delta

noun
del·ta | \ ˈdel-tə \

Definition of delta 

(Entry 1 of 4)

1 : the 4th letter of the Greek alphabet — see Alphabet Table

2 : something shaped like a capital Greek delta especially, geology : the alluvial deposit at the mouth of a river the Mississippi Delta

3 mathematics : an increment of a variable symbol Δ

delta

adjective

Definition of delta (Entry 2 of 4)

chemistry

: fourth in position in the structure of an organic (see organic entry 1 sense 3b(1)) molecule from a particular group or atom symbol ƍ

Delta

communications code word

Definition of Delta (Entry 3 of 4)

used as a code word for the letter d

Delta

geographical name
Del·ta | \ ˈdel-tə \

Definition of Delta (Entry 4 of 4)

municipality south and southeast of Vancouver in southwestern British Columbia, Canada population 99,863

Keep scrolling for more

Other words from delta

Noun

deltaic \del-ˈtā-ik \ adjective

Examples of delta in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

When it is fully connected the Yangtze delta, where Ms Hu is based, will be almost four times as big, with 150m people. The Economist, "China is trying to turn itself into a country of 19 super-regions," 21 June 2018 This week, Tulane researchers published a study in Science Advances that found that Louisiana's coastal land loss will continue despite the state's attempts to regrow the Mississippi River delta. Sara Sneath, NOLA.com, "State responds to study finding restoration can't keep up with costal land loss," 13 Apr. 2018 The attack took place in Kizlyar, a town of about 50,000 people on the Terek River delta on the border with Chechnya, Tass said. Andrew E. Kramer And Rukmini Callimachi, New York Times, "ISIS Claims Deadly Attack on Church in Russian Region of Dagestan," 18 Feb. 2018 As the Small Aral rises, delta and wetland areas are returning to the dry sea bed, and the harsh salinity of the lake is dropping. Ken Jennings, Condé Nast Traveler, "The Aral Sea Is Refilling for the First Time in Decades," 25 June 2018 The southeast and the oil-rich Niger River delta remain opposition bastions. Bloomberg.com, "Buhari Grapples With Widening Crises as Nigerian Vote Looms," 5 Mar. 2018 State water officials are also pursuing similar restoration efforts for the Sacramento River and the delta, both of which are expected to require water restrictions from additional cites and farms. Kurtis Alexander, SFChronicle.com, "SF would face new limits under state water proposal," 6 July 2018 Botswana The Okavango Delta in Botswana is the world’s largest inland delta, and the best place to experience an African water safari. Mark Ellwood, Condé Nast Traveler, "The Best Places to Visit in July," 15 June 2018 Their bones were preserved in the rivers, deltas, and lagoons of the island. Robert Clark, National Geographic, "Why Today is the Golden Age for Dinosaur Discoveries," 2 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Fisheries experts and environmentalists say the tunnels will devastate delta fish by depriving them of the most critical ingredient in their survival — freshwater. Peter Fimrite, San Francisco Chronicle, "California’s two-tunnel Delta project is back on track with SoCal water district’s vote," 10 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'delta.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of delta

Noun

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

circa 1929, in the meaning defined above

Communications code word

1952, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for delta

Noun

Middle English deltha, from Greek delta, of Semitic origin; akin to Hebrew dāleth daleth

Adjective

see delta entry 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about delta

Dictionary Entries near delta

dels

Delsartian

delt

delta

Delta

delta agent

delta connection

Statistics for delta

Last Updated

14 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for delta

The first known use of delta was in the 13th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for delta

delta

noun

Financial Definition of delta

What It Is

Delta is the ratio comparing the change in price of an underlying asset to the change in price of a derivative. It is one of the four main statistics, known as "Greeks," used to analyze derivatives.

How It Works

Let's assume you own a call option on Company XYZ stock. If the price of Company XYZ stock increased by $1.00 and the call option increased by $0.80 in the same time period, then the delta is 0.80 ($0.80/$1.00).

The definition of delta on InvestingAnswersPut options work inversely. Since put options lose value as the underlying security increases, delta is a negative number. If a stock increases $1.00, and the put price decreases $0.50, then the put option has a delta of -0.50. Deltas aren't constant and change according to fluctuations in the underlying stock's price, time left on the derivative until expiration, and volatility in the underlying stock.

Why It Matters

Delta allows derivatives traders to understand what sort of risk/return they can expect from an investment. For instance, if they believe a stock will increase $2.00 per share in the near future, they can buy a call option on the stock. By using the delta calculation, the investor can calculate their potential gain from the stock's move -- important information to know before taking a risk.

Source: Investing Answers

delta

noun

English Language Learners Definition of delta

: the fourth letter of the Greek alphabet

: a piece of land shaped like a triangle that is formed when a river splits into smaller rivers before it flows into an ocean

: an area of low land along the Mississippi River that is mainly in the state of Mississippi

delta

noun
del·ta | \ ˈdel-tə \

Kids Definition of delta

: a piece of land in the shape of a triangle or fan made by deposits of mud and sand at the mouth of a river

Keep scrolling for more

delta

noun
del·ta | \ ˈdel-tə \

Medical Definition of delta 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the fourth letter of the Greek alphabet symbol Δ or ƍ

2 : any of various things felt to resemble a capital Δ especially : the triangular terminus of a pattern in a fingerprint formed either by bifurcation of a ridge or by divergence of two ridges that are parallel beyond it

delta

adjective
variants: or ƍ-

Medical Definition of delta (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : of or relating to one of four or more closely related chemical substances the delta chain of fetal hemoglobin ƍ-yohimbine used somewhat arbitrarily to specify ordinal relationship or a particular physical form and especially one that is allotropic, isomeric, or stereoisomeric (as in ƍ-benzene hexachloride)

2 : fourth in position in the structure of an organic molecule from a particular group or atom also : having a structure characterized by such a position ƍ-hydroxy acids ƍ-lactones

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on delta

Spanish Central: Translation of delta

Nglish: Translation of delta for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of delta for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about delta

Comments on delta

What made you want to look up delta? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to deposit or conceal in a hiding place

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Food Quiz

Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!