[nas-aw; for 2, 3 also German nah-sou]


a seaport on New Providence Island: capital of the Bahamas; seaside resort.
a district in central Germany: formerly a duchy, now a part of Hesse.
a member of a European royal family that ruled chiefly in Germany and the Netherlands until the 19th century.
Golf. an eighteen-hole match in which one point each is awarded to the players having the lowest score for the first nine holes, for the second nine holes, and for the entire round.


[buh-hah-muh z, -hey-]


(used with a plural verb) a group of islands in the W Atlantic Ocean, SE of Florida.
(used with a singular verb) an independent country comprising this group: formerly a British colony; gained independence 1973. 4404 sq. mi. (11,406 sq. km). Capital: Nassau.
Also called Bahama Islands.
Related formsBa·ha·mi·an [buh-hey-mee-uh n, -hah-] /bəˈheɪ mi ən, -ˈhɑ-/, noun, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for nassau

Contemporary Examples of nassau

Historical Examples of nassau

  • Between its Babel towers narrow Nassau Street was like a canyon.

  • It was made by Crimp, of Nassau Street, and box and all cost four pound twelve.'

    Lord Kilgobbin

    Charles Lever

  • Is it to the denizen of a coal mine you apply for information about the Nassau balloon?

    Nuts and Nutcrackers

    Charles James Lever

  • A cellar in Nassau Street was the first office of the "Herald."

  • I got a draft on a Nassau house, and generally drew greenbacks.

    A Jolly Fellowship

    Frank R. Stockton

British Dictionary definitions for nassau



(German ˈnasaʊ) a region of W central Germany: formerly a duchy (1816–66), from which a branch of the House of Orange arose (represented by the present rulers of the Netherlands and Luxembourg); annexed to the Prussian province of Hesse-Nassau in 1866; corresponds to present-day W Hesse and NE Rhineland-Palatinate states
(ˈnæsɔː) the capital and chief port of the Bahamas, on the NE coast of New Providence Island: resort. Pop: 229 000 (2005 est)


Bahama Islands

pl n

the Bahamas a group of over 700 coral islands (about 20 of which are inhabited) in the Caribbean: a British colony from 1783 until 1964; an independent nation within the Commonwealth from 1973. Language: English. Currency: Bahamian dollar. Capital: Nassau. Pop: 319 031 (2013 est). Area: 13 939 sq km (5381 sq miles)
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 nassau


capital of the Bahamas, from a site name attested from 1690s, in honor of King William III of England (1650-1702), of the House of Orange-Nassau, from the duchy of Nassau in western Germany, named for a village in the Lahn valley, from Old High German nass "wet." Related: Nassauvian.


islands discovered by Columbus in 1492, settled by English in 1648, long after the native population had been wiped out by disease or carried off into slavery; the name is said to be from Spanish baja mar "low sea," in reference to the shallow water here, but more likely represents a local name, Guanahani, whose origin had been lost and whose meaning has been forgotten.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

nassau in Culture



Republic in the Atlantic Ocean, consisting of 700 islands and islets and 2,400 smaller islands, called cays.


The Bahamas were under the control of Britain until 1973, when they became an independent, self-governing state.


The Bahamas are a popular winter resort.
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.