Al"pha (#), n. [L. alpha, Gr. 'a`lfa, from Heb. aleph, name of the first letter in the alphabet, also meaning ox.]

The first letter in the Greek alphabet, answering to A, and hence used to denote the beginning.

In am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. Rev. xxii. 13.

Formerly used also denote the chief; as, Plato was the alpha of the wits.

⇒ In cataloguing stars, the brightest star of a constellation in designated by Alpha (α); as, α Lyrae.


© Webster 1913.