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Gobble up these 8 terms for eating


[gam-uh t] /ˈgæm ət/
the entire scale or range:
the gamut of dramatic emotion from grief to joy.
  1. the whole series of recognized musical notes.
  2. the major scale.
Origin of gamut
late Middle English
1425-75; late Middle English < Medieval Latin; contraction of gamma ut, equivalent to gamma, used to represent the first or lowest tone (G) in the medieval scale + ut (later do); the notes of the scale (ut, re, mi, fa, sol, la, si) being named from a Latin hymn to St. John the Baptist: Ut queant laxis resonare fibris. Mira gestorum famuli tuorum, Solve polluti labii reatum, Sancte Iohannes
Can be confused
gambit, gamut, gantlet, gauntlet.
1. sweep, breadth, scope, reach, extent, field. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for gamut
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • She threw her arms around her friend, her imagination running the gamut of possible calamities.

    Peggy Raymond's Way Harriet Lummis Smith
  • gamut cheerfully assented, and together they sought the females.

    The Last of the Mohicans James Fenimore Cooper
  • Little George was kept from the public school, because the gamut was there taught.

    ZigZag Journeys in Northern Lands; Hezekiah Butterworth
  • His face ran the gamut from white to red, from red back again to white.

    Little Novels of Italy Maurice Henry Hewlett
  • The Mohicans boldly sent back the intimidating yell of their enemies, who raised a shout of savage triumph at the fall of gamut.

    The Last of the Mohicans James Fenimore Cooper
British Dictionary definitions for gamut


entire range or scale, as of emotions
  1. a scale, esp (in medieval theory) one starting on the G on the bottom line of the bass staff
  2. the whole range of notes
(physics) the range of chromaticities that can be obtained by mixing three colours
Word Origin
C15: from Medieval Latin, changed from gamma ut, from gamma, the lowest note of the hexachord as established by Guido d'Arezzo + ut (now, doh), the first of the notes of the scale ut, re, mi, fa, sol, la, si, derived from a Latin hymn to St John: Ut queant laxis resonare fibris, Mira gestorum famuli tuorum, Solve polluti labi reatum, Sancte Iohannes
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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Contemporary definitions for gamut

the full range or compass of something; a range from one extreme to the other

Word Origin

Medieval Latin gamma 'G' + ut 'lowest note''s 21st Century Lexicon
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Word Origin and History for gamut

1520s, originally, "lowest note in the medieval musical scale," in the system of notation devised by Guido d'Arezzo, contraction of Medieval Latin gamma ut, from gamma, the Greek letter, indicating a note below A, + ut, the low note on the six-note musical scale that took names from corresponding syllables in a Latin hymn for St. John the Baptist's Day:

Ut queant laxis resonare fibris
Mira gestorum famuli tuorum
Solve polluti labii reatum
etc. Gamut came to be used for "the whole musical scale;" the figurative sense of "entire scale or range" of anything is first recorded 1620s. When the modern octave scale was set early 16c., si was added, changed to ti in Britain and U.S. to keep the syllables as different from each other as possible. Ut later was replaced by more sonorous do (n.). Cf. also solmisation.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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gamut in Technology

The gamut of a monitor is the set of colours it can display. There are some colours which can't be made up of a mixture of red, green and blue phosphor emissions and so can't be displayed by any monitor.

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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