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K, k

[key]
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noun, plural K's or Ks, k's or ks.
  1. the eleventh letter of the English alphabet, a consonant.
  2. any sound represented by the letter K or k, as in bilk, kit, or sick.
  3. something having the shape of a K.
  4. a written or printed representation of the letter K or k.
  5. a device, as a printer's type, for reproducing the letter K or k.
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k

Symbol.
  1. Mathematics. a vector on the z-axis, having length 1 unit.
  2. Boltzmann constant.
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K

Ecology.
  1. carrying capacity.
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K1

  1. the number 1000: The salary offered is $20K.
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Origin of K1

abbreviation of kilo-

K1

Symbol.
  1. Chemistry. potassium.
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Origin of K1

From the New Latin word kalium

K2

  1. Chess. king.
  2. Physics. Kelvin.
  3. Music. Köchel listing.
  4. kindergarten: a K–12 boarding school.
  5. Real Estate. kitchen.
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K2

Symbol.
  1. the eleventh in order or in a series, or, when I is omitted, the tenth.
  2. Computers.
    1. the number 1024 or 210: A binary 32K memory has 32,768 positions.
    2. kilobyte.
  3. Baseball. strikeout; strikeouts.
  4. Physics. kaon.
  5. Biochemistry. lysine.
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kk

or k

interjection Informal.
  1. (used in text messages and other digital communications) okay; OK.
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k.

  1. Electricity. capacity.
  2. karat.
  3. kilogram; kilograms.
  4. Chess. king.
  5. knight.
  6. knot.
  7. kopeck.
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K.

  1. kip; kips.
  2. Knight.
  3. kwacha.
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kappa

[kap-uh]
noun
  1. the tenth letter of the Greek alphabet (K, k).
  2. the consonant sound represented by this letter.
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Origin of kappa

< Greek káppa < Semitic; see kaph
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for k

k

K

noun plural k's, K's or Ks
  1. the 11th letter and 8th consonant of the modern English alphabet
  2. a speech sound represented by this letter, usually a voiceless velar stop, as in kitten
  3. See five Ks
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k

symbol for
  1. kilo(s)
  2. maths the unit vector along the z-axis
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K

symbol for
  1. kelvin(s)
  2. chess king
  3. chem potassium
  4. physics kaon
  5. currency
    1. kina
    2. kip
    3. kopeck
    4. kwacha
    5. kyat
  6. one thousand
  7. computing
    1. a unit of 1024 words, bits, or bytes
    2. (not in technical usage) 1000
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abbreviation for
  1. Cambodia (international car registration)
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Word Origin

(for sense 3) from New Latin kalium; (for sense 6) from kilo-; (for sense 8) from Kampuchea

K

K.

abbreviation for
  1. Köchel: indicating the serial number in the catalogue (1862) of the works of Mozart made by Ludwig von Köchel (1800–77)
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kappa

noun
  1. the tenth letter in the Greek alphabet (Κ, κ), a consonant, transliterated as c or k
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Word Origin

Greek, of Semitic origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for k

K

Roman letter, from Greek kappa, ultimately from Phoenician and general Semitic kaph, said to be literally "hollow of the hand," so called for its shape. For more on the history of its use, see see C. As a symbol for potassium, it represents Latin kalium "potash." Slang meaning "one thousand dollars" is 1970s, from kilo-. As an indication of "strikeout" in baseball scorekeeping it dates from 1874, said to be from last letter of struck, perhaps because first letter already was being used as abbreviation for sacrifice. The invention of the scorecard symbols is attributed to U.S. newspaperman Henry Chadwick (1824-1908) of the old New York "Clipper."

Smith was the first striker, and went out on three strikes, which is recorded by the figure "1" for the first out, and the letter K to indicate how put out, K being the last letter of the word "struck." The letter K is used in this instance as being easier to remember in connection with the word struck than S, the first letter, would be. [Henry Chadwick, "Chadwick's Base Ball Manual," London, 1874]

K as a measure of capacity (especially in computer memory) or number (especially of salary), meaning "one thousand" is an abbreviation of kilo.

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kappa

tenth letter of the Greek alphabet, from an Aramaized form of qoph; see K.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

k in Medicine

kappa

(kăpə)
n.
  1. The tenth letter of the Greek alphabet.
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adj.
  1. Relating to or characterizing a polypeptide chain that is one of two types of light chains present in immunoglobins.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

k in Science

K

  1. Abbreviation of kelvin
  2. The symbol for potassium.
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potassium

[pə-tăsē-əm]
K
  1. A soft, highly reactive, silvery-white metallic element of the alkali group occurring in nature only in compounds. It is essential for the growth of plants and is used especially in fertilizers and soaps. Atomic number 19; atomic weight 39.098; melting point 63.65°C; boiling point 774°C; specific gravity 0.862; valence 1. See Periodic Table.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.