Meaning of kappa in English:


Pronunciation /ˈkapə/


  • 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 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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘In general the kappa indexes showed no substantial variations among different histologic TNS types (malignant, benign, or uncertain malignant potential).’