One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1The fourth letter of the Greek alphabet (Δ, δ), transliterated as ‘d’.
- ‘Other symbols use in chemistry include the Greek letter delta to denote a change in energy levels and an arrow to indicate the direction a reaction proceeds in.’
- ‘Apparently they don't teach you anything useful, just epsilons and deltas.’
- ‘Casey guessed the next would be delta: phonetic alphabet’
- ‘It should be noted that the scaled necrosis depth, d / delta, also depends on the irradiation geometry and the incident light dose.’
- 1.1British A fourth-class mark given for an essay, examination paper, or other piece of work.
- 1.2as modifier The fourth in a series of items, categories, etc.‘delta hepatitis’
- ‘The study reports the influence of delta infection on the severity of hepatitis B.’
- ‘For example, the babies are taught to be satisfied with their own caste of which there are five: alphas at the top, then betas, gammas, deltas, and epsilons at the bottom.’
- ‘Our results suggest that delta infection may not be very common in Indian patients with HBV-related liver diseases.’
- ‘To me it looked like the alpha males on the rampage, and alpha males are always scary to all the gamma and delta males.’
- ‘Thus, our results suggest that delta co-infection is more common in acute liver diseases while delta super-infection occurs more frequently in chronic liver disease.’
- ‘Four changes occur in iron, which give rise to forms known as alpha, beta, gamma and delta.’
- 1.3Astronomy followed by Latin genitive The fourth (usually fourth-brightest) star in a constellation.‘Delta Cephei’
- ‘Other bright stars in Canis Major are Adhara (Epsilon Canis Majoris), Mirzam (Beta Canis Majoris), and Wezen (Delta Canis Majoris).’
- ‘As a connecting star to Pegasus, it is also known as Delta Pegasi, though this name is rarely used.’
2A code word representing the letter D, used in radio communication.
- ‘Pilot: Regina Tower, (this is) Cessna foxtrot bravo charlie delta (over).’
Variation of a variable or function.
A finite increment.
Greek, from Phoenician daleth.
A triangular tract of sediment deposited at the mouth of a river, typically where it diverges into several outlets.‘the Nile delta’as modifier ‘a huge delta system developed’
- ‘Discriminating between deposits of tidally influenced deltas and tide-dominated coastal mud flats in the rock record is often difficult.’
- ‘The forests and estuaries of the delta also benefited from huge floods released into the river from behind dams during the El Niño years of the 1980s and 1990s.’
- ‘Long and narrow it stretches east to west along the Gambia River and the capital, Banjul, lies on an island in the river delta.’
- ‘Most Pamiri villages exist at the triangle of a river delta.’
- ‘In Bangladesh, settlement of populations in high risk areas such as floodplains and river deltas increases vulnerability.’
- ‘But those levees denied the delta replenishing river sediment, just as oil prospectors began to dredge coastal wetlands.’
- ‘The Teshekpuk area, a network of wet meadows, river deltas, coastal lagoons and small ponds, is the prime calving grounds for a 25,000-strong caribou herd.’
- ‘In time, as the Ecca Sea filled with sediment and the deltas prograded basinward, large tracts of river channels and floodplains emerged.’
- ‘Here in northern Idaho, near where the deluge began, I survey the rounded mountains and river deltas, trying to imagine the force of such a catastrophe.’
- ‘Innumerable lagoons, lakes, canals, estuaries and the deltas of 44 rivers make up the 900 km of backwater network of the State.’
- ‘The minerals are deposited in lakes, deltas and meander further downstream, where they build up and form sedimentary rocks such as calcite, selenite, pyrite and dolomite.’
- ‘They carry silt from the Mississippi River that replenishes the delta and keeps the coastland above the water line, creating a gradual buffer from the sea.’
- ‘As the rate of rising sea level gradually slowed, rivers began to build deltas from retreating shorelines into the encroaching seas.’
- ‘Irrigated rice agriculture is also practiced in numerous smaller river deltas and plains along the country's coast.’
- ‘Water flow in the rivers decreased when the region's climate changed about 5,000 years ago and wind began to winnow the river delta's dried sediments.’
- ‘Erpetoichthys calabaricus is distributed solely in tropical Africa, where it occupies habitats ranging from flowing rivers to flood plains and internal river deltas.’
- ‘You can't save beaches and wetlands with seawalls, and you can't wall off river deltas and floodplains that contain much of the world's most productive agricultural land.’
- ‘The flows lead down to a shoreline which scientists think has river deltas and sandbars, all familiar geographical features from home.’
- ‘It and many other old zircons come from metamorphosed sediments deposited in river deltas some 3 billion years ago in what is now southwestern Australia.’
- ‘These lead down to what appears to be a shoreline with river deltas and sand bars.’
Mid 16th century: originally specifically as the Delta (of the River Nile), from the shape of the Greek letter (see delta).
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