Main definitions of bass in English

: bass1bass2bass3

bass1

noun

  • 1The lowest adult male singing voice:

    [as modifier] ‘his bass voice rings out attractively’
    • ‘It is quite remarkable that he manages to heave his dark bass voice up to the upper reaches of Wotan's part.’
    • ‘He was easily recognisable not merely by virtue of his profound bass baritone voice, but because of his girth.’
    • ‘The basses are really light, high baritones, and I miss a certain richness in the sound.’
    • ‘When he did have strong bass or tenor soloists, Handel could and did write strong parts for them.’
    • ‘It is played and sung with conviction, and his is one of the great bass voices.’
    • ‘Again, the chorus bears the brunt of the text, but there are soprano, contralto, and bass soloists.’
    • ‘These are the opening words of the play, sung as a bass solo.’
    • ‘He acquired his nickname singing the bass harmony second voice.’
    • ‘She looked into the depths of the dark eyes that only she could see, and listened to the songs that he sang in his deep bass voice, which only she could hear.’
    • ‘The group of unaccompanied voices comprises bass, baritone, tenor, mezzo-soprano and soprano.’
    • ‘It's incredibly powerful, a hefty, sliding lead tenor (hard to tell if it's male or female) that never seems to stop for breath over a whole bunch of baritones and basses.’
    • ‘The singing here is splendid,with the man continuing to impress with both his rich bass voice and fine sense for drama.’
    • ‘Alto, soprano, bass and tenor, I think they are called.’
    • ‘In particular, the bass soloist had a voice which seemed to rumble from the very bowels of the earth.’
    • ‘He has already become an audience favourite with his deep bass voice.’
    • ‘The vibes veer off into a countermelody and the bass enters shortly thereafter.’
    • ‘The truck driver joined in, his low bass voice singing with me about how feeling good could be easy… it could.’
    • ‘Their voices would resonate throughout the bar and I would sit there captivated by their deep bass voices.’
    • ‘His splendid voice spans the low C of a true bass and the middle C of most tenors.’
    • ‘He created waves with his deep bass voice and strumming guitar.’
    1. 1.1 A singer with a bass voice.
      • ‘Alto s soprano s tenors and basses are all needed to enhance what all ready is a beautiful sound.’
      • ‘A third passage features a two-part canonic effect, grouping the sopranos with the tenors, and the altos with the basses.’
      • ‘We've always had a choir made up of boy and girl trebles, together with male altos, tenors and basses.’
      • ‘As he said, he frequently conducts rehearsals without tenors or basses, but doesn't remember ever not having any sopranos.’
      • ‘As the main emphasis of the courses lies in the choir made up of all participants, space is limited to approximately twenty sopranos, twelve altos and counter-tenors, and sixteen basses.’
      • ‘The chorus of thirteen (four sopranos, and three countertenors, tenors, and basses each) scores points again and again with the dramatic aptness of their singing.’
      • ‘The soloists are excellent too; only the bass sounds a little weather-beaten.’
      • ‘The choir needs six more trebles aged seven to 14, a couple of basses and tenors, and perhaps an alto or two.’
      • ‘He is a strong, imposing bass who also lends character to the performance.’
      • ‘All of them share the sumptuous voicing of an eight part choir (except the seven voiced Full fathom five from Three ShakespeareSongs) that requires two groups of sopranos, altos, tenors, and basses.’
      • ‘In the ‘Choral’ Symphony, the bass is an imposing soloist, and the chorus sings with inspiration.’
      • ‘The Society has vacancies for four sopranos and for tenors and basses.’
      • ‘Singers, particularly altos, tenors and basses are welcome.’
      • ‘She stood with four other sopranos, six contraltos, six tenors, and five basses.’
      • ‘The society is currently looking for tenors basses, altos and sopranos to join the adult choir.’
      • ‘I have no problems with the Stabat Mater, but in my beautiful bass solo there is F sharp, which is the highest note a bass can sing, so that is quite challenging.’
      • ‘As I mentioned, last night there were three singers the choir - two basses and a soprano - off singing in a performance of the Rachmaninov Vespers.’
      • ‘There are eight sopranos, four mezzos, one counter-tenor, three tenors, seven baritones, and two basses.’
      • ‘As he only comes to notice a year before he joined Handel's company, the bass who sang so vigorously in those early arias written for him must have been remarkably young.’
      • ‘We can imagine the four-part mass being sung, variably, by a choir made up of women sopranos, with male altos, tenors and basses or women sopranos, women altos and male tenors and basses or even by an all male group.’
    2. 1.2 A part written for a bass voice.
      • ‘Her upper voice notes ring out with authority and are set against a well balanced and projected bass underpinning.’
      • ‘In the original music for chorus, basses have something better to do than to hold a note.’
      • ‘The choir is basically four-voice, western classical style - soprano and alto sung by women and tenor and bass sung by men.’
      • ‘It begins with the bass stating the melody and features a shifting arrangement that allows everyone a chance to solo.’
      • ‘The bass clashed against the rhythm in perfect harmony.’
      • ‘He was working as a freelance editor and in his free time was singing bass in the London Symphony Chorus.’
      • ‘I particularly noted the basses of the chorus as they sinisterly intoned the conspirators music.’
      • ‘Halfway through the bass takes over the melody and allows the listener a delectable bridge portion to the song.’
      • ‘For this piece we have two of the voice-parts: a bass that sings continuously, and a tenor that participates only in full sections.’
      • ‘It's scored for four tenors and two basses - which confines the vocal range of the work to a mere two octaves.’
      • ‘There are not many singers capable of singing the bass solo because you need a very powerful voice and an extensive range.’
      • ‘As well as such characteristic features of the Baroque pastoral as drone basses and melodies harmonized in 3rds and 6ths, pastorellas include rhythmic and melodic elements probably deriving from folk music.’
      • ‘The association began prohibiting boys from singing alto or soprano and girls from singing tenor or bass about two years ago.’
  • 2[as modifier] Denoting the member of a family of instruments that is the lowest in pitch:

