- the entire scale or range: the gamut of dramatic emotion from grief to joy.
- the whole series of recognized musical notes.
- the major scale.
Origin of gamut
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for gamut
She ran the gamut with physical humor and dished out droll, self-deprecating one-liners.Ann B. Davis Was the Zesty Antidote to the Bradys
June 2, 2014
We take on the gamut of recent confessionals, from the sickeningly self-involved to the extremely endearing.How Likable Is Alec Baldwin After His ‘New York Magazine’ Confessional?
February 26, 2014
It ran the gamut of ‘I want to thank you,’ ‘Because of you I turned a corner,’ to ‘How could you do this to me?’Making It in the 2-1-2: How Kenneth Walsh Achieved His NY Dream
February 19, 2014
It ran the gamut from abstract, original eveningwear to a sort of sixties-inspired minimalism.Tom Ford Nods to Jay Z at London Fashion Week
February 18, 2014
Speculation runs the gamut on whether or not Italy would actually request extradition.Amanda Knox: I’ll Be A Fugitive If They Convict Me
Barbie Latza Nadeau
January 9, 2014
Gamut cheerfully assented, and together they sought the females.The Last of the Mohicans
James Fenimore Cooper
He started to run the gamut of appeal, denial, and anger; but his hearers were inflexible.The Plunderer
His face ran the gamut from white to red, from red back again to white.Little Novels of Italy
Maurice Henry Hewlett
Their expressions ran the gamut from sheepishness to blank haughtiness.Adaptation
Dallas McCord Reynolds
Wild flowers, birds, and animals also run the gamut of the zones.The Book of the National Parks
Robert Sterling Yard
- entire range or scale, as of emotions
- a scale, esp (in medieval theory) one starting on the G on the bottom line of the bass staff
- the whole range of notes
- physics the range of chromaticities that can be obtained by mixing three colours
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.