Alpha Symbol: Origins and Meaning +12 Facts

Today we are going to review the meaning of the Alpha Symbol. A sign that we find in many fields including classical Greek mythology.

Alpha Symbol
Alpha Symbol

What is the meaning of the Alpha symbol?

If we are going to examine the meaning of the alpha symbol, we should definitely start by explaining what the phrase “Alpha and Omega” means. After all, this religious context is the most prominent and popular use of both symbols. God declares his eternal nature and that he is the beginning and the end of all that exists by using the first and the last letter of the Greek alphabet.

In Judaism, on the other hand, truth is regarded as “the seal of God” and “emet,” the Hebrew word for truth, begins and ends with the first and last letters of the Hebrew alphabet, aleph and tav, respectively.

Therefore, it could be said that the concepts of “emet” and “alpha and omega” used to represent God in two of the world’s most prominent religions are similar in this respect. The symbols/letters alpha and omega were frequently used in early Christian art and sculpture, as well as being inscribed on crosses used in those times.

These symbols were often used together with “chi” and “rho”, the first two letters of the word “Christ” in the Greek language (Χριστός/Christós).

Scientific Meanings

In algebraic solutions in mathematics, the symbol alpha is sometimes used to indicate quantities such as angles. Also in physical chemistry, it is used to represent the coefficient of thermal expansion of a compound.

In the areas of chemistry and physics, the alpha symbol is also used to represent alpha carbon, alpha particles, electromagnetic interaction force, angular acceleration and alpha radiation.

The alpha symbol is also used to indicate the most dominant wolf (or dog) in a pack. This is also where the phrase “alpha male” comes from. We hope you liked our article about the alpha symbol and its meaning. Share the content if you did, thank you very much!

alpha sign hand
Alpha with hand sign

Alpha Uses

The use of the alpha varies according to the country and the history that is directly related to this symbol, according to the mythology and the country its use is:


In ancient Greek, the alpha was pronounced and could be phonetically long or short. Where there is ambiguity, long and short alpha are sometimes written with a macron and today with a breve: Ᾱᾱ, Ᾰᾰ. ὥρα = ὥρᾱ hōrā Greek pronunciation: “a time” γλῶσσσα = γλῶσσσᾰ glôssa Greek pronunciation: “tongue”.

In modern Greek, the vowel length has been lost, and all instances of alpha simply represent IPA: In the polytonic spelling of Greek, alpha, like other vowel letters, can appear with several diacritical marks: any of the three accent symbols (ά, ὰ, ὰ, ᾶ), and any of the two breath marks (ἁ, ἀ), as well as combinations of these. It can also be combined with the subscript iota (ᾳ).

Greek grammar

In the Attic-Ionic dialect of ancient Greek, the long alpha was directed to[ɛː] (eta). In Ionic, the change took place in all positions. Also in Attic, the shift did not take place after epsilon, iota, and rho (ε, ι, ρ; e, i, r). Also in Doric and Aeolic, the long alpha is preserved in all positions.

Mathematics and science

The letter alpha stands for several concepts in physics and chemistry, including alpha radiation, angular acceleration, alpha particles, alpha carbon, and electromagnetic interaction force (as a fine structure constant).

It also stands for coefficient of thermal expansion of a compound in physical chemistry. Commonly used in mathematics in algebraic solutions representing quantities such as angles. In addition, it is used to denote the area under a normal curve in statistics to denote the level of significance when testing null and alternative hypotheses.

In zoology, it is used to denote the dominant individual in a pack of wolves or dogs. Also in aerodynamics, the letter is used as a symbol for the angle of attack of an aircraft and the word “alpha” is used as a synonym for this property. The capital letter alpha is not generally used as a symbol because it tends to be identical to the Latin capital letter A.

International phonetic alphabet


In the International Phonetic Alphabet, the letter ɑ, which resembles the lowercase alpha, represents the unrounded open back vowel.


Plutarch, in Morelia, presents a discussion on why the letter alpha is the first in the alphabet. Ammonius asks Plutarch what he, being a Boeotian, has to say about Cadmus, the Phoenician who supposedly settled in Thebes and introduced the alphabet into Greece, placing alpha first because it is the Phoenician name for ox.

Mark a difference from Hesiod, the Phoenicians did not consider the second or the third, but the first of all necessities. “None at all,” replied Plutarch. Then he added that he would rather be assisted by Lamprias, his own grandfather, than by the grandfather of Dionysus, i.e. Cadmus.

For Lamprias had said that the first articulate sound made is “alpha,” because it is very simple and straightforward-the air coming out of the mouth requires no movement of the tongue-and therefore this is the first sound that children make. According to Plutarch’s natural order of attribution of vowels to the planets, alpha was connected with the Moon.

Alpha and Omega

Alpha, both as a symbol and as a term, is used to refer to or describe a variety of things, including the first or most significant occurrence of something. The New Testament has God declaring Himself to be “the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.” (Revelation 22:13, NKJV, and see also 1:8). Because of this symbolism, the characters ⍺ and ⍵ denote the left and right arguments in the APL programming language.

alpha and omega
Alpha and Omega

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