[ kon-truh-beys ]

  1. (in any family of instruments) the member below the bass.

  2. (in the violin family) the double bass.

  1. of, relating to, or characteristic of such instruments: a contrabass trombone.

Origin of contrabass

From Italian, dating back to 1590–1600; see origin at contrabasso

Other words from contrabass

  • con·tra·bass·ist [kon-truh-bey-sist, -bas-ist], /ˈkɒn trəˌbeɪ sɪst, -ˌbæs ɪst/, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

British Dictionary definitions for contrabass


/ (ˌkɒntrəˈbeɪs) /

  1. a member of any of various families of musical instruments that is lower in pitch than the bass

  2. another name for double bass

  1. of or denoting the instrument of a family that is lower than the bass

Derived forms of contrabass

  • contrabassist (ˌkɒntrəˈbeɪsɪst, -ˈbæs-), 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