diapason

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

Definition of diapason

  1. 1a :  a burst of sound diapasons of laughterb :  the principal foundation stop in the organ extending through the complete range of the instrumentc (1) :  the entire compass of musical tones (2) :  range, scope registers the full diapason of her responses — Mindy Aloff

  2. 2a :  tuning forkb :  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-


First Known Use: circa 1501


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