Definition of lambda in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈlamdə/


1The eleventh letter of the Greek alphabet (Λ, λ), transliterated as ‘l.’.
Example sentences
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • The cosmological constant, which Einstein signified by the Greek letter lambda, made it so.
1.1 (Lambda) [followed by Latin genitive] Astronomy The eleventh star in a constellation: Lambda Tauri
1.2 Biology A type of bacteriophage virus used in genetic research: [as modifier]: lambda phage
More example sentences
  • 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.
  • Evidence that PP may play a dominant role in UV-induced transition mutagenesis has been obtained for bacteria and lambda phage.
1.3 Anatomy The point at the back of the skull where the parietal bones and the occipital bone meet.
Example sentences
  • Berry found sutural bones in 19th century Londoners in the vicinity of the lambda in 28.7% of men and 17.1% of women.
  • These were in the following: lambda, parietal eminence, asterion, and occipital torus.
1.4 [as modifier] Biochemistry Denoting one of the two types of light polypeptide chain present in all immunoglobulin molecules (the other being kappa).
Example sentences
  • 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.
  • As in most reported cases of CDS + B-CLL cells, our patient showed only lambda light chains on the surface of B cells.
  • A slight predominance of lambda light chains was recorded.


1 (λ) Wavelength.
2 (λ) Astronomy Celestial longitude.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: lamb·da

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