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

On a warm Tuesday in mid-May, the Forest Park Golf Course in the outskirts of Baltimore serves as a melting pot of area players that run the gamut of both age and skill level. Brent Kennedy,, "Forest Park Golf Course," 18 May 2018 My Israeli relatives today run the gamut of Jewish identities, ranging from a vegan anti-occupation activist to an ultra-Orthodox Torah scholar. Zack Beauchamp, Vox, "I’m an American Jew who abhors Israel’s violence. I still can’t boycott Israel.," 15 May 2018 Like many artists with roots dating back to the 1970s, McGhee’s work runs the gamut of mediums. Ryan Patrick Hooper, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Art Week launches hoping to draw attention to city's art scene," 10 May 2018 Pat's of Henderson A local steak and seafood staple for more than 50 years, Pat's vast menu runs the gamut of regional favorites. Jody Schmal, Houston Chronicle, "Where to stay and play in Lake Charles," 10 May 2018 The Windy City has plenty to offer locals and visitors alike with a bustling array of restaurants that run the gamut of styles, sizes, and types of cuisines. Choose Chicago, Bon Appetit, "Chicago Restaurant Week 2018," 19 Mar. 2018 Jovovich's Alice runs the gamut of trials and tribulations. Jennifer Konerman, The Hollywood Reporter, "Defend Your Favorite Bad Videogame Movie," 16 Mar. 2018 The show addresses the gamut of hot-button political and social issues, and some of the works look less subversive than their makers consider themselves. Molly Glentzer, Houston Chronicle, "Art Daybook: ‘Coyataje (La Migra)’," 23 May 2018 The iPad Pro offers more contrast that’s noticeable when looking at backgrounds that are dark or white, probably thanks in part to its wider color gamut. Lisa Eadicicco, Time, "Review: Apple's New, Cheaper iPad Is Perfect If You Don't Need the Pro," 30 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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Gamow barrier







Phrases Related to gamut

run the gamut

Statistics for gamut

Last Updated

14 Oct 2018

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

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English Language Learners Definition of gamut

: a range or series of related things

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Britannica English: Translation of gamut for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about gamut

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evasion of direct action or statement

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