the entire scale or range: the gamut of dramatic emotion from grief to joy.
the whole series of recognized musical notes.
the major scale.

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

gambit, gamut, gantlet, gauntlet.

1. sweep, breadth, scope, reach, extent, field. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
gamut (ˈgæmət)
1.  entire range or scale, as of emotions
2.  music
 a.  a scale, esp (in medieval theory) one starting on the G on the bottom line of the bass staff
 b.  the whole range of notes
3.  physics the range of chromaticities that can be obtained by mixing three colours
[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 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source's 21st Century Lexicon
Main Entry:  gamut1
Part of Speech:  n
Definition:  the full range or compass of recognized musical notes; by extension, the compass of an instrument or voice
Etymology:  Medieval Latin gamma 'G' + ut 'lowest note'
Main Entry:  gamut2
Part of Speech:  n
Definition:  the first or lowest note of the Guidonian musical scale
Etymology:  Medieval Latin gamma 'G' + ut 'lowest note'
Main Entry:  gamut3
Part of Speech:  n
Definition:  the full range or compass of something; a range from one extreme to the other
Etymology:  Medieval Latin gamma 'G' + ut 'lowest note''s 21st Century Lexicon
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Word Origin & History

1530, originally, "lowest note in the medieval musical scale," in the system of notation devised by Guido d'Arezzo, contraction of M.L. gamma ut, from gamma, the Gk. letter, indicating a note below A + ut (later do), the low note on the six-note musical scale that took names from corresponding syllables
in a L. 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" by 1529; the figurative sense of "entire scale or range" of anything is first recorded 1626.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Computing Dictionary

gamut definition

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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Encyclopedia Britannica


in music, the full range of pitches in a musical system; also, the compass of a particular instrument or voice. The word originated with the medieval monk Guido of Arezzo (d. 1050) to identify his system of solmization, i.e., of using syllables to denote musical tones in a scale. Thus, to render in syllables the six tones of the hexatonic scale that prevailed, Guido started with the lowest tone recognized in medieval music theory, the second G below middle C, or gamma. For this note he selected the syllable ut from the hymn "Ut queant laxis" and for the ascending tones used the syllables re, mi, fa, sol, and la. Since Guido and his successors conceived musical theory in terms of overlapping hexachords rather than the diatonic scale, the syllable ut could represent any of the three pitches capable of sustaining the overlapping hexachords that made up the system; these were C, F, and G. While ut might vary, there was only one gamma-ut.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
Western hats run the gamut from denim and straw to the finest beaver fur.
I'm glad to see that human behavior runs the full gamut in higher education.
Such deals often deploy the gamut of Internet-advertising techniques.
The decor runs the gamut of ultra simple to ultra chic.
Related Words
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