    ‘a bass clarinet’
    • ‘He leads the way with his throaty bass saxophone.’
    • ‘At least in the imaginary versions for bass tuba or kettledrum I wager to say that he is right.’
    • ‘It was her ability to play her instrument, the bass guitar, well that earned her these new friends.’
    • ‘He plays Celtic whistle, didgeridoo, panpipes, flute and bass flute in his trademark blend of Celtic, classical, jazz and folk music.’
    • ‘Instead of the bass tuba is its predecessor, the ophicleide.’
    • ‘Her warm bass trumpet solo adds to a very memorable performance that will remain a definitive rendition of the great song.’
    • ‘I would say it's because there are just nothing but the powerful instruments of bass guitar and the drums.’
    • ‘Improvisatory in nature, it involved only the 24 bass strings of the instrument.’
    • ‘The bass clarinet particularly takes a lot of wind.’
    • ‘He is able to use his alto, tenor or bass saxophones to both support a friendly song or rip out on his own jam with sounds you'd expect from a guitar or keyboard.’
    • ‘We also have access to other instruments, including cor anglais, bass clarinet, cello, organ and voice.’
    • ‘Shifting lower-frequency instruments such as a bass guitar requires higher latencies.’
    • ‘My aunt and uncle both played trombone, my Grandma played bass clarinet and they have an organ; the one I taught myself on when I was little.’
    • ‘They use no electronics, and hardly any electric instruments, apart from bass guitar and occasional electric guitar.’
    • ‘Apart from the organ, the only other instrument is a bass violin.’
    • ‘He also hits the keyboards, drums, bass guitar, and pitches in on background vocals.’
    • ‘In the orchestra, she plays two musical instruments: the bass clarinet and piccolo clarinet.’
    • ‘The bass oboe is called the baryton in France, but is at least, more or less what it says it is; logic at last!’
    • ‘The bass oboe is an octave lower than the oboe (in C) and is called a ‘baryton’ in France!’
    • ‘Can you advise me on how I can persuade him to take up a real instrument like say the bass trombone?’
    deep-toned, deep, low-pitched, low-toned, low, full-toned, resonant, sonorous, powerful, rumbling, booming, resounding
    baritone
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1 A bass guitar or double bass.
      • ‘This would give students the added opportunity to practice mock performances with bass and drums.’
      • ‘Our sound features sax, clarinet, violin, synthesiser, guitar, bass, drums and four vocalists.’
      • ‘I would not recognize the bass as a separate instrument if it wasn't lower than I could tune a guitar.’
      • ‘The previous CDs had a thin string sound and the bass was simply not there.’
      • ‘In jazz, the goal is not to make a trumpet mimic a sax or a drum set sound like an acoustic bass.’
      • ‘Strings, saxophones, some brass and electric bass constitute the bulk of the instrumentations.’
      • ‘Without the warmth of a bass, this album sounds like you are playing it through the tinniest speakers with the treble turned all the way up to 11.’
      • ‘The drums lightly tap, the second guitar plays the main melody, and the bass doubles the second guitar.’
      • ‘The new album features more acoustic sounds and an upright bass, with no keyboards.’
      • ‘I'm definitely not saying that bass is a useless instrument, or piano, or anything like that at all.’
      • ‘You can also play other banjo sounds like drum, bass etc!’
      • ‘He studied piano, violin, bass, and voice at Oakham.’
      • ‘The stripped-down band of guitars, bass and percussion creates a beautiful simplicity in direct contrast to what is perceived as Latin music today.’
      • ‘Although most commonly taught to violin players, the method can also be used with instruments such as viola, cello, flute, bass and guitar.’
      • ‘He plays standard lead and rhythm electric guitar, lap steel and slide guitar, bass, and mandolin, all equally well.’
      • ‘But isn't there a difference between playing guitar and bass?’
      • ‘The music sounded like a mixture of bass, saxophone and drum melodies, and it had an alluring effect.’
      • ‘Viola, piano and bass - hardly sounds very punk rock, does it?’
      • ‘Everything clicks on this one - the drums, bass and guitar runs are truly inspired.’
      • ‘The deadpan vocals are suitably dark but lack the power to cut through the layers of underwater guitar and bass.’
  • 3[mass noun] The low-frequency output of a radio or audio system, corresponding to the bass in music.

