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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Alfa \Al"fa\or Alfa grass \Al"fa grass"\, n. A plant ( Macrochloa tenacissima) of North Africa; also, its fiber, used in paper making.


n. The letter ''A'' in the ICAO spelling alphabet

Alfa (rocket)

Alfa was the designation of an Italian solid propellant intermediate-range ballistic missile program that started in 1971 under the control of the GRS (Gruppo di Realizzazione Speciale Interforze). Starting as a development effort for a study on efficient solid-propellant rockets, the Alfa rocket was planned as a two-stage rocket. Test launches with an upper stage mockup took place between 1973 and 1975, from Salto di Quirra.

The Alfa was long and had a diameter of . The first stage of the Alfa was long and contained 6 t of solid rocket fuel. It supplied a thrust of 232 kN for a duration of 57 seconds.

It was capable of carrying a warhead of 1 Mt and had a range of , which meant that it could reach all eastern countries and the western USSR if launched from frigates or destroyers in the Adriatic Sea. Italy has been active in the space sector since 1957, conducting launch and control operations from the Luigi Broglio Space Centre. The advanced Scout and Vega launchers currently used by the European Space Agency (ESA) derive their technological basis partially from Alfa studies.

An Alfa rocket is currently displayed at the Cameri Air Base Museum in Novara Province.


Alfa may refer to:

  • ALFA, Adaptive Land Use for Flood Alleviation
  • A grass also called esparto
  • ALFA (XACML), the Axiomatics Language for Authorization (now standardized as Abbreviated Language for Authorization)
  • Alfa (Lebanon), a Lebanese telecom company
  • ALFA (Mexico), a Mexican industrial conglomerate
  • Alfa (rocket), the designation of an Italian program for the development of efficient solid-propellant rockets
  • ALFA (rowing), an international indoor rowing competition in Estonia
  • Alfa (title), a title in Guinea and Northern Ghana
  • Alfa Aesar, a Chemical catalogue company owned by Johnson Matthey, who originally traded elements under the Alfa label.
  • Alfa-Bank, the Alfa Group corporate treasury, the largest private commercial bank in Russia
  • Alfa Brewery, a family owned independent brewery located in the Netherlands.
  • Alfa Cable Television, a cable television company in Tirana, Albania
  • Alfa class submarine, NATO reporting name for Soviet Union/Russian Navy Project 705 submarine class of hunter/killer nuclear-powered vessels
  • Alfa Group Consortium, one of Russia's largest privately owned financial-industrial conglomerates
  • Alfa Laval AB, a Swedish company,
  • Alfa Legion, a popular Warhammer 40,000 gaming group
  • Alfa Matrix, a Belgian record label.
  • Alfa Pendular, the pendolino high-speed train of Portuguese state railway company CP
  • Alfa Radio, a Macedonian radio station
  • Alfa Radio, a Mexico City radio station
  • Alfa Records, a Japanese record label
  • Alfa Retailindo, a retail company from Indonesia, partially owned by Carrefour
  • Alfa Romeo, an Italian automobile manufacturer
  • Alfa TV, a premium television service available in Cyprus
  • Flugschule Wings Alfa, a hang glider
  • Isaac Alfa, a retired Nigerian Air Force officer
  • The usual spelling for the code word for the letter "A" in the NATO phonetic alphabet.
  • Alliance for Progress and Awakening, a political party in Germany
Alfa (Lebanon)

Alfa is one of the two operating GSM networks in Lebanon, the other being MTC Touch. Alfa and MTC charge customers among the highest rates in the world.

ALFA (Mexico)

Alfa S.A.B. de C.V., also known as Alfa or Alfa Group, is a Mexican multinational conglomerate headquartered in Monterrey, Mexico. It is a diversified group of businesses, mainly industrial, that produces petrochemicals, aluminum auto components, and refrigerated foods. It also participates in the extraction of oil and natural gas, and offers IT & telecom services. It is the global leader in the production of engine blocks and cylinder heads for American and European automakers; it is one of the largest PET and PTA producers in North America; and it is also a leader in the distribution of refrigerated foods in Mexico. In 2013, it was the seventh largest company of Mexico according to CNN Expansión.

