gamma

noun
gam·​ma | \ ˈga-mə How to pronounce gamma (audio) \

Definition of gamma

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the 3rd letter of the Greek alphabet — see Alphabet Table
2 : the degree of contrast of a developed photographic image or of a video image
3 : a unit of magnetic flux density equal to one nanotesla
4 : gamma ray gamma counter

gamma

adjective

Definition of gamma (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : of, relating to, or being one of three or more closely related chemical substances
2 : third in position in the structure of an organic molecule from a particular group or atom symbol γ

Examples of gamma in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The amount of randomness in the function that produces the surfaces is controlled by a constant, gamma. Quanta Magazine, "A Unified Theory of Randomness," 2 Aug. 2016 In the next image, gamma is set to 1.25, introducing five times as much randomness into the construction of the surface. Quanta Magazine, "A Unified Theory of Randomness," 2 Aug. 2016 The observatory had detected an outburst of gravitational waves, or ripples in spacetime, and an orbiting gamma-ray telescope had simultaneously seen electromagnetic radiation emanating from the same region of space. Anil Ananthaswamy, Scientific American, "Faced with a Data Deluge, Astronomers Turn to Automation," 21 Aug. 2019 White Carolinas are full of gamma-Decalactone, esters that convey the flavor of a mid-summer peach. Dana Goodyear, The New Yorker, "Rosé Berries Have Arrived," 11 Aug. 2019 Working out at the gym to keep pumped to gamma-ray levels, Ferrigno sometimes saw green sweat oozing from his pores. Matt Wake | Mwake@al.com, al.com, "Marvel Comics icons talk Hulk, Stan Lee, Avengers, more," 6 Mar. 2019 Even more exciting, the bright gamma-ray glow fit quite well to dark matter being annihilated into a pair of matter/antimatter quarks. Chris Lee, Ars Technica, "Gamma ray evidence for dark matter outshone by a flock of pulsars," 10 Aug. 2018 Some of that atmospheric radiation makes its way into wine bottles, where it can be measured with a common gamma detector. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "Traces of the Fukushima Meltdown Can Be Found in California Wines," 21 July 2018 The $690 million spacecraft launched from Florida's Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on June 11, 2008, on a mission to study gamma-rays, the highest-energy form of light in the universe. Hanneke Weitering, Space.com, "NASA's Fermi Space Telescope Celebrates 10 Years of Gamma-Ray Science," 13 June 2018 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective One way to generate these specific oscillations, called gamma rhythms, is to flash a light, or play a clicking noise at the frequency. Katherine Ellen Foley, Quartz, "The future of Alzheimer’s treatment can’t bank on just one drug," 24 Oct. 2019 Some neuroscientists think that these gamma waves may not do much at all. Diana Kwon, Scientific American, "“Metronome” Neurons Act Like Timekeepers in Mouse Brains," 18 July 2019 There are neuroscientists who think that gamma rhythms, fast brain waves that fluctuate at a frequency of approximately 40 cycles per second, play this role. Diana Kwon, Scientific American, "“Metronome” Neurons Act Like Timekeepers in Mouse Brains," 18 July 2019 In addition to remaining unperturbed by the outside world, this specific subset of cells tended to spike regularly at gamma-range intervals, like a metronome. Diana Kwon, Scientific American, "“Metronome” Neurons Act Like Timekeepers in Mouse Brains," 18 July 2019 Researchers also observe an increase in gamma waves, synchronized firing by groups of neurons at a frequency implicated with conscious awareness and executive functions such as voluntary action and decision-making. Achilleas Pavlou, Quartz, "A lucid dream researcher’s tips for controlling your dreams," 29 June 2019 Gupta says the team would like to include a gamma-ray detector in their instruments in future to help solidify the connection. Adam Mann, National Geographic, "Most powerful electrical storm on record detected," 23 Apr. 2019 Happy birthday, Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope! NASA's most advanced gamma-ray observatory is celebrating 10 years of scientific discoveries this week. Hanneke Weitering, Space.com, "NASA's Fermi Space Telescope Celebrates 10 Years of Gamma-Ray Science," 13 June 2018 That spacecraft traced the neutrino back to an obscure dot in the sky, a distant galaxy known as TXS 0506+056, just off the left shoulder of the constellation Orion, which was having a high-energy outburst of X-rays and gamma-rays. Dennis Overbye, New York Times, "It Came From a Black Hole, and Landed in Antarctica," 12 July 2018

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

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First Known Use of gamma

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

1834, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for gamma

Noun

Middle English, borrowed from Latin, borrowed from Greek gȧmma, borrowed from Phoenician *gaml-, perhaps with the original sense "throwing stick"

Adjective

attributive use of gamma entry 1

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Time Traveler for gamma

Time Traveler

The first known use of gamma was in the 15th century

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Statistics for gamma

Cite this Entry

“Gamma.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/gamma. Accessed 15 December 2019.

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More Definitions for gamma

gamma

noun
How to pronounce gamma (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of gamma

: the third letter of the Greek alphabet

gamma

noun
gam·​ma | \ ˈgam-ə How to pronounce gamma (audio) \

Medical Definition of gamma

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the third letter of the Greek alphabet symbol Γ or γ
2 : a unit of magnetic flux density equal to one nanotesla
3 : gamma ray usually used as the attributive form of gamma ray gamma counter

gamma

adjective
variants: or γ-

Medical Definition of gamma (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : of or relating to one of three or more closely related chemical substances the gamma chain of hemoglobin γ-yohimbine used somewhat arbitrarily to specify ordinal relationship or a particular physical form and especially one that is allotropic, isomeric, or stereoisomeric (as in gamma benzene hexachloride)
2 : third in position in the structure of an organic molecule from a particular group or atom also : occurring at or having a structure characterized by such a position γ-hydroxy acids
3 of streptococci : producing no hemolysis on blood agar plates

More from Merriam-Webster on gamma

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with gamma

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about gamma

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