gammas

gamma

[gam-uh]
noun
1.
the third letter of the greek alphabet (Γ, γ).
2.
the consonant sound represented by this letter.
3.
the third in a series of items.
4.
(initial capital letter) Astronomy. a star that is usually the third brightest of a constellation: The third brightest star in the Southern Cross is Gamma Crucis.
5.
a unit of weight equal to one microgram.
6.
Physics. a unit of magnetic field strength, equal to 10− 5 gauss.
7.
Photography. a measure of the degree of development of a negative or print.
8.
Television. an analogous numerical indication of the degree of contrast between light and dark in the reproduction of an image in television.
9.
Chiefly British. a grade showing that an individual student is in the third, or lowest, of three scholastic sections in a class. Compare alpha ( def 7 ), beta ( def 8 ).

Origin:
< Greek gámma

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World English Dictionary
gamma (ˈɡæmə)
 
n
1.  the third letter in the Greek alphabet (Γ, γ), a consonant, transliterated as g. When double, it is transcribed and pronounced as ng
2.  the third highest grade or mark, as in an examination
3.  a unit of magnetic field strength equal to 10--5 oersted. 1 gamma is equivalent to 0.795 775 × 10--3 ampere per metre
4.  photog, television the numerical value of the slope of the characteristic curve of a photographic emulsion or television camera; a measure of the contrast reproduced in a photographic or television image
5.  (modifier)
 a.  involving or relating to photons of very high energy: a gamma detector
 b.  relating to one of two or more allotropes or crystal structures of a solid: gamma 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 next but one to the atom to which the principal group is attached
 
[C14: from Greek; related to Hebrew gīmel third letter of the Hebrew alphabet (probably: camel)]

Gamma (ˈɡæmə)
 
n
(foll by the genitive case of a specified constellation) the third brightest star in a constellation: Gamma Leonis

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

gamma
"third letter of the Greek alphabet," c.1400, from Gk. gamma, from Phoenician gimel, lit. "camel." Gamma rays (1903) were originally thought to be a third type of radiation, now known to be identical with very short X-rays.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

gamma gam·ma (gām'ə)
n.


  1. Symbol γ The third letter of the greek alphabet.

  2. The third item in a series or system of classification.

  3. The third position from a designated carbon atom in an organic molecule at which an atom or a radical may be substituted.

  4. A unit of magnetic field strength equal to one hundred thousandth (10-5) of an oersted.

  5. A unit of mass equal to one millionth (10-6) of a gram.

adj.
  1. Relating to or being the atom or radical group that is in the third position relative to the functional group of atoms in an organic molecule.

  2. Relating to or characterizing a polypeptide chain that is one of five types of heavy chains that may be present in immunoglobins.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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