alpha male

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Originally used in scientific research of hierarchies in social animals the term is now often applied to men with dominating characteristics. Already in some use during the 1990s it was further popularized by Neil Strauss in The Game (2005).[1]


alpha male (plural alpha males)

  1. (zoology, ethology) The dominant male in a group of animals.
  2. (by extension) A dominating, controlling, protecting, successful, and leading man / male. [from 1990s]
    Synonyms: alpha, male alpha
    Antonym: omega male
    • 2000, Black Enterprise, Alpha Male Investing, Feb 2000 Vol. 30, No. 7, page 54
      Alpha male investing Aggressive stock-picker on the prowl for less risky financial plan Stanley Richards may have been a latecomer to investing, but he's made up for lost time by aggressively buying
    • 2007, Paul Dobransky, L. A. Stamford, The Secret Psychology of How We Fall in Love, link
      This alpha-male status gives him the highest opportunity to mate with many of the best genetic examples of the females in his liking
    • year unknown, Wings Of Success, How to Attract Anything You want in Life, page 32
      The alpha male, is lucky in this regard, since he has a gang and while he must protect them all
    • 2012 June 28, Jamie Jackson, “Wimbledon 2012: Lukas Rosol shocked by miracle win over Rafael Nadal”, in the Guardian[2]:
      Nadal is supposedly the alpha male in any slugfest. But Rosol's forehand shots were being sent towards the Majorcan at 93mph plus, and his was the fastest serve at 134mph.
    • 2015 March 12, Daniel Taylor, “Chelsea out of Champions League after Thiago Silva sends 10-man PSG through on away goals”, in The Guardian (London)[3]:
      Fàbregas is having a lapse in form and Costa seems so preoccupied with alpha-male aggro it possibly distracts him from the rather more important task of beating the opposition goalkeeper.
    • 2016 October 10, Dean Burnett, “Do alpha males even exist?”, in The Guardian[4]:
      Maybe the supposed human alpha male is a combination of disgruntled male wish fulfilment and borderline-pseudoscientific justification for resorting to bullying, intimidation and generally all-round unpleasant behaviour by men hoping to impose their will on a world they find too complex and unnerving so revert to their baser instincts to get what they want, despite knowing deep down they don’t deserve it and shouldn’t have it?

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  1. ^ Jesse Singal (May 18, 2016), “How America Became Infatuated With a Cartoonish Idea of ‘Alpha Males’”, in NYMag[1], retrieved December 1, 2017

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