Omega

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Omega uc lc.svg
Greek alphabet
Αα Alpha Νν Nu
Ββ Beta Ξξ Xi
Γγ Gamma Οο Omicron
Δδ Delta Ππ Pi
Εε Epsilon Ρρ Rho
Ζζ Zeta Σσς Sigma
Ηη Eta Ττ Tau
Θθ Theta Υυ Upsilon
Ιι Iota Φφ Phi
Κκ Kappa Χχ Chi
Λλ Lambda Ψψ Psi
Μμ Mu Ωω Omega
History
Archaic local variants
  • Digamma
  • Heta
  • San
  • Koppa
  • Sampi
  • Tsan
Numerals
ϛ (6)
ϟ (90)
ϡ (900)
In other languages
Scientific symbols

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Omega (capital: Ω, lowercase: ω; Greek Ωμέγα) is the 24th and last letter of the Greek alphabet. In the Greek numeric system, it has a value of 800. The word literally means "great O" (ō mega, mega meaning 'great'), as opposed to omicron, which means "little O" (o mikron, micron meaning "little").[1] This name is Byzantine; in Classical Greek, the letter was called ō ({{#invoke:Category handler|main}}), whereas the omicron was called ou (οὖ{{#invoke:Category handler|main}}).[2] The form of the uppercase letter derives from that of an omicron (Ο) broken up at the side (Greek Omega 09.svg), with the edges subsequently turned outward (Greek Omega 05.svg, Greek Omega 03.svg, Greek Omega 07.svg).[3] The modern lowercase shape goes back to the uncial form Greek uncial Omega.svg, a form that developed during the 3rd century BC in ancient handwriting on papyrus, from a flattened-out form of the letter (Greek Omega 08.svg) that had its edges curved even further upward.[4]

In phonetic terms, the Ancient Greek Ω is a long open-mid o [ɔː], comparable to the vowel of British English raw. In Modern Greek, Ω represents the same sound as omicron. The letter omega is transcribed ō or simply o.

Omega (the last letter of the Greek alphabet) is often used to denote the last, the end, or the ultimate limit of a set, in contrast to alpha, the first letter of the Greek alphabet.

Omega was also adopted into the early Cyrillic alphabet. See Cyrillic omega (Ѡ, ѡ). A Raetic variant is conjectured to be at the origin or parallel evolution of the Elder Futhark .

Omega was also adopted into the Latin alphabet, as a letter of the 1982 revision to the African reference alphabet. It has had little use. See Latin omega.

Omega is also used in Christianity, as a part of the Alpha and Omega metaphor.

The symbol Ω (uppercase letter)

Template:Refimprove section The uppercase letter Ω is used as a symbol:

The symbol ω (lower case letter)

The minuscule letter ω is used as a symbol:

Character Encodings

  • Greek Omega / Coptic Oou

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  • Cyrillic Omega

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  • Latin / IPA Omega

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  • Technical Omega symbols

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  • Mathematical Omega

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These characters are used only as mathematical symbols. Stylized Greek text should be encoded using the normal Greek letters, with markup and formatting to indicate text style.

Notes

  1. The Greek Alphabet
  2. Herbert Weir Smyth. A Greek Grammar for Colleges. §1
  3. Anne Jeffery (1961), The local scripts of archaic Greece, p.37–38.
  4. Edward M. Thompson (1912), Introduction to Greek and Latin paleography, Oxford: Clarendon. p.144
  5. http://www.cedex.es/NR/rdonlyres/B8A9522A-5D6F-4675-921A-24BB8458187B/124720/Capilla_et_al_geoENV_2012_Valencia_Espa%C3%B1a_Extended.pdf
  6. Excerpts from The Unicode Standard, Version 4.0. Retrieved 11 October 2006.
  7. Unicode Code Charts: Greek and Coptic (Range: 0370-03FF)