Word of the Day : February 7, 2015


noun dye-uh-PAY-zun


1 a : the principal foundation stop in the organ extending through the complete range of the instrument

b : the entire range of musical tones

2 a : tuning fork

b : a standard of pitch

Did You Know?

Diapason covers a wide range of meanings in English, almost all pertaining to music or sound. The word derives from the Greek roots dia-, which means "through" and occurs in such words as diameter and diagonal, and pasōn, the genitive feminine plural of pas, meaning "all." Pas is related to the prefix pan-, which is used in such words as pantheism and pandemic. In Greek, the phrase hē dia pasōn chordōn symphōnia translates literally to "the concord through all the notes," with the word concord here referring to a combination of tones that are heard simultaneously and produce an agreeable impression on the listener.


We knew the audience enjoyed Heather's stand-up comedy from the diapasons of laughter that erupted throughout her routine.

"The programme, genially introduced by Peter King, showed us what a very fine sound the Klais [organ] can produce, played by a master. From the tinkling bells to the mighty diapason, it filled the Abbey with a wealth of tuneful lush harmony." - Peter Lloyd Williams, Bath (UK) Chronicle, May 19, 2014

Test Your Memory

What former Word of the Day begins with "l" and refers to skill and dexterity in conjuring tricks? The answer is …


More Words of the Day

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!