s bass


Sam, 1851–78, U.S. outlaw: bank and train robber in the West.
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World English Dictionary
bass1 (beɪs)
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 See also thorough bass the lowest part in a piece of harmony
4.  informal bass guitar short for double bass
5.  a.  the low-frequency component of an electrical audio signal, esp in a record player or tape recorder
 b.  the knob controlling this on such an instrument
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
[C15 basbase1; modern spelling influenced by basso]

bass2 (bæs)
1.  sea bass See also stone bass any of various sea perches, esp Morone labrax, a popular game fish with one large spiny dorsal fin separate from a second smaller one
2.  See perch the European perch
3.  any of various predatory North American freshwater percoid fishes, such as Micropterus salmoides, (largemouth bass): family Centrarchidae (sunfishes, etc)
[C15: changed from base², influenced by Italian basso low]

bass3 (bæs)
1.  another name for bast
2.  short for basswood
3.  Also called: fish bass a bast fibre bag for holding an angler's catch
[C17: changed from bast]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

"low" (voice or instrument, ranging from the E flat below the bass stave to the F above it), late 14c., originally base, influenced by It. basso, from L.L. bassus "short, low" (see base (adj.)). Meaning "bass-viol" is from 1702; that of "double-bass" is from 1927.

"fish," 15c. corruption of O.E. bærs "a fish, perch," from P.Gmc. base *bars- "sharp" (cf. M.Du. baerse, M.H.G. bars, Ger. Barsch "perch," Ger. barsch "rough"), from PIE base *bhors- "bristle." The fish was so called for its dorsal fins.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary
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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