Definition of gamma in US English:



  • 1The third letter of the Greek alphabet (Γ, γ), transliterated as ‘g.’.

    The combinations γγ, γκ, and γχ are usually transliterated as ‘ng,’ ‘nc’ or ‘nk,’ and ‘nch’ or ‘nkh’

    • ‘His professional affiliations include Alpha Zeta, Gamma Sigma Delta, Phi Delta Kappa, and Phi Kappa Phi.’
    • ‘In the Greek alphabet, each letter has a name that is not directly related to its sound value (alpha, beta, gamma, etc.), but this practice is not common in Roman derived alphabets.’
    • ‘Delta Gamma followed in 1994, and Kappa Kappa Gamma opened its chapter in 2003.’
    • ‘Alas I just found out that she was a member of Delta Gamma at Cornell.’
    • ‘After following her instructions, we arrived at the Gamma Phi Beta house right on time.’
    • ‘She and 28 other pledges were offered membership in Gamma Phi Beta sorority.’
    • ‘Throughout her career, she held various offices in Delta Kappa Gamma.’
    • ‘She works with the homeless through her participation in Delta Kappa Gamma and is involved with the Make a Wish Foundation.’
    1. 1.1as modifier Denoting the third in a series of items, categories, etc.
      • ‘The CSA orientation is described by two Euler angles alpha and Beta, whereas the third angle gamma is evenly distributed about the sample normal.’
      • ‘C-reactive protein is located in the area between the beta and gamma components.’
      • ‘It is the quick, hourlong sequence of alpha, beta and gamma emissions that can lead to the mutations in the lung tissue, which can cause cancer.’
      • ‘Inherited dysfibrinogenemia is caused by mutations in the coding region of the fibrinogen A, B, or gamma gene.’
      • ‘Bicke's descent into madness begins when he is employed as a salesman in the office furniture business run by Jack Jones, a male so alpha that he is practically beta and gamma as well.’
      • ‘Golembiewski, Billingsly & Jaeger proposed three types of change - alpha, beta and gamma.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘An analysis of possible alpha, beta and gamma carbonic anhydrases in the cyanobacterial genomes shows that there is a wide diversity in carbonic anhydrase gene content.’
      • ‘It reminds me of Aldous Huxley's Brave New World, where there were different classes of people - the alphas, betas and gammas.’
      • ‘All of this suggests that it would be more helpful to redirect theoretical attention to the interplay between alpha (= ‘evenness’), beta, and gamma diversity.’
      • ‘It has four allotropic forms or ferrites, known as alpha, beta, gamma, and omega, with transition points at 700, 928, and 1530C.’
      • ‘Even a seemingly tiny piece of radioisotope like plutonium can be emitting many millions of alpha, beta or gamma particles per week.’
      • ‘Four changes occur in iron, which give rise to forms known as alpha, beta, gamma and delta.’
      • ‘A radioactive material gives off alpha, beta, and gamma emissions.’
      • ‘The interplay of three crystal structures - dubbed the alpha, epsilon and gamma phases - and their electronic and magnetic properties can be represented on a pressure-temperature phase diagram.’
      • ‘If one demarcates alpha, beta, and gamma world cities as three meaningful tiers, the alpha tier includes the usual urban triumvirate (London, New York, and Tokyo) but also Paris.’
      • ‘This is measured either by directly counting the alpha, beta and gamma radiations from the sample, or by making chemical measurements of the concentration of uranium, thorium and potassium and calculating the dose rate.’
      • ‘Among these, alpha, beta, gamma, epsilon and zeta units as well as the isoform of epsilon subunit were shown in 2 - DE gels of tumor cell lines.’
      • ‘The G protein consists of alpha, beta, and gamma subunits.’
      • ‘There was, however, a rumor that later, when the alpha, beta, gamma theory went temporarily on the rocks, he seriously considered changing his name to Zacharias.’
    2. 1.2as modifier Relating to gamma rays.
      ‘gamma detector’
      • ‘This makes it possible to reach and treat tumors that previously could be treated only with conventional photon and gamma brachytherapy or with external beam treatments.’
