Home / All Definitions / Numbers & Symbols / Iota (Ι, ι) Definition

Iota (Ι, ι) Definition

Iota (Ι, ι) is the ninth letter of the Greek alphabet. It was derived from the Phoenician letter Yodh. Letters that arose from this letter include the Latin I and J, the Cyrillic І (І, і), Yi (Ї, ї), and Je (Ј, ј), and iotated letters (e.g. Yu (Ю, ю)). In the system of Greek numerals, iota has a value of 10. Iota represents the sound [i]. In early forms of ancient Greek, it occurred in both long [iː] and short [i] versions, but this distinction was lost in Koine Greek.

Iota participated as the second element in falling diphthongs, with both long and short vowels as the first element. Where the first element was long, the iota was lost in pronunciation at an early date, and was written in polytonic orthography as iota subscript, in other words as a very small ι under the main vowel. Examples include ᾼ ᾳ ῌ ῃ ῼ ῳ. The former diphthongs became digraphs for simple vowels in Koine Greek.

The word is used in a common English phrase, "not one iota", meaning "not the slightest amount", in reference to a phrase in the New Testament (Matthew 5:18): "until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, (King James Version: '[not] one jot or one tittle') will pass from the Law until all is accomplished". (Mt 5:18) This refers to iota, the smallest letter, or possibly Yodh, י, the smallest letter in the Hebrew alphabet. The word 'jot' (or iot) derives from iota. The German, Portuguese, and Spanish name for the letter J (Jot / jota) is derived from iota.

Usage in Mathematics & Science

The Iota (Ι, ι) is used for:

  • The lowercase iota symbol ι is sometimes used to write the imaginary unit, but more often Roman i or j is used.

  • In mathematics, the inclusion map of one space into another is sometimes denoted by the lowercase iota ι.

  • In logic, the lowercase iota ι denotes the definite descriptor.

Greek Alphabet

The letters of the Ancient Greek Alphabet, which are frequently utilized in math and science:

Greek Alphabet

Symbol

Letter

Symbol

Letter

Uppercase

Lowercase

Uppercase

Lowercase

Α

α

Alpha

Ν

ν

Nu

Β

β

Beta

Ξ

ξ

Xi

Γ

γ

Gamma

Ο

ο

Omicron

Δ

δ

Delta

Π

π

Pi

Ε

ε

Epsilon

Ρ

ρ

Rho

Ζ

ζ

Zeta

Σ

σ

Sigma

Η

η

Eta

Τ

τ

Tau

Θ

θ

Theta

Υ

υ

Upsilon

Ι

ι

Iota

Φ

φ

Phi

Κ

κ

Kappa

Χ

χ

Chi

Λ

λ

Lambda

Ψ

ψ

Psi

Μ

μ

Mu

Ω

ω

Omega

Related Definitions

Sources

“Iota.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 6 Apr. 2020, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iota.

×

Welcome to Math Converse

Maintenance Icon

Our site is presently undergoing maintenance in order to upgrade the site.

Please be patient and understand that it will take some time to complete this work and random things may not work as intended.

App

App Icon

Check out our free app for iOS & Android.

For more information about our app visit here!

Browser Extension

Browser Extension Icon

Check out our free browser extension for Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Safari, & Opera.

For more information about our browser extension visit here!

Add to Home Screen

Add to Home Screen Icon

Add Math Converse as app to your home screen.

QR Code

Take a photo of the qr code to share this page or to open it quickly on your phone:

Cite This Page

Popular

Data Storage Showcase
Acceleration Showcase
Angle Showcase

Share

Print
Copy Link
Cite Page
Email
Facebook
Twitter
WhatsApp
Reddit
SMS
Skype
Line
Google Classroom
Google Bookmarks
Facebook Messenger
Evernote
Telegram
Linkedin
Pocket
Douban
WeChat
MySpace
Trello
QR Code