[ba-soon, buh-]

Origin of bassoon

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

Examples from the Web for bassoon

Historical Examples of bassoon

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
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.

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.

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.