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[dahy-uh-pey-zuh n, -suh n] /ˌdaɪ əˈpeɪ zən, -sən/
noun, Music.
a full, rich outpouring of melodious sound.
the compass of a voice or instrument.
a fixed standard of pitch.
either of two principal timbres or stops of a pipe organ, one of full, majestic tone (open diapason) and the other of strong, flutelike tone (stopped diapason)
any of several other organ stops.
a tuning fork.
Origin of diapason
1350-1400; Middle English diapasoun < Latin diapāsōn the whole octave < Greek dià pāsôn (chordôn) through all (the notes), short for hē dià pāsôn chordôn symphōnía the concord through all the notes of the scale
Related forms
diapasonal, adjective
subdiapason, noun
subdiapasonal, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for diapason
Historical Examples
  • From the church itself a silence which could be sensed seemed to roll, eclipsing the diapason of an organ.

    The Debtor Mary E. Wilkins Freeman
  • At last the curtain fell; but on such a storm and diapason of applause!

    Zanoni Edward Bulwer Lytton
  • Far away rolls the heavy thunder,—so far that it seems the diapason of a distant organ.

    The Seat of Empire Charles Carleton Coffin
  • The dimensions of these pipes are regulated by a diapason, or scale.

  • Other sounds, hollow and shrill—treble mingling with diapason—joined in the first.

    A Man's Woman Frank Norris
  • They were the diapason of all the thought and feeling of that profound and passionate spirit.

    Lothair Benjamin Disraeli
  • Isolated fundamental tones are apt to be colourless and monotonous, like the diapason work on an organ.

    Spirit and Music H. Ernest Hunt
  • diapason, in music, the concord of the first and last notes of an octave.

  • Deep under the crackling of the flames vibrated the diapason of the great dynamo.

    The Doomsman Van Tassel Sutphen
  • Then come the noisy nuisances, extending through all the diapason of sound.

    Border and Bastille George A. Lawrence
British Dictionary definitions for diapason


/ˌdaɪəˈpeɪzən; -ˈpeɪsən/
noun (music)
either of two stops (open and stopped diapason) usually found throughout the compass of a pipe organ that give it its characteristic tone colour
the compass of an instrument or voice
(chiefly in French usage)
  1. a standard pitch used for tuning, esp the now largely obsolete one of A above middle C = 435 hertz, known as diapason normal (French(djapazɔ̃ nɔrmal)
  2. a tuning fork or pitch pipe
(in classical Greece) an octave
Derived Forms
diapasonal, diapasonic (ˌdaɪəpeɪˈzɒnɪk; -ˈsɒn-) adjective
Word Origin
C14: from Latin: the whole octave, from Greek: () dia pasōn (khordōn sumphōnia) (concord) through all (the notes), from dia through + pas all
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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