alpha

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See also: alfa, Alpha, and alpha-

English[edit]

Ancient Greek Alphabet
Greek uc alpha.svgGreek lc alpha.png
beta
Α α
Ancient Greek: ἄλφα
Wikipedia article on alpha

Etymology[edit]

From the Ancient Greek ἄλφα (álpha), the first letter of the Greek alphabet, from the Phoenician 𐤀 (aleph).

Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): /ˈælfə/, /ˈæɫ.fə/
  • (file)

Noun[edit]

alpha (countable and uncountable, plural alphas)

  1. 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.
  2. Latin alpha
  3. (sciences) The name of the symbols Α and α used in science and mathematics, often interchangeable with the symbols when used as a prefix.
    I will attempt to make an alpha particle ("α-particle") with the Large Hadron Collider.
  4. (finance) The return of a given asset or portfolio adjusted for systematic risk.
  5. A person, especially a male, who is dominant, successful and attractive; (see alpha male).
    • 2008, Faye Flam, The Score: How the Quest for Sex Has Shaped the Modern Man, Avery (2008), →ISBN, unnumbered page:
      Being a beta male in a species with alphas doesn't mean you have to sit out the mating game.
    • 2008, The New Black Lace Book of Women's Sexual Fantasies (ed. Mitzi Szereto), Black Lace (2008), →ISBN, page 38:
      I'm still turned on by alpha males. I think there are only a couple of other men that turn me on . . . ones that are clearly not alphas.
    • 2009, Martin G. Groder & Pat Webster, Winning at Love: The Alpha Male's Guide to Relationship Success, Bascom Hill Books (2009), →ISBN, page ix:
      This book is primarily for alpha males, or “top dogs.” We'll talk more about that later; but let's just say that if you are a man and successful in the world of trade, business, or profession, most likely you are an alpha, or you have been trained to act like an alpha.
  6. (informal, abbreviation) Alphabet.
  7. (software engineering) The first versions of a program, usually only available to the developer, and only tested by the developer.
  8. (computer graphics) The level of translucency of a color, as determined by the alpha channel.
  9. (statistics) The significance level of a statistical test; the alpha level.

Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

See also[edit]

Adjective[edit]

alpha (not comparable)

  1. Designates the first in an order of precedence.
    I am the alpha male.
  2. (of person, object or action) exhibiting characteristics of the alpha male/female archetype.
    • 2015, Life Is Strange, Square Enix:
      And thank you. Seriously. I'll call you later.
      You better. I'm feeling pretty alpha now.
      Yes, you are.
  3. (astronomy) Designates some bright star, usually the brightest star, of a constellation.
    When space travel becomes feasible, I plan to visit Alpha Centauri.

Derived terms[edit]

Anagrams[edit]


French[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

alpha m (plural alpha)

  1. alpha (Greek letter)

Further reading[edit]


Interlingua[edit]

Noun[edit]

alpha

  1. alpha

Latin[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Greek ἄλφα (álpha)

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

alpha n (indeclinable)

  1. alpha

References[edit]