Definition of lambda in English:


Line breaks: lambda
Pronunciation: /ˈlamdə


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


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  • 1 (λ) Wavelength.
  • 1.1 (λ) Astronomy Celestial longitude.



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Pronunciation: ˌastrəˈgāSHən
(in science fiction) navigation in outer space