Alfa has operations in Mexico, the United States and other 21 countries across the Americas, Europe and Asia. As of 2014, its portfolio comprised five businesses: Alpek, the petrochemical company; Nemak, the aluminum auto components company; Sigma Alimentos, the refrigerated foods company; Alestra, the IT & telecom company; and Newpek, the oil and natural gas extraction company.

Alfa is listed on the Mexican Stock Exchange and the Latibex, the Latin American market in the Madrid Stock Exchange. It is a constituent of the IPC, the main benchmark index of the Mexican Stock Exchange, and of the S&P Latin America 40, which includes leading, blue chip companies from Latin America.

Alfa (title)

Alfa is a title given to distinguished figures in Guinea, particularly in the Kankan Region. It has become known in Guinea as a title of respect, especially amongst the Maninka and Fulbé and is commonly given to scholars and learned and religious military leaders.


ALFA, the Abbreviated Language For Authorization, is a pseudocode language used in the formulation of access-control policies.

ALFA (rowing)

ALFA is the biggest indoor rowing competition in the Baltics raced over 1,000 m on Concept2 indoor rowers. The first competition in Estonia on Concept2 rowing ergometers took place at the end of 1993 in the hall of the Lootos sports association. There were 54 participants in the competition, initiated by the Tallinn Rowing Club. In 1995, the second rowing ergometer competition took place in the sports facilities of Flora with the third event occurring at the same venue in 1996.

The competition was international for the first time in 1997 and the venue was then the Kalev gym at Tõnismägi. In 1998, the competition got the symbolic name ALFA and it took place in Pirita in the TOP tennis hall, and was repeated there in 1999. The 2000 Alfa competition was dedicated to the 125th anniversary of Estonian rowing. The venue, for the years 2000 as well s for 2001, was the Tallinn Sports Hall. In years 2002 and 2003, the competition took place in the Tallinn Kalev Sports Hall and since 2004, the International competitions on Concept2 rowing ergometers have been held again in Tallinn Sports Hall.

Between the years 1993–1997, the organizer of the competitions was the Tallinn Rowing Club and since 1998 the Tallinn Rowing Club in collaboration with the Estonian Rowing Association.

Over the years the number of participants in the Alfa competition has grown from fifty to five hundred and thus is one of the biggest indoor sporting events in Estonia. Nowadays, the Alfa has become a fixed calendar event for the rowers. In addition to rowers, representatives of other sports, amateurs, politicians, firms, school children, the representatives of the defence forces and rescue services etc. participate actively in the competition.

Usage examples of "alfa".

Orbit Approach, this is Starship Impris, Faber Eridani registry Sierra Alfa Niner-Four-Two-Seven-Two, with you at half a million kilometers.

His current vessel was a brand-new Alfa, the fastest submarine ever made.

Sally thought of Diamond, huddled down in the front of the Alfa, and bought the largest bottle of Chivas the meager contents of his wallet could afford.

She could see the Alfa parked below, the moonlight gilding its dark green paint.

And that was the way they came in, with the uniforms saluting as Pio wheeled the Alfa under the portal and into the interior courtyard.

A gray Alfa Romeo was parked in dry grass alongside a tiny three-wheel farm vehicle.

Pio moved the Alfa Romeo off, shifting through the H of the manual transmission.

A tremendous squeal of tires was followed by a deadening crash as the Alfa hit the truck full on.

Zeiss Diavari C, and through it Thomas Kind watched the dark blue Alfa Romeo come down the hill toward Bellagio.

Rome in the backseat of a dark blue Alfa Romeo with the top cop of Gruppo Cardinale sitting next to him.

Adrianna said as the blue Alfa Romeo pulled in and stopped behind the Fiat.

Scala, and Castelletti stood beside the blue Alfa, watching the smoke and listening to the sirens, like most all of Rome.

Fifteen minutes later he was being whisked across Rome in the backseat of a dark blue Alfa Romeo with the top cop of Gruppo Cardinale sitting next to him.

The darkest corner was the bedroom, which had a platform of stone on which rugs were spread, and there was a lower mound of dried mud, roughly curtained off from the rest with two or three red and blue foutahs suspended on ropes made of twisted alfa, or dried grass.

Frenchman, Pierre Rostafel, who wandered unsteadily up and down the quadrangle, his torch of alfa grass ready in his hand.