• synonyms


[dahy-uh-pey-zuh n, -suh n]
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noun Music.
  1. a full, rich outpouring of melodious sound.
  2. the compass of a voice or instrument.
  3. a fixed standard of pitch.
  4. 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).
  5. any of several other organ stops.
  6. a tuning fork.
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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 formsdi·a·pa·son·al, adjectivesub·di·a·pa·son, nounsub·di·a·pa·son·al, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for diapason

Historical Examples

  • At last the curtain fell; but on such a storm and diapason of applause!


    Edward Bulwer Lytton

  • The dimensions of these pipes are regulated by a diapason, or scale.

  • The diapason, with musicians, is a chord including all notes.

  • Came the ghost of a scream, thin above the diapason all about.

    Dust of the Desert

    Robert Welles Ritchie

  • They were the diapason of all the thought and feeling of that profound and passionate spirit.


    Benjamin Disraeli

British Dictionary definitions for diapason


noun music
  1. either of two stops (open and stopped diapason) usually found throughout the compass of a pipe organ that give it its characteristic tone colour
  2. the compass of an instrument or voice
  3. (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
  4. (in classical Greece) an octave
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Derived Formsdiapasonal or 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