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  1. a bachelor.
  2. New Zealand. a small weekend or vacation house or shack.
  1. bach it, to live alone or share living quarters with someone of the same sex, usually doing one's own housework, cooking, laundry, etc.

Origin of bach

An Americanism dating back to 1850–55; by shortening
Can be confusedbach Bach batch


  1. Jo·hann Se·bas·ti·an [yoh-hahn si-bas-chuh n; German yoh-hahn zey-bahs-tee-ahn] /ˈyoʊ hɑn sɪˈbæs tʃən; German ˈyoʊ hɑn zeɪˈbɑs tiˌɑn/, 1685–1750, German organist and composer.
  2. his sons: Carl Philipp E·ma·nu·el [kahrl fil-ip i-man-yoo-uh l; German kahrl fee-lip ey-mah-noo-el] /kɑrl ˈfɪl ɪp ɪˈmæn yu əl; German kɑrl ˈfi lɪp eɪˈmɑ nuˌɛl/, 1714–88; Johann Chris·ti·an [kris-chuh n; German kris-tee-ahn] /ˈkrɪs tʃən; German ˈkrɪs tiˌɑn/, 1735–82; Johann Chris·toph Frie·drich [kris-tof free-drik; German kris-tawf free-drikh] /ˈkrɪs tɒf ˈfri drɪk; German ˈkrɪs tɔf ˈfri drɪx/, 1732–95; and Wil·helm Frie·de·mann [wil-helm free-duh-mahn; German vil-helm free-duh-mahn] /ˈwɪl hɛlm ˈfri dəˌmɑn; German ˈvɪl hɛlm ˈfri dəˌmɑn/, 1710–84, German organists and composers.
Can be confusedbach Bach batch
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for bach

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Forkel's biography of Bach is the only authority for this story.


    Edward J. Dent

  • Of what avail the seed-bearing Bach and his fugues—emotional mathematics, all of them!


    James Huneker

  • But the man in Bach predominates, subtle, magnetic and nervous as he is.


    James Huneker

  • This gifted composer had studied Handel and Bach very closely.

    The Standard Oratorios

    George P. Upton

  • With all Bach's amiable qualities, it is said that he had a hasty temper.

    The Standard Oratorios

    George P. Upton

British Dictionary definitions for bach


  1. Welsh a term of friendly address: used esp after a person's name

Word Origin

Welsh, literally: little one


  1. a variant spelling of batch 1
  1. a simple cottage, esp at the seaside


  1. Johann Christian (joˈhan ˈkrɪstjan), 11th son of J. S. Bach. 1735–82, German composer, called the English Bach, resident in London from 1762
  2. Johann Christoph (ˈkrɪstɔf). 1642–1703, German composer: wrote oratorios, cantatas, and motets, some of which were falsely attributed to J. S. Bach, of whom he was a distant relative
  3. Johann Sebastian (joˈhan zeˈbastjan). 1685–1750, German composer: church organist at Arnstadt (1703–07) and Mühlhausen (1707–08); court organist at Weimar (1708–17); musical director for Prince Leopold of Köthen (1717–28); musical director for the city of Leipzig (1728–50). His output was enormous and displays great vigour and invention within the northern European polyphonic tradition. His works include nearly 200 cantatas and oratorios, settings of the Passion according to St John (1723) and St Matthew (1729), the six Brandenburg Concertos (1720–21), the 48 preludes and fugues of the Well-tempered Clavier (completed 1744), and the Mass in B Minor (1733–38)
  4. Karl (or Carl) Philipp Emanuel (karl ˈfiːlɪp eˈmaːnuɛl), 3rd son of J. S. Bach. 1714–88, German composer, chiefly of symphonies, keyboard sonatas, and church music
  5. Wilhelm Friedemann (ˈvɪlhɛlm ˈfriːdəman), eldest son of J. S. Bach. 1710–84, German composer: wrote nine symphonies and much keyboard and religious music
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

Word Origin and History for bach


1845, American English, clipped form of bachelor (n.). Also in colloquial American English use as a verb (1870) meaning "to live as an unmarried man," especially "to do one's own cooking and cleaning." Related: Bached; baching.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

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