gam·​ut | \ ˈga-mət How to pronounce gamut (audio) \

Definition of gamut

1 : the whole series of recognized musical notes
2 : an entire range or series ran the gamut from praise to contempt

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Choose the Right Synonym for gamut

range, gamut, compass, sweep, scope, orbit mean the extent that lies within the powers of something (as to cover or control). range is a general term indicating the extent of one's perception or the extent of powers, capacities, or possibilities. the entire range of human experience gamut suggests a graduated series running from one possible extreme to another. a performance that ran the gamut of emotions compass implies a sometimes limited extent of perception, knowledge, or activity. your concerns lie beyond the narrow compass of this study sweep suggests extent, often circular or arc-shaped, of motion or activity. the book covers the entire sweep of criminal activity scope is applicable to an area of activity, predetermined and limited, but somewhat flexible. as time went on, the scope of the investigation widened orbit suggests an often circumscribed range of activity or influence within which forces work toward accommodation. within that restricted orbit they tried to effect social change

Did You Know?

To get the lowdown on gamut, we have to dive to the bottom of a musical scale developed by 11th-century musician and monk Guido of Arezzo. Guido called the first line of his bass staff gamma and the first note in his scale ut, which meant that gamma ut was the term for a note written on the first staff line. In time, gamma ut underwent a shortening to gamut but climbed the scale of meaning. It expanded to cover all the notes of Guido's scale, then all the notes in the range of an instrument, and, eventually, an entire range of any sort.

Examples of gamut in a Sentence

She experienced the full gamut of human emotions. the actress's work runs the gamut from goofy comedies to serious historical dramas
Recent Examples on the Web Clients run the gamut from lawyers to coffee baristas and everything in between, Kahan said. Megan Cerullo, CBS News, "Videoconference calls are leading men to the makeup counter," 4 Mar. 2021 These run the gamut from core capabilities to the application level interfaces like digital wallets and ways to integrate into existing payment infrastructure. Vipin Bharathan, Forbes, "Roxe Announces A Global CBDC Payment Network Powered By Blockchain," 2 Mar. 2021 These brands run the gamut from beauty editor-favorite sunscreens for darker skin tones to celebrity esthetician Shani Darden’s signature Retinol Reform. Nicole Saunders, NBC News, "200 Black-owned businesses to support in 2021," 27 Feb. 2021 The store’s offerings run the gamut from cinnamon cake to sticky buns to fruit Danish and chocolate croissants. Mary Carole Mccauley,, "Sweet success: Four generations and 90 years of Goll’s bakery in Havre de Grace," 26 Feb. 2021 Recent security concerns about Clubhouse run the gamut from vulnerabilities to questions about the app's underlying infrastructure. Lily Hay Newman, Wired, "Clubhouse's Security and Privacy Lag Behind Its Explosive Growth," 26 Feb. 2021 In terms of what might be in the works, Jenner's trademark interests run the gamut, covering a range of beauty product categories. Megan Decker,, "Looks Like Kris Jenner May Be Coming Out With Her Own Skincare Line," 23 Feb. 2021 The mayor's accusations against Teague run the gamut. Dan Horn, The Enquirer, "Bethel's mayor and police chief battle over BLM protests, pandemic safety and two dead cows," 19 Feb. 2021 Conversations so far have run the gamut: mechanics, pitch mix, pitch shape. Susan Slusser, San Francisco Chronicle, "Change of scenery - and weather - bode well for new Giants starter Anthony DeSclafani," 18 Feb. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'gamut.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of gamut

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for gamut

Middle English gamut, gamma-ut "lowest note in the medieval hexachord system, the system itself," borrowed from Medieval Latin, from gamma gamma entry 1 (used as a symbol for the lowest note in the scale) + ut ut

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Time Traveler for gamut

Time Traveler

The first known use of gamut was in the 15th century

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Last Updated

8 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Gamut.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Mar. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of gamut

: a range or series of related things

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