diapason

play
noun di·a·pa·son \ ˌdī-ə-ˈpā-zᵊn , -sᵊn \

Definition of diapason

1 a :a burst of sound
  • diapasons of laughter
b :the principal foundation stop in the organ extending through the complete range of the instrument
c (1) :the entire compass of musical tones
(2) :range, scope
  • registers the full diapason of her responses
  • —Mindy Aloff
b :a standard of pitch

diapason was our Word of the Day on 02/07/2015. Hear the podcast!

Examples of diapason in a Sentence

  1. the survey ultimately recorded the full diapason of seemingly possible replies regarding sexual practices

Did You Know?

Diapason covers a wide range of meanings in English, almost all pertaining to music or sound. The word derives from the Greek roots dia-, which means "through" and occurs in such words as diameter and diagonal, and pasōn, the genitive feminine plural of pas, meaning "all." Pas is related to the prefix pan-, which is used in such words as pantheism and pandemic. In Greek, the phrase hē dia pasōn chordōn symphōnia translates literally to "the concord through all the notes," with the word concord here referring to a combination of tones that are heard simultaneously and produce an agreeable impression on the listener.

Origin and Etymology of diapason

Middle English, from Latin, from Greek (hē) dia pasōn (chordōn symphōnia), literally, the concord through all the notes, from dia through + pasōn, genitive feminine plural of pas all — more at dia-, pan-

diapason Synonyms


Learn More about diapason


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up diapason? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

agreeable, attractive, or delicious

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Merriam-Webster's New Words Quiz—Fall 2017 Edition!

  • young-plant-shoots
  • Which of the following is a new sense of the word bunny?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!