• synonyms


[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.
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Origin of bassoon

1720–30; < French basson < Italian bassone (bass(o) low (see base2) + -one augmentative suffix)
Related formsbas·soon·ist, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for bassoon

Historical Examples of bassoon

  • In 1800 we find the first mention of the use of the bassoon.

    Annals of Music in America

    Henry Charles Lahee

  • There were eight or ten singers, and they had a bassoon, a flute, and a clarionet.

    Old Times at Otterbourne

    Charlotte M. Yonge

  • From this it would seem that our bassoon was not of German origin.

  • Pogliani gave up the bassoon for the fork, spoon, and saucepan.

    The Merry-Go-Round

    Carl Van Vechten

  • Yet who that has loved either man or bassoon does not know this bitterness?

British Dictionary definitions for bassoon


  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
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Derived Formsbassoonist, noun

Word Origin for bassoon

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


1727, from French basson (17c.), from Italian bassone, augmentative of basso (see bass (adj.)). Cf. balloon (n.); also see -oon.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

bassoon in Culture


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.

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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.