Gamut vs gambit

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Gamut and gambit are two words that are spelled similarly and pronounced very similarly, they are easily confused. We will look at the difference in meaning between the words gamut and gambit, where the terms come from and some examples of their meaning in sentences.

Gamut refers to the full scope of something, the entire range of something. Gamut also has a musical definition. In medieval musical terms, gamut is the range of notes on the scale that covers the nearly three octaves starting from bass G through treble E. The word gamut is derived from the Greek letter gamma and the Latin word ut signifying the bass G note.

A gambit is a risky opening action or comment that is designed to put one at an advantage. The word gambit is derived from the Italian word gambetto which means tripping up. Originally, the word gambit was first used to describe an opening move in the game of chess where a pawn is sacrificed in order to gain a more advantageous position on the chess board. By 1855, the word gambit moved into mainstream English to mean any risky, opening action or comment.


Two of his paintings showcase the entire cultural gamut of Vidarbha in terms of places and activities. (The Times of India)

Thus far 11 states with 165 electoral college votes—including Rhode Island and California, representing the gamut of sizes—have passed the legislation, according to the national nonprofit National Popular Vote Inc., which is advocating for the change. (Willamette Week)

But the Evans Gambit has stood up to the test of time and in the modern era players such as Nigel Short, Garry Kasparov, Baadur Jobava, Hikaru Nakamura or Wei Yi have tried it with success. (Chessbase News Magazine)

If there is an electoral majority behind what city hall wants to do, neither that perceived majority nor the politicians responding to it have very thoroughly thought through the implications and ramifications of their misbegotten gambit. (The Alexandria Gazette Packet)