double bass

  1. the largest instrument of the violin family, having three or, usually, four strings, rested vertically on the floor when played.

Origin of double bass

First recorded in 1720–30
Related formsdouble bassist, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for double bass

Historical Examples of double bass

  • I have no further desire to figure on the double-bass; you may do as you like.

    The Dean's Watch


  • But when the double-bass made its appearance, 'My eyes and limbs!'

  • Just now she was learning the French horn and double-bass simultaneously.

    Dodo's Daughter

    E. F. Benson

  • Edith had laid her double-bass down on the ground of the terrace.

    Dodo's Daughter

    E. F. Benson

  • Ought to hear her do this rag—I've been teaching her double-bass.


    Dana Gatlin

British Dictionary definitions for double bass

double bass

  1. Also called (US): bass viol a stringed instrument, the largest and lowest member of the violin family. Range: almost three octaves upwards from E in the space between the fourth and fifth leger lines below the bass staff. It is normally bowed in classical music, but it is very common in a jazz or dance band, where it is practically always played pizzicatoInformal name: bass fiddle
adjective double-bass
  1. of or relating to an instrument whose pitch lies below that regarded as the bass; contrabass
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

double bass in Culture

double bass

Another name for the bass viol.

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.