alpha and omega

Idioms & Phrases

alpha and omega

The beginning and the end, the first and the last, as in She had to master the alpha and omega of the new computer program before she could even begin. This idiom and its meaning, based on the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet, appears in the New Testament (Revelation 1:8): "I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord," where it is repeated three more times.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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