Definition of kappa in English:

kappa

noun

  • 1The tenth letter of the Greek alphabet (Κ, κ), transliterated as ‘k’.

    • ‘It was initially adopted by the Greeks as koppa, to represent /k/ before a back vowel; but classical Greek preferred the letter kappa, the ancestor of K, and koppa fell into disuse.’
    • ‘The text begins midsentence and continues with an enlarged marginal letter kappa on line 3.’
    • ‘Greek proper names and placenames containing kappa are often written in English with "c" due to contemporary rendering into the Latin alphabet by ancient Romans.’
    1. 1.1Astronomy [followed by Latin genitive] The tenth star in a constellation:
      ‘Kappa Orionis’
      • ‘Kappa Ceti is a yellow-orange star like our Sun.’
      • ‘In 2005 kappa Coronae Borealis turned around and started heading back toward us.’
    2. 1.2Biochemistry [as modifier] Denoting one of the two types of light polypeptide chain present in all immunoglobulin molecules (the other being lambda).
      • ‘The cells bear identical surface immunoglobulin molecules with either kappa or lambda light chains, but not a mixture of the two.’
      • ‘Fewer extra residues are needed for the light chain, possibly due to the higher initial homology between the mouse and human kappa variable regions.’
      • ‘Activation of kappa receptors blocked the induction of UP at the perforant-path synapses and this blockage can be reversed by naloxone 23.’
      • ‘In general the kappa indexes showed no substantial variations among different histologic TNS types (malignant, benign, or uncertain malignant potential).’
      • ‘The NK1, kappa opioid, and CCRS receptors all have an amino acid composition similar to rhodopsin near the conserved Pro.’

Origin

Greek.

Pronunciation

kappa

/ˈkapə/