gamut

noun
gam·​ut | \ˈga-mət \

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

And even more importantly, these possible nominees run the gamut from superhero movies to horror movies to musicals. Todd Vanderwerff, Vox, "It looks like the Oscars are going to nominate a bunch of big hits for Best Picture," 30 Nov. 2018 The organization recently announced the shortlist for the 2018 awards (winners will be announced on December 4th), which run the gamut from the psychological effects of movie genres to how spring is arriving earlier and earlier. Angela Chen, The Verge, "Check out some of the best data visualizations from the Information is Beautiful awards," 28 Oct. 2018 This week's slate of new TV shows and movies runs the gamut. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "All the TV Shows and Movies You Need to Watch the Week of July 26," 29 July 2018 In Pennsylvania, braiders must be licensed and must complete 2,000 hours of training in a beauty school, which covers a gamut of topics including hair styling and coloring. Jan Hefler, Philly.com, "$18,000 in tuition and 1,200 hours of study for a license to braid hair? New Jersey lawmakers say no," 13 July 2018 Ask professional investors, and the responses cover a gamut of inputs, ranging from corporate profits, the economy, risk, valuation, taxes, interest rates, sentiment, inflation and more. Barry Ritholtz, latimes.com, "Ranking the factors that help or hurt your investment returns," 14 June 2018 Before Barr’s eponymous television show got canceled because of a racist tweet, her tweets covered the conspiracy theory gamut from MK Ultra to Pizzagate to 9/11 trutherism — and, of course, Soros the Nazi. Jane Coaston, Vox, "Donald Trump Jr. suggested George Soros is a Nazi. That’s ridiculous.," 11 June 2018 The menu: The menu is not overwhelming but covers the gamut of Italian-focused choices perfect for lunch-time or dinner crowds. Marc Bona, cleveland.com, "First Look: Rose Italian Kitchen opens in Solon," 30 Apr. 2018 The complaints cover a gamut of issues with many pointing to video posts made by Cochran or others connected to the rescue as evidence of wrongdoing. J. Harry Jones, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Horse rescue owner defends euthanasia methods," 10 Mar. 2018

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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Dictionary Entries near gamut

Gamow barrier

gamp

gamphrel

gamut

-gamy

gamy

gan

Statistics for gamut

Last Updated

9 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for gamut

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

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More Definitions for gamut

gamut

noun

English Language Learners Definition of gamut

: a range or series of related things

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More from Merriam-Webster on gamut

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for gamut

Spanish Central: Translation of gamut

Nglish: Translation of gamut for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of gamut for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about gamut

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