[too-buh, tyoo-]

noun, plural tu·bas for 1a, b, 2; tu·bae [too-bee, tyoo-] /ˈtu bi, ˈtyu-/ for 1c.

  1. a valved, brass wind instrument having a low range.
  2. an organ reed stop of large scale with tones of exceptional power.
  3. an ancient Roman trumpet.
Meteorology. funnel cloud.

Origin of tuba

1850–55; < Latin: trumpet; akin to tube
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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British Dictionary definitions for tuba


noun plural -bas or -bae (-biː)

a valved brass instrument of bass pitch, in which the bell points upwards and the mouthpiece projects at right angles. The tube is of conical bore and the mouthpiece cup-shaped
any other bass brass instrument such as the euphonium, helicon, etc
a powerful reed stop on an organ
a form of trumpet of ancient Rome

Word Origin for tuba

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 tuba

1852, from French tuba, from Latin tuba (plural tubæ) "straight bronze war trumpet" (as opposed to the crooked bucina), related to tubus (see tube).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Culture definitions for tuba


The lowest-pitched of the brass instruments. In orchestras, the tuba is usually held across the player's lap. In marching bands, the sousaphone is generally used as a low brass instrument because it was designed to be carried.

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.