One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1An organ stop sounding a main register of flue pipes, typically of eight-foot pitch.
- ‘The pipes that produce the diapason tones of organs generally are made of alloys with tin contents varying from’
- ‘Etherington adopts an apt change in registration, giving vent to the diapasons that would have been the lynchpin of organs in Handel's own time.’
- ‘I gently lifted out the pipes: one was voiced with a low set upper lip as a diapason, and the other with a high curved upper lip as a flute.’
- ‘But the organ basically has one foundational stop which you use, I wouldn't say all the time, but most of the time if you are regularly playing, and that is the diapason or the principal, they have different names.’
- ‘Weisflog rattles off the planned improvements: new choir ranks in both organs, several mixture stops, a pedal open diapason, and an en chamade or horizontal state trumpet to lend pomp and pageantry to academic convocations.’
2A grand swelling burst of harmony.
- ‘For 45 minutes he spoke, sometimes allowing his voice to swell in a sonorous diapason, sometimes letting it sink low as he leaned forward confidentially over the desk.’
3literary The entire compass, range, or scope of something.
- ‘Here is an author in full command of the English language; invective is not beyond him; he ranges across the full diapason of human passion.’
- ‘The entire diapason of pro-war liberal opinion-formers has indulged in this revolting ad hominem habit, ad infinitum and ad nauseam.’
Late Middle English (denoting the interval of an octave): via Latin from Greek dia pasōn (khordōn) ‘through all (notes)’.
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