      • ‘Total gamma-ray relates to the natural gamma radioactivity of a sample as determined by the concentration of radioactive isotopes of uranium, thorium and potassium.’
      • ‘If the energy from the gamma sources is concentrated in collimated beams (presumably two opposite beams), how is it that they happen to be aimed at our Solar System, or do we infer that the number of sources is colossal?’
      • ‘Triplicate samples were thoroughly washed and counted, with the cell-bound radioactivity measured on a gamma counter.’
      • ‘Cesium 137, a radioactive cesium isotope with a mass number of 137 and a half-life of 33 years, is used for gamma irradiation of certain foods and for radiation therapy.’
      • ‘The most widely used treatment to induce deletions is gamma irradiation.’
      • ‘Currently, the two most common methods of sterilization are ethylene oxide treatment and gamma irradiation.’
      • ‘Three complementary instruments make up GRS: the gamma subsystem, the high-energy neutron detector, and the neutron spectrometer.’
      • ‘It measures total neutron and gamma doses from 0 to 1,000 cGy, and it responds to and measures prompt radiation from nuclear bursts.’
      • ‘By measuring the relative velocity of backscattered gamma particles, they reveal the chemical environment of Fe nuclei in the rock.’
      • ‘The nuclear portal monitor and Palm Pilot neutron and gamma detector are designed to detect and identify the illicit movement of nuclear materials.’
      • ‘During gamma irradiation, breakdown of cornstarch particles does not occur, leaving the cornstarch particles cross-linked and more difficult for the body to absorb through biological degradation.’
      • ‘In the treatment of acoustic neuromas, treatments with a gamma knife and linear accelerator produce similar impressive tumour destruction rates, but improved hearing has only been reported after fractionated treatment.’
      • ‘The first magnetar candidates were a family of rare and peculiar galactic sources of gamma and X-rays called soft gamma repeaters (SGRs).’
      • ‘When the patient has been draped, the scrub person covers the gamma detector probe and cable using an appropriate sterile drape (eg, video camera drape) and clamps it securely to the field using nonperforming clamps.’
      • ‘In the meantime, the circulating nurse sets up and checks the calibration of the fully charged gamma detector, probe, and cable before bringing the patient into the OR.’
      • ‘Tubing wall thickness can be determined by gamma backscatter probes.’
      • ‘The launcher produces excess radiation that is dumped onto the gamma particles, and creates a large shockwave upon impact.’
      • ‘During steam sterilization, cornstarch is broken down, which eases ingestion by the body, an effect that does not occur with gamma irradiation.’
      • ‘In addition, current literature on known methods of sterilization, such as gamma irradiation, demonstrates efficacious employment, demanding that standard protocols be implemented for all tissue banks.’
    3. 1.3GammaAstronomy followed by Latin genitive The third (usually third-brightest) star in a constellation.
      ‘Gamma Orionis’
      • ‘It is also known as the Amazon Star, the warrioress, or Gamma Orionis.’
      • ‘In 1725 Bradley systematically observed the star Gamma Draconis and noticed a seasonal shift in the star's position on the sky.’
      • ‘His first observation was made on 3rd December 1725, and he saw the star - Gamma Draconis - in his telescope as he expected.’
    4. 1.4Physics A unit of magnetic field strength equal to 10⁻⁵ oersted.
      • ‘It might also find that, within the experiment's limits of precision, gamma is equal to one - just as Einstein predicted.’
      • ‘According to Baker, one of the strengths of gamma is that it allows us to assess both the strength and the direction of the association between the two variables in the table.’
      • ‘The new finding agrees with Einstein's predicted value for gamma to an accuracy of 23 parts per million.’
      • ‘Mass m in the equation E = mc is equal to the rest mass times the factor gamma.’
      • ‘At very small velocities, gamma is approximately equal to one.’


Via Latin from Greek.