Definition of gamut in English:



  • 1The complete range or scope of something.

    ‘the whole gamut of human emotion’
    • ‘Various options were put up for reflection covering the whole gamut from doing nothing at all to farming the market out to the edge of the town and many other ideas in between including making the High Street pedestrians only.’
    • ‘We're here to offer advice across the whole gamut of financial services.’
    • ‘She also recommends researching the publishers who would be suitable, since publishing houses run the whole gamut from highly specialized to general houses to the academic university presses.’
    • ‘The dishes covered the gamut of culinary endeavour from Guinness-and-lamb stew to salmon with tandoori spices.’
    • ‘Students, it seems, are getting too busy to, well, be students, when we consider that word as gesturing toward the whole gamut of traditional student experiences.’
    • ‘The opinions ranged the gamut, from panic to indifference, many with steadfastness and underlying optimism.’
    • ‘Santiago being a pilgrimage town, I fully expect there to be the whole gamut of Catholic tat merchandise: illuminated Pope busts, candles shaped like burning pyres, replicas of fragments of the true cross, and so on and so forth.’
    • ‘The full gamut of human misbehaviour, you'll learn, ranges from crudely hilarious to profoundly disturbing.’
    • ‘Anger, jealousy, possessiveness, suspicion, aggression - Harry experiences a whole gamut of human emotions, but seems to able to control them much better that he did in The Phoenix.’
    • ‘These stories take you on an exciting journey, and you traverse a whole gamut of human experience and emotions that reflect the changing Tamil milieu.’
    • ‘An agenda that can countervail the one-line simple answers of said ‘conservatives’ that encompass the whole gamut of public policy.’
    • ‘He intends to meet residents to find out what their priorities are, then hopes to apply to a whole gamut of funding initiatives including the National Lottery money, Education Action Zone cash, New Deal for Communities money and others.’
    • ‘‘These are highly selective patients who have been through the whole gamut of drugs and this therapy gives them an alternative to getting worse - it gives people a lifeline,’ he said.’
    • ‘In Russian there is a much kinder word, you simply say ‘not beautiful’, ‘unbeautiful’ and that leaves you with the whole gamut of unbeautiful, from hideous to rather plain.’
    • ‘When you examine the gamut of social activities humans engage in, from sports to competitions for attention, it does indeed seem that humans are not able to rise above a competitive mindset.’
    • ‘Apart from the damage to business, the focus will range from the drive to bring down the cost of motor insurance to the whole gamut of how insurance problems affects every sector of the community.’
    • ‘This underlines the new Government's commitment to a whole gamut of policies that would take care of agriculture and the concerns of farmers as well as other poorer and weaker sections.’
    • ‘At which level do we start to form various cognitive types that reflect the gamut of human potential?’
    • ‘Her face could register the gamut of human emotions without ever fully revealing her inner nature.’
    • ‘He covers the gamut of aesthetic surgery, from the initial consultation through postoperative recovery.’
    range, spectrum, span, sweep, compass, scope, area, breadth, width, reach, extent, catalogue, scale, sequence, series
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  • 2Music
    A complete scale of musical notes; the range of a voice or instrument.

    ‘the orchestral gamut’
    • ‘The older corpus tended to treat E and B as notes of secondary importance, but later chants frequently contain passages that use all notes of the gamut equally freely; they also appear to emphasize interlocking chains of 3rds.’
    • ‘A strong keyboard technique is called for, with high priority on the ability to vary tonal color to suggest the full orchestral gamut.’
    1. 2.1historical A scale consisting of seven overlapping hexachords, containing all the recognized notes used in medieval music, covering almost three octaves from bass G to treble E.
      • ‘The corresponding framework for medieval music is the diatonic gamut from G2 to E5, with B-flat3 and B-flat4.’
    2. 2.2historical The lowest note in the gamut scale.
      • ‘Part-music of this period tends to employ the alto-baritone range of pitches, and the usual tuning of this harp began at GG - the gamut, by convention the lowest note in vocal music.’


Late Middle English: from medieval Latin gamma ut, originally the name of the lowest note in the medieval scale (bass G an octave and a half below middle C), then applied to the whole range of notes used in medieval music. The Greek letter Γ (gamma) was used for bass G, with ut indicating that it was the first note in the lowest of the hexachords or six-note scales (see solmization).