- low in pitch; of the lowest pitch or range: a bass voice; a bass instrument.
- of or relating to the lowest part in harmonic music.
- the bass part.
- a bass voice, singer, or instrument.
- double bass.
noun, plural (especially collectively) bass, (especially referring to two or more kinds or species) bass·es.
- any of numerous edible, spiny-finned, freshwater or marine fishes of the families Serranidae and Centrarchidae.
- (originally) the European perch, Perca fluviatilis.
- Sam,1851–78, U.S. outlaw: bank and train robber in the West.
- the lowest adult male voice usually having a range from E a 13th below middle C to D a tone above it
- a singer with such a voice
- the bass the lowest part in a piece of harmonySee also thorough bass
- informal short for bass guitar, double bass
- the low-frequency component of an electrical audio signal, esp in a record player or tape recorder
- the knob controlling this on such an instrument
- relating to or denoting the bassbass pitch; the bass part
- denoting the lowest and largest instrument in a familya bass trombone
- any of various sea perches, esp Morone labrax, a popular game fish with one large spiny dorsal fin separate from a second smaller oneSee also sea bass, stone bass
- the European perchSee perch 2 (def. 1)
- any of various predatory North American freshwater percoid fishes, such as Micropterus salmoides, (largemouth bass): family Centrarchidae (sunfishes, etc)
- another name for bast (def. 1)
- short for basswood
- Also called: fish bass a bast fibre bag for holding an angler’s catch
late 14c., of things, “low, not high,” from Late Latin bassus “short, low” (see base (adj.)). Meaning “low in social scale or rank” is recorded from late 14c. Of voices and music notes, from mid-15c. (technically, ranging from the E flat below the bass stave to the F above it), infuenced by Italian basso. Meaning “lowest part of a harmonized musical composition” is from mid-15c. Meaning “bass-viol” is from 1702; that of “double-bass” is from 1927.
freshwater fish, early 15c. corruption of Old English bærs “a fish, perch,” from Proto-Germanic base *bars- “sharp” (cf. Middle Dutch baerse, Middle High German bars, German Barsch “perch,” German barsch “rough”), from PIE root *bhar- “point, bristle” (see bristle (n.)). The fish was so called for its dorsal fins. For loss of -r-, cf. ass (n.2).