    • ‘The sound is pretty good - a very nice Dolby 5.1 mix fills the room with modest bass and atmospheric music and detailed sounds.’
    • ‘The heavy bass of the music, combined with the shrieking laughs of drunk girls reminds me of why I like to avoid parties.’
    • ‘Some of these songs have a varying beat and indications of some intelligent musicianship, not like the penetrating bass that thunders out from cars and flats wherever you go.’
    • ‘They can boost bass and remove noise, including the pops and clicks from old analog sources.’
    • ‘The marquee now lies in darkness, no thumping bass, or any noise at all to speak of.’
    • ‘He could hear his neighbors arguing through the paper-thin walls and the hard bass of music from somewhere down the block.’
    • ‘The audio is full, with intelligible dialogue and good use of bass in the music.’
    • ‘Low-frequency bass is sent to all the channels, giving you that you-are-there feeling.’
    • ‘A synth noise comes in before bass and a strong synth line drops at around the 0: 40 mark.’
    • ‘It was a sight to see the inmates showing interest in the proceedings and enjoying the heavy bass of music that boomed out through speakers.’
    • ‘This is a very powerful mix, one filled with that great deep, rumbling bass.’
    • ‘Once more the evening sky is dark and the streets are empty, the silence broken only by the familiar rumbling bass from high performance stereos passing in the night.’
    • ‘Decent bass and good sound quality impressed the reviewers, but it was never going to be able to compete with a larger system.’
    • ‘We sat in a contemplative silence, and I closed my eyes and rested my head against the brick, feeling the pulsing bass of the music through the wall.’
    • ‘There is an audible buzz throughout, and any bass in the music breaks apart into a dreadful fuzzy haze.’
    • ‘At the touch of a button, felt curtains will roll down from the ceiling to absorb the heavy bass of amplified music.’
    • ‘Slip in an audio disc and the sound astounds, with sumptuous bass and smooth vocals.’
    • ‘Thud acts like a dynamic bass EQ and is good for instruments and vocals.’
    • ‘There is almost no extra noise, and the music features surprisingly good bass response.’
    • ‘The volume and bass of the music made my limbs ache as my blood vibrated with the sheer throbbing of the beat.’

Origin

Late Middle English: alteration of base, influenced by basso.

