1

delta

noun del·ta \ ˈdel-tə \
Updated on: 6 Dec 2017

Definition of delta

1 : the 4th letter of the Greek alphabet — see Alphabet Table
2 : something shaped like a capital Greek delta; especiallygeology : the alluvial deposit at the mouth of a river
  • the Mississippi Delta
3 mathematics : an increment of a variable symbol Δ

deltaic

play \del-ˈtā-ik\ adjective

Recent Examples of delta from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of delta

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


2

delta

adjective

Definition of delta

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

Origin and Etymology of delta

see 1delta

Other Chemical Engineering Terms


Delta

communications code word

Definition of Delta

used as a code word for the letter d

First Known Use of delta

1952


Delta

geographical name Del·ta \ ˈdel-tə \

Definition of Delta

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

Financial Definition of DELTA

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.


DELTA Defined for English Language Learners

delta

noun

Definition of delta for English Language Learners

  • : 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 Defined for Kids

delta

noun del·ta \ ˈdel-tə \

Definition of delta for Students

: 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

Medical Dictionary

1

delta

noun del·ta \ ˈdel-tə \

medical Definition of delta

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

2

delta

adjective
variants: or ƍ-

medical Definition of delta

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

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