fourth letter of the Greek alphabet

Delta (uppercase/lowercase Δ δ), is a letter of the Greek alphabet, used to represent the "d" sound in Ancient and Modern Greek. In the system of Greek numerals, it has a value of 4. Letters that came from it include the Roman D and Cyrillic Д.

In mathematics, the upper-case letter Δ can be used as symbol to represent "change" in a variable (e.g., ). It can also be used to represent discriminant—a key algebraic expression used to determine the number of roots a polynomial has. The lower-case letter , on the other hand, is often used to denote small quantities in proofs involving limit, a key concept on calculus is based on.[1]

In molecular chemistry, the lower case Greek letter δ is used to represent a partial charge. This is always less than the unit charge associated with an ion, but has no real fixed value.

A river delta is so named because its shape approximates the upper-case letter delta.



  1. "Compendium of Mathematical Symbols". Math Vault. 2020-03-01. Retrieved 2020-08-18.