Synonym Chooser

How does the noun scope differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of scope are compass, gamut, orbit, range, and sweep. While all these words mean "the extent that lies within the powers of something (as to cover or control)," scope is applicable to an area of activity, predetermined and limited, but somewhat flexible.

as time went on, the scope of the investigation widened

In what contexts can compass take the place of scope?

The words compass and scope are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, compass implies a sometimes limited extent of perception, knowledge, or activity.

your concerns lie beyond the narrow compass of this study

When could gamut be used to replace scope?

The meanings of gamut and scope largely overlap; however, gamut suggests a graduated series running from one possible extreme to another.

a performance that ran the gamut of emotions

When can orbit be used instead of scope?

While in some cases nearly identical to scope, 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

When is range a more appropriate choice than scope?

While the synonyms range and scope are close in meaning, 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

Where would sweep be a reasonable alternative to scope?

In some situations, the words sweep and scope are roughly equivalent. However, sweep suggests extent, often circular or arc-shaped, of motion or activity.

the book covers the entire sweep of criminal activity

Thesaurus Entries Near scope

Cite this Entry

“Scope.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Dec. 2023.

More from Merriam-Webster on scope

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