Pronunciation:

bass

/beɪs/

Main definitions of bass in English

: bass1bass2bass3

bass2

noun

  • 1The common European freshwater perch (see perch).

    perch
    • ‘All the Tortosa pegs can produce good carp, are prolific mullet swims and are well stocked with bass and zander.’
    • ‘I did manage a couple of hours fishing a bass pool the next morning.’
    • ‘Don't worry if all your bass have been what we call schoolie bass which are fish under two or three pounds.’
    • ‘Exotic fish such as bass and trout can now breed successfully in the abundant gravel and sand beds and establish feral populations.’
    • ‘The rational approach you would think is to stop all further introductions of alien fish species like trout, bass etc into water environs.’
    • ‘We have had plaice, pollack, wrasse and garfish from here but bass and rays are also taken.’
    • ‘The lake is stocked mostly with catfish and bass, and the fish are obviously not as stupid as they look, as they seem to hang out round the scuba park, where they are safe from anglers.’
    • ‘They can forget the freshwater bass species which couldn't even compete with our tench, barbel or chub.’
    • ‘It is prohibited to fish for bass during their spawning season, 14 May - 14 June.’
    • ‘For those into freshwater fishing, we did manage some nice bass near Copmanhurst.’
    • ‘The pressure on bass fishing today is enormous and they are a vulnerable species.’
    • ‘He was into the first fish of the day, then a nice bass was being lifted from the water, it weighed about four pounds.’
    • ‘The bass should be designated a sports fish and receive a lot more protection from the commercial fishing industry.’
    • ‘In the hands of a bass expert, when fishing top-water lures, I'm sure a long rod would soon prove itself.’
    • ‘They aren't as big as the Caribbean jewfish or the potato bass of the Indo-Pacific region, though.’
    • ‘You see, tope are the UK boat anglers favourite summer fish alongside the bass.’
    • ‘We ended the day fishing in the rain on a small pond for bass and crappie.’
    • ‘Last month's feature was all about my striper bass fishing trip.’
    • ‘Only leisure anglers are allowed to fish bass in Irish waters.’
    • ‘I also tried some bass fishing in December when the conditions looked reasonable but without success.’
  • 2Any of a number of fish similar to or related to the perch.

    • ‘This recent release means that a total of 27,000 bass have been released into the system in the past two months.’
    • ‘Flooded banks with green vegetation are prime areas to attract forage fish and predatory bass.’
    • ‘He's taken up bass fishing and goes out in his boat as early as 5 a.m.’
    • ‘He takes people salmon fishing, and bass fishing.’
    • ‘During the summer months you could expect to come across bass and sand eels.’
    • ‘Early Saturday afternoon they went fishing to catch some bass and pike for the cookout.’
    • ‘Anglers coveted warm-water fish such as bass and bonefish.’
    • ‘The talk is all of haddock, salmon, red mullet and bass.’
    • ‘The fish killed included bass, roach, eels and fluke when the temperature soared to twenty six degrees Centigrade.’
    • ‘Can we safely say you won't be bass fishing in Alaska?’
    • ‘On the Grass river you can fly fish for small mouth bass, pike, muskies and salmon.’
    • ‘For me, without any doubt at all, the most exciting way to catch bass is on a surface plug.’
    • ‘Spend the day fishing for bass, then head to the theatre for a well-staged play.’
    • ‘All bass are fine game fishes, with tournaments being held regularly.’
    • ‘The tope packs are targeting small flatfish and school bass in the surf tables at this time.’
    • ‘Fishermen often come there, as indicated by the sign which says it's a good spot for catching flatfish, bass and codling.’
    • ‘Also, because nighttime air and water fall so still, bass detect sound and vibration more easily.’
    • ‘The predicted weather pattern favors a warming trend into weekend - favorable conditions for bass fishing.’
    • ‘To blow off steam, he gave us the next day off, and we went bass fishing.’
    • ‘Hungry bass offer golden opportunity Spinnerbaits ideal for hooking fish this month’

Origin

Late Middle English: alteration of dialect barse, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch baars and German Barsch.

Pronunciation:

bass

/beɪs/

Main definitions of bass in English

: bass1bass2bass3

bass3

noun

  • another term for bast
    • ‘The plant yields a silk cotton from the seeds and a rich white bass fibre from the bark, both likely to be of commercial value.’
    • ‘A few species of palms that grow in tropical America and Africa are the source of brush fibers called commercially Piassava, Piassaba or Bass Fiber.’
    • ‘Natural African bass fibre is coarse, stiff and provides good flexibility for use in upright floor sweeps and as a blend with other fibres for other applications.’
    • ‘Bass is principally used in yard brooms and road rollers.’
    • ‘Heavy duty brooms densely filled with medium coarse African bass fibre are used in mills on brick and concrete surfaces under wet or dry conditions.’

Origin

Late 17th century: alteration.

Pronunciation:

bass

/beɪs/