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Definition of "alpha" []

  • The first letter of the Greek alphabet. See Table at alphabet. (noun)
  • The first one; the beginning. (noun)
  • Chemistry The first position from a designated carbon atom in an organic molecule at which an atom or radical may be substituted. (noun)
  • Astronomy The brightest or main star in a constellation. (noun)
  • The mathematical estimate of the return on a security when the return on the market as a whole is zero. Alpha is derived from a in the formula Ri = a + bRm, which measures the return on a security (Ri) for a given return on the market (Rm) where b is beta. (noun)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "alpha" in a sentence
  • "If one of the four α loci is affected, alpha minor or alpha+ thalassemia trait or alpha thalassemia trait, type 2 results and there is minimal effect."
  • "Zandl invented the term alpha consumer, and she's the closest thing the trend business has to a founder."
  • "Mech explains that the term alpha is rarely used today by wolf biologists."