Definition of tuba in English:



  • 1A large brass wind instrument of bass pitch, with three to six valves and a broad bell typically facing upwards.

    • ‘In the opening cue, he employs it in just about the most inventive way imaginable: a tuba plays the theme, sounding both sinister and comical.’
    • ‘The main theme returns to be transformed during the wonderful close - horns, tubas, and strings alternating their harmonies with quiet majesty.’
    • ‘Take two trumpets, a French horn, a trombone and a tuba and you have a lot of brass!’
    • ‘Many free black and slave musicians who fought in the Civil War became adept at using piston-valve instruments of conical bore, including tubas, helicons, and saxophones.’
    • ‘For Arabian Dance, one of the trombones was replaced by a euphonium, which makes for such a different sound, in company with the tuba, yet entirely graceful.’
    • ‘Mellow tuba and trombone solos in the second and third movements were smoothly blended with accompanying textures carried by the higher brass, and the rondo finale had a charming buoyancy.’
    • ‘My father and both my grandfathers were musicians and two of them played the trombone and one the tuba!’
    • ‘Even more surprising are the number of standard orchestral instruments that are currently under threat - double bass, viola, horn, oboe, bassoon, tuba and trombone.’
    • ‘Puzzlingly, the tuba and bass are softly playing a different song.’
    • ‘She plays the violin, viola and piano, while Antonin plays the viola, cello, double bass, tuba, guitar and recorder.’
    • ‘Still, just to be on the safe side, the tuba, the xylophone, the viola da gamba and the virtually extinct tenor guitar make excellent choices in this area.’
    • ‘While they were eating, a small jazz band in the corner, made up of only a trumpet, trombone, clarinet, tuba, flute, and drums, provided music.’
    • ‘With 320 students in snappy blue and white uniforms playing shiny trumpets, trombones and tubas as they march in briskly changing formations, the band's numbers are full of razzmatazz.’
    • ‘At his disposal were 100 musicians, mostly drawn from the Seattle Symphony, including the usual strings but also four harps, an equal number of trumpets and trombones, six tubas and eight French horns.’
    • ‘The traditional tuba and charchetas are replaced by electric bass and synthesizer.’
    • ‘Although the adults will form their own group, it means that instruments which traditionally are played by adults such as saxophones, percussion, tuba and base guitar, will be missing from the children's band.’
    • ‘To qualify they must be taking a full-time honours degree course in music studies and jazz studies playing trombone, tuba, bassoon, French horn, oboe, double bass or piano.’
    • ‘Exhausted musicians huddle in doorways puffing on cigarettes and cradling warm coffee, trying to work the feeling back into limbs gone numb from nearly six kilometres of marching and holding heavy white tubas and bass drums aloft.’
    • ‘For example, where we live, brass bands march at many ceremonies, and right at the back comes the big bass tuba.’
    • ‘Well, of course the didgeridoo is basically a simple pipe like an organ pipe, but the difference is you play a didgeridoo rather in the way you play a tuba or a trumpet: you buzz your lips and organ pipes mostly work more like flutes.’
    1. 1.1 A powerful reed stop on an organ with the quality of a tuba.
      • ‘The ensuing fugue is more dramatic - some quite powerful playing here, using both a concert pianist's finger technique and the orchestral sounds available to the romantic organ, complete with pedal solos and tuba stop.’
      • ‘This piece was originally written to showcase the tuba stop on the organ at Liverpool cathedral.’
      • ‘The Tuba Stop is a significant stop as it is a loud reed stop.’


Mid 19th century: via Italian from Latin, ‘trumpet’.