Part of speech:
(Countable nouns, like “bottle,” “piece,” and “decision,” are words for things that can be broken into exact units. You talk about “a bottle,” “three pieces,” and “many decisions.”
Likewise, talk about a gamut or the gamut, but "gamuts" is rare.)
A gamut is a whole set of musical notes.
More broadly, a gamut is the full range or complete set of anything.
The plural, "gamuts," seems to be used only when you're specifically talking about color gamuts: full ranges of colors.
"Gamut" sounds like "gamma," the Greek letter, because it's a reference to the lowest G note on the musical scale.
How to use it:
When you want to emphasize the full range of something, and subtly compare it to the precise organization of a musical scale, then talk about a gamut of something, or the gamut of something: a gamut of social services, the gamut of emotions.
You can leave out the word "of" when your meaning is clear: "Check out this amazing menu of international food. It really covers the gamut."
Often, you talk about the gamut from something to something else: "His speech inspired reactions that ran the gamut from outrage to high praise."
As in the example above, a common phrase is "run the gamut." You can also cover the gamut, span the gamut, focus on the gamut, provide the gamut, etc.
Make Your Point readers run the gamut from young kids to grandparents, from English language learners to English language instructors.
I assume there's actually a gamut of reactions to this book I'm considering buying, but all the Amazon reviewers either love it or hate it.
Look away from the screen to explain the definition in your own words. You’ll know you understand what "gamut" means when you can explain it without saying “whole set" or “complete range."
Think of someone who impresses you with his or her broad range of skills or knowledge, and fill in the blanks: "(Person's) (knowledge or skills) run(s) the gamut from _____ to _____ to _____."
Example: "Alton Brown's knowledge runs the gamut from history to chemistry to nutrition."
Spend at least 20 seconds occupying your mind with the game and quote below. Then try the review questions. Don’t go straight to the review now—let your working memory empty out first.
Playing With Words:
This month's game content is protected by a copyright, so I can't reprint the trivia questions here--but check out the thoughtful and thorough reference book that I got them from: Last Words of Notable People!
A Point Well Made:
French proverb: "Write injuries in sand, kindnesses in marble."
1. The opposite of GAMUT is
A. INCREASED SIZE
B. HARDENED VIEW
C. LIMITED SCOPE
2. The _____ really run the gamut, from _____.
A. toppings at the yogurt bar .. marshmallows and gummy worms to cranberries and granola
B. athletes at the marathon .. the starting line without pause to the finish line
C. appliances .. their expensive and wasteful use of electricity
Answers are below.
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Disclaimer: Word meanings presented here are expressed in plain language and are limited to common, useful applications only. Readers interested in authoritative and multiple definitions of words are encouraged to check a dictionary. Likewise, word meanings, usage, and pronunciations are limited to American English; these elements may vary across world Englishes.
Answers to review questions:
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