gamut

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English[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Etymology[edit]

1520s, original sense “lowest note of musical scale”, from Medieval Latin gamma ut, from gamma ((Greek letter, corresponding to the musical note G)) + ut (first solfège syllable, now replaced by do). In modern terms, “G do” – the first note of the G scale[1]. Meaning later extended to mean all the notes of a scale, and then more generally any complete range.

Noun[edit]

gamut (plural gamuts)

  1. A (normally) complete range.
    • 19??, Dorothy Parker, review of Katharine Hepburn in the Broadway play The Lake
      She delivered a striking performance that ran the gamut of emotions, from A to B.
    • 1922, Virginia Woolf, Jacob’s Room Chapter 2
      The entire gamut of the view's changes should have been known to her; its winter aspect, spring, summer and autumn; how storms came up from the sea; how the moors shuddered and brightened as the clouds went over; she should have noted the red spot where the villas were building; and the criss-cross of lines where the allotments were cut...
  2. (music) All the notes in the musical scale.
  3. All the colours available to a device such as a monitor or printer.

Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

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References[edit]

  1. ^ gamut” in Douglas Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary (2001).