from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Any of various North American freshwater fishes of the family Centrarchidae, especially the largemouth bass and the smallmouth bass.
  • noun Any of various marine fishes especially of the families Serranidae and Moronidae, and including the sea basses and the striped bass.
  • noun A low-pitched sound or tone.
  • noun The tones in the lowest register of an instrument.
  • noun A male singing voice of the lowest range.
  • noun A singer who has such a voice.
  • noun An instrument that sounds within this range.
  • noun A vocal or instrumental part written within this range.
  • noun An instrument, especially a double bass, that produces tones in a low register.
  • adjective Having a deep tone.
  • adjective Low in pitch.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Originally, the perch, but now restricted to fishes more or less like the true perch.
  • noun Same as bast.
  • noun The American linden or lime-tree, Tilia Americana. See basswood.
  • noun A mat made of bass or bast; a bass-mat; hence, any thick mat or matting; formerly, a straw hassock or cushion.
  • In music, low; deep; grave.
  • noun In music, the lowest part in the harmony of a musical composition, whether vocal or instrumental.
  • noun A male voice of the lowest or gravest kind, having a compass of about two octaves from the second F below middle C, or lower.
  • noun A singer having such a voice.
  • noun A musical instrument of any class having a deep, grave tone, excelled in gravity only by the contrabass.
  • noun Same as bass clef (which see, under clef).
  • To sing or play the bass part of; accompany with the bass.
  • To sound in a deep tone.
  • To take the bass part in a concerted piece of music: as, he basses very steadily.
  • To kiss.
  • noun A kiss; a buss.
  • noun The commercial name of a fiber, resembling horsehair or wire, obtained from the sheathing leaf-bases or the leaf-stalks of certain palms. It is dark brown or black in color, and is used for brooms, brushes, ropes, and cables. Also called piassava. See bast-palm, piassava, and bassine.
  • noun In coal-mining, black carbonaceous shale.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun A bass, or deep, sound or tone.
  • noun The lowest part in a musical composition.
  • noun One who sings, or the instrument which plays, bass.
  • noun See Thorough bass.
  • noun (Bot.) The linden or lime tree, sometimes wrongly called whitewood; also, its bark, which is used for making mats. See bast.
  • noun A hassock or thick mat.
  • noun (Zoöl.) An edible, spiny-finned fish, esp. of the genera Roccus, Labrax, and related genera. There are many species.
  • noun The two American fresh-water species of black bass (genus Micropterus). See Black bass.
  • noun Species of Serranus, the sea bass and rock bass. See Sea bass.
  • noun The southern, red, or channel bass (Sciæna ocellata). See Redfish.
  • adjective Deep or grave in tone.
  • adjective (Mus.) the character placed at the beginning of the staff containing the bass part of a musical composition.
  • adjective a deep-sounding voice; a voice fitted for singing bass.
  • transitive verb rare To sound in a deep tone.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective Of sound, a voice or an instrument, low in pitch or frequency.
  • noun A low spectrum of sound tones.
  • noun A section of musical group that produces low-pitched sound, lower than tenor.
  • noun A male singer who sings in the bass range.
  • noun An instrument that plays in the bass range, in particular a double bass, bass guitar, electric bass or bass synthesiser.
  • noun The clef sign that indicates that the pitch of the notes is below middle C; a bass clef.


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English *bars, perch, from Old English bærs.]

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English bas, lowest musical part, from bas, low; see base.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Italian basso ("low"), from Latin bassus ("low").


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  • Musical instrument; a fish.

    November 22, 2007

  • A voice, too. What a versatile word.

    November 22, 2007

  • Also, the makers of the Weejun:

    November 22, 2007

  • the fish is so named because of its spiny dorsal fin

    November 24, 2008