• IPA: /ˈælfə/, [ˈæɫ.fə]


  1. The name of the first letter of the Greek alphabet (Α,  α), followed by beta. In the Latin alphabet it is the predecessor to A.
  2. Latin alpha
  3. (science) The name of the symbols Α and α used in science and mathematics, often interchangeable with the symbols when used as a prefix.
    I will attempt to make an alpha particle ("α-particle") with the Large Hadron Collider.
  4. (finance) The return of a given asset or portfolio adjusted for systematic risk.
  5. A person, especially a male, who is dominant, successful and attractive; (see alpha male).
    • 2008, Faye Flam, The Score: How the Quest for Sex Has Shaped the Modern Man, Avery (2008), ISBN 9781436225786, unnumbered page ↗:
      Being a beta male in a species with alphas doesn't mean you have to sit out the mating game.
    • 2008, The New Black Lace Book of Women's Sexual Fantasies (ed. Mitzi Szereto), Black Lace (2008), ISBN 9780352341723, page 38 ↗:
      I'm still turned on by alpha males. I think there are only a couple of other men that turn me on . . . ones that are clearly not alphas.
    • 2009, Martin G. Groder & Pat Webster, Winning at Love: The Alpha Male's Guide to Relationship Success, Bascom Hill Books (2009), ISBN 9781935456049, page ix ↗:
      This book is primarily for alpha males, or “top dogs.” We'll talk more about that later; but let's just say that if you are a man and successful in the world of trade, business, or profession, most likely you are an alpha, or you have been trained to act like an alpha.
  6. (informal, abbreviation) Alphabet.
  7. (software engineering) The first versions of a program, usually only available to the developer, and only tested by the developer.
  8. (computer graphics) The level of translucency of a color, as determined by the alpha channel.
  9. (statistics) The significance level of a statistical test; the alpha level.
  10. (fandom) In omegaverse fiction, a person of a sexually-dominant (and sometimes secondary) gender/sex that is driven by biology, magic, or other means to bond with an omega, with males of this type often having canine-like genitalia.
    • 2013, Kristina Busse, "Pon Farr, Mpreg, Bonds, and the Rise of the Omegaverse", in Fic: Why Fanfiction Is Taking Over the World (ed. Anne Jamison), page 317 ↗:
      Sometimes the alphas and omegas are rare, sometimes they are only males, sometimes they have altered sex organs.
    • 2017, Marianne Gunderson, "What is an omega? Rewriting sex and gender in omegaverse fanfiction", thesis submitted to the University of Oslo, page 11 ↗:
      Sherlock realizes that John, despite being an alpha, sees and loves Sherlock for who he is, “a brilliant, mad, nutter of a man,” instead of only wanting him for his reproductive functions, his ability to become pregnant.
    • 2018, Laura Campillo Arnaiz, "When the Omega Empath Met the Alpha Doctor: An Analysis of Alpha/Beta/Omega Dynamics in the Hannibal Fandom", in The Darker Side of Slash Fan Fiction (ed. Ashton Spacey), page 130:
      Contrary to the typical scenario expected in a dark A/B/O story, in this story both Hannibal and Will are alphas—but Hannibal wants Will to be his omega; subservient and submissive to him only.
Related terms Translations Adjective

alpha (not comparable)

  1. Designates the first in an order of precedence.
    I am the alpha male.
  2. (of person, object or action) exhibiting characteristics of the alpha male/female archetype.
    • 2015, Life Is Strange, Square Enix:
      And thank you. Seriously. I'll call you later.
      You better. I'm feeling pretty alpha now.
      Yes, you are.
  3. (star) Designates some bright star, usually the brightest star, of a constellation.
    When space travel becomes feasible, I plan to visit Alpha Centauri.

Proper noun
  1. A placename.
    1. A ghost town in California, United States (USA).
    2. A village in Illinois, USA.
    3. A village in Michigan, USA.
    4. A city/and/village in Minnesota, USA
    5. A borough in New Jersey, USA.
    6. A town in Queensland, Australia.
    7. Former name of International Space Station}.

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