|1.||the first letter in the Greek alphabet (Α, α), a vowel transliterated as a|
|2.||(Brit) the highest grade or mark, as in an examination|
|a. involving or relating to helium-4 nuclei: an alpha particle|
|b. relating to one of two or more allotropes or crystal structures of a solid: alpha iron|
|c. relating to one of two or more isomeric forms of a chemical compound, esp one in which a group is attached to the carbon atom to which the principal group is attached|
|4.||(modifier) denoting the dominant person or animal in a group: the alpha male|
|[via Latin from Greek, of Phoenician origin; related to Hebrew āleph, literally: ox]|
alpha al·pha (āl'fə)
Symbol α The first letter of the Greek alphabet.
The first one in a series; the beginning.
The first position from a designated carbon atom in an organic molecule at which an atom or radical group may be substituted.
Characterizing the atom or radical group that is closest to the functional group of atoms in an organic molecule.
Relating to one of two or more closely related substances, as in stereoisomers.
Relating to or characterizing a polypeptide chain that is one of five types of heavy chains present in immunoglobins.