Professional Style

Gambit vs. Gamut

December 2017
Spot the Error

Carluccio’s Ristorante serves the entire gambit of Italian cuisine, including dishes like linguini carbonara and cavatelli with andouille.

We’ve already covered the differences between “gantlet” and “gauntlet” (which are sometimes confused with today’s word gamut). Now it’s time to look at the differences between gambit and gamut.

Although gambit is a legitimate word, it doesn’t belong in the “restaurant” sentence above. The correct word is gamut.

Gamut refers to a scale encompassing the entire series of notes used in music. By extension, gamut refers to all the choices or options available. A common phrase is “the gamut of emotions.”

Gambit, on the other hand, is an opening move in chess in which a minor piece is sacrificed to gain an advantage. In a broader sense, a gambit is any opening ploy or stratagem, not confined to chess. (But still, the term is far less commonly used than gamut.)

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