adjective al·pha
variants: or

α-

Medical Definition of alpha

  1. 1:  of or relating to one of two or more closely related chemical substances the alpha chain of hemoglobin α-yohimbine—used somewhat arbitrarily to specify ordinal relationship or a particular physical form, especially one that is allotropic, isomeric, stereoisomeric, or sometimes polymeric (as in α-D-glucose)

  2. 2:  closest in position in the structure of an organic molecule to a particular group or atom; also :  occurring at or having a structure characterized by such a position α-substitution




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