Alpha Definition

The first letter of the Greek alphabet.
American Heritage
The first letter of the Greek alphabet (Α, α)
Webster's New World
The first of a series; the beginning.
American Heritage
The beginning of anything.
Webster's New World
The brightest star in a constellation.
American Heritage
Being the highest ranked or most dominant individual of one's sex. Used of social animals.
The alpha female of the wolf pack.
American Heritage
Designating or of the socially dominant member of a group, esp. of a group of animals.
The alpha male.
Webster's New World
Being in the first position relative to a designated carbon atom in an organic molecule at which an atom or a group may be substituted.
American Heritage
Designating the first of two or more positions in which the substituting atom or radical appears relative to some particular carbon atom in an organic compound: usually written α-: the other positions, in order, are beta (β-), gamma (γ-), delta (δ-), etc.
Webster's New World
Referring to the first of a group of isomers, or molecules of similar origin or properties, determined arbitrarily by those who discover or classify them. Used in combination.
American Heritage

The letter A in the ICAO spelling alphabet.

A measure of the risk-adjusted performance of an investment that factors in the individual risk of the security and not the overall market risk. A large alpha indicates that the stock or mutual fund has performed better than would be predicted given its beta, which is a measurement of an investment’s volatility.
Webster's New World Finance

Referring to a product, usually a software product, that is ready for initial testing, in-house and possibly under laboratory conditions. An alpha product generally is unstable and does not include all planned features or functionality. See also beta and software.

Webster's New World Telecom

Other Word Forms of Alpha



Origin of Alpha

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

    From Wiktionary

  • Greek of Phoenician origin ℵlp in Semitic roots

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition


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