[ ba-soon, buh- ]

  1. a large woodwind instrument of low range, with a doubled tube and a curved metal crook to which a double reed is attached.

Origin of bassoon

1720–30; <French basson<Italian bassone (bass(o) low (see base2) + -one augmentative suffix)

Other words from bassoon

  • bas·soon·ist, noun

Words Nearby bassoon Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use bassoon in a sentence

  • And he played, with variations, an imaginary tune On the buttons of his waistcoat, like a jocular bassoon.

  • Grandfather Tootle, the bassoon, spends his time in dozing: all you can hear from him is an occasional snore.

    Bizarre | Lawton Mackall
  • Had there been a wedding guest present, he would hardly have repined in not being able to obey the summons of the loud bassoon.

  • Mhler remembered that at one of the general rehearsals the third bassoon was absent; at which Beethoven fretted and fumed.

  • It was told by Mittag, a bassoon player who had taken part in a performance of the Septet at a concert on December 11.

British Dictionary definitions for bassoon


/ (bəˈsuːn) /

  1. a woodwind instrument, the tenor of the oboe family. Range: about three and a half octaves upwards from the B flat below the bass staff

  2. an orchestral musician who plays the bassoon

Origin of bassoon

C18: from French basson, from Italian bassone, from basso deep; see base ²

Derived forms of bassoon

  • bassoonist, noun

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

Cultural definitions for bassoon


The second largest and second lowest pitched of the woodwinds. (The less common contrabassoon is larger and has a lower pitch.) It is played with a double reed.

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