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

While growing up, Payne’s aspirations were also shaped by a variety of experiences that ran the gamut of pageantry and 4-H. At only 8 years old, Payne was introduced to pageants by participating in Little Miss Ramona Rodeo. Ramona Sentinel, "Emily Payne shares love of dancing, pageantry," 25 July 2019 Thrill-seekers will find a gamut of rides, including the Ferris wheel, at the Fun Zone open until midnight. San Diego Union-Tribune, "42 ways to celebrate July 4 in San Diego County with fireworks and parades," 27 June 2019 Almost everything else here also gets made from scratch, including a gamut of red and green salsas. James Patrick Kelly, idahostatesman, "Boise’s trendy new taquerias redefine the taco – and diners get to taste the difference," 27 June 2018 For instance, many people are unaware that eczema is actually an umbrella term — as is dermatitis — used to describe a gamut of skin inflammations. Kaleigh Fasanella, Allure, "How to Tell the Difference Between Dermatitis and Eczema," 15 June 2018 If the white people on the show exist in this small-ish spectrum, then the black students and adults seem to run almost the entire gamut of black collegiate experience. Joanna Robinson, HWD, "Logan Browning Says Dear White People Is for Everyone—Even the Trolls," 23 Apr. 2018 Watching their daughter score the first goal for Team USA brought out a gamut of emotions. Tony Baranek, Daily Southtown, "Abbey Murphy brings home Team USA gold medal in hockey to Mother McAuley," 19 Jan. 2018 The Redondo Beach Pier Concert Series runs the gamut from blues to country, Hawaiian, jazz, rock, salsa and swing. Jordan Riefe, Orange County Register, "What’s hot in OC arts and entertainment for August," 31 July 2019 HaloVa Diaper Bag Multi-Function Waterproof Travel Backpack Diaper bags run the gamut from fabulous to failure. Anna Lane, USA TODAY, "The best toys, games, and baby deals this Prime Day," 15 July 2019

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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Last Updated

2 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for gamut

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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formidable, illustrious, or eminent

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