Definition of kappa in US English:



  • 1The tenth letter of the Greek alphabet (Κ, κ), transliterated in the traditional Latin style as ‘c’ (as in Socrates) or in the modern style as ‘k’ (as in kyanite and in the etymologies of this dictionary).

    • ‘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. 1.1KappaAstronomy followed by Latin genitive The tenth star in a constellation.
      ‘Kappa Orionis’
      • ‘In 2005 kappa Coronae Borealis turned around and started heading back toward us.’
      • ‘Kappa Ceti is a yellow-orange star like our Sun.’
    2. 1.2Biochemistry as modifier Denoting one of the two types of light polypeptide chain present in all immunoglobulin molecules (the other being lambda).
      • ‘Fewer extra residues are needed for the light chain, possibly due to the higher initial homology between the mouse and human kappa variable regions.’
      • ‘The cells bear identical surface immunoglobulin molecules with either kappa or lambda light chains, but not a mixture of the two.’
      • ‘The NK1, kappa opioid, and CCRS receptors all have an amino acid composition similar to rhodopsin near the conserved Pro.’
      • ‘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).’