Definition of lambda in English:



  • 1The eleventh letter of the Greek alphabet (Λ, λ), transliterated as ‘l.’

    • ‘Before the suspense gets too much for everyone, I'll reveal the secrets of the symbol above - it's the lower-case Greek letter lambda.’
    • ‘For example, in the modern version, beta is veta or vita; delta is thelta; zeta is zita; eta is ita; theta is thita; lambda is lamvtha; tau is taf.’
    • ‘The cosmological constant, which Einstein signified by the Greek letter lambda, made it so.’
    • ‘Clearest are the differences between alphas, epsilons, and lambdas.’
    • ‘Einstein's 1917 refinement of his equations of gravity included a new term - denoted by the Greek letter lambda - in which his model universe neither expands nor contracts.’
    1. 1.1Astronomy [followed by Latin genitive]The eleventh star in a constellation.
      ‘Lambda Tauri’
    2. 1.2Biology A type of bacteriophage virus used in genetic research.
      [as modifier] ‘lambda phage’
      • ‘Evidence that PP may play a dominant role in UV-induced transition mutagenesis has been obtained for bacteria and lambda phage.’
      • ‘The second class of vectors are derived from the bacteriophage (bacterial virus) lambda.’
      • ‘The sequence of the lambda and phiX174 bacteriophages9 provided the initial confidence booster for undertaking this project.’
      • ‘Also, it is the surface receptor of the virus, bacteriophage lambda.’
      • ‘The diagram below at right shows a virus that attacks bacteria, known as the lambda bacteriophage, which measures roughly 200 nanometers.’
    3. 1.3Anatomy The point at the back of the skull where the parietal bones and the occipital bone meet.
      • ‘These were in the following: lambda, parietal eminence, asterion, and occipital torus.’
      • ‘Berry found sutural bones in 19th century Londoners in the vicinity of the lambda in 28.7% of men and 17.1% of women.’
    4. 1.4Biochemistry [as modifier]Denoting one of the two types of light polypeptide chain present in all immunoglobulin molecules (the other being kappa)
      • ‘As in most reported cases of CDS + B-CLL cells, our patient showed only lambda light chains on the surface of B cells.’
      • ‘Immunohistochemical studies revealed lambda light chain restriction in the neoplastic follicles.’
      • ‘A slight predominance of lambda light chains was recorded.’
      • ‘Immunohistochemistry is noncontributory, and the granular material may nonspecifically stain positively with a host of antibodies, including immunoglobulin A, IgG, IgM, K light chain, lambda light chain, and complement.’
      • ‘In addition, numerous plasmacytoid lymphocytes showed strong cytoplasmic staining for IgM and kappa light chains and negative reaction for lambda light chains.’

  • 1Wavelength.

  • 2Astronomy
    Celestial longitude.