ASCII Character αGreek small letter alpha
Alpha /ˈælfə/ (uppercase Α, lowercase α; Ancient Greek: ἄλφα, álpha, or Greek: άλφα, romanized: álfa) is the first letter of the Greek alphabet. In the system of Greek numerals, it has a value of one. Alpha is derived from the Phoenician letter aleph aleph, which is the West Semitic word for "ox". Letters that arose from alpha include the Latin letter A and the Cyrillic letter А. As the first letter of the alphabet, Alpha as a Greek numeral came to represent the number 1. Therefore, Alpha, both as a symbol and term, is used to refer to the "first", or "primary", or "principal" (most significant) occurrence or status of a thing.