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bass1

[beys] /beɪs/
adjective
1.
low in pitch; of the lowest pitch or range:
a bass voice; a bass instrument.
2.
of or pertaining to the lowest part in harmonic music.
noun
3.
the bass part.
4.
a bass voice, singer, or instrument.
Origin
1400-1450
1400-50; late Middle English, variant of base2 with ss of basso
Related forms
bassly, adverb
bassness, noun
bassy, adjective

bass2

[bas] /bæs/
noun, plural (especially collectively) bass (especially referring to two or more kinds or species) basses.
1.
any of numerous edible, spiny-finned, freshwater or marine fishes of the families Serranidae and Centrarchidae.
2.
(originally) the European perch, Perca fluviatilis.
Origin
1375-1425; late Middle English bas, earlier bærs, Old English bærs (with loss of r before s as in ass2, passel, etc.); cognate with Dutch baars, German Barsch, Old Swedish agh-borre

bass3

[bas] /bæs/
noun
1.
the basswood or linden.
2.
Botany, bast.
Origin
1685-95; variant of bast with unexplained loss of -t

Bass

[bas] /bæs/
noun
1.
Sam, 1851–78, U.S. outlaw: bank and train robber in the West.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for bass

bass1

/beɪs/
noun
1.
the lowest adult male voice usually having a range from E a 13th below middle C to D a tone above it
2.
a singer with such a voice
3.
the bass, the lowest part in a piece of harmony See also thorough bass
4.
(informal) short for bass guitar, double bass
5.
  1. the low-frequency component of an electrical audio signal, esp in a record player or tape recorder
  2. the knob controlling this on such an instrument
adjective
6.
relating to or denoting the bass bass pitch, the bass part
7.
denoting the lowest and largest instrument in a family a bass trombone
Word Origin
C15 basbase1; modern spelling influenced by basso

bass2

/bæs/
noun
1.
any of various sea perches, esp Morone labrax, a popular game fish with one large spiny dorsal fin separate from a second smaller one See also sea bass, stone bass
2.
the European perch See perch2 (sense 1)
3.
any of various predatory North American freshwater percoid fishes, such as Micropterus salmoides, (largemouth bass): family Centrarchidae (sunfishes, etc)
See also black bass, rock bass
Word Origin
C15: changed from base², influenced by Italian basso low

bass3

/bæs/
noun
1.
another name for bast (sense 1)
2.
short for basswood
3.
Also called fish bass. a bast fibre bag for holding an angler's catch
Word Origin
C17: changed from bast
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for bass
adj.

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.

n.

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).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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bass in Culture
bass [(bays)]

The lowest range of the male singing voice. (Compare baritone and tenor.)

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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