con·​tra·​bass | \ ˈkän-trə-ˌbās How to pronounce contrabass (audio) \

Definition of contrabass

 (Entry 1 of 2)



Definition of contrabass (Entry 2 of 2)

: pitched lower than a bass instrument of the same type a contrabass clarinet

Other Words from contrabass


contrabassist \ ˈkän-​trə-​ˌbā-​sist How to pronounce contrabass (audio) \ noun

Examples of contrabass in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun At the California Center for the Arts, Escondido, a standing ovation for Tijuana composer Andrés Martín and conductor Ankush Kumar Bahl Consider the contrabass, a loyal servant in the orchestra. San Diego Union-Tribune, 21 Apr. 2022 Selections from Two-Part Inventions (arranged for violin and contrabass), Prokofiev’s Sonata for Two Violins in C Major, Op. George Varga, San Diego Union-Tribune, 16 Aug. 2020 They were greatly assisted by Heather Vorwerck on baroque cello (held between her legs was the practice) and by Shanon Zusman on the violone, the five-stringed predecessor to the contrabass. San Diego Union-Tribune, 12 Oct. 2019 The other revelation on this concert was Prokofiev’s 1924 Quintet in G minor, scored for the odd ensemble of oboe, clarinet, violin, viola and contrabass. San Diego Union-Tribune, 29 Sep. 2019 San Diego State University’s Community Music School offers a variety of workshops for strings, contrabass and piano. Beth Wood,, 13 May 2018 The instrumentation requires extra winds (including a contrabass clarinet) and brass (six horns, four trombones). Christian Hertzog,, 7 May 2018 The deep-sea contrabass clarinet and contrabassoon that Salonen love contribute a strange bottom to the orchestral sound. Mark Swed,, 16 Apr. 2018 Mark Dresser Quintet Expect a night of dazzling aural adventure when San Diego contrabass great Mark Dresser is joined by a stellar band featuring the superb flutist Nicole Mitchell, rising piano phenom Joshua White and trombonist Michael Dessen. George Varga,, 25 Mar. 2018 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'contrabass.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of contrabass


1761, in the meaning defined above


1834, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for contrabass


Italian contrabbasso, from contra- + basso bass

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The first known use of contrabass was in 1761

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Dictionary Entries Near contrabass

contraband of war


contrabass clarinet

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Cite this Entry

“Contrabass.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Jun. 2022.

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