Meaning of contrabass in English:


Pronunciation /ˈkɒntrəbeɪs/


another term for double bass
‘Basses and even occasionally contrabasses are also made for flute bands.’
  • ‘His primary instruments are the contrabass, voice, piano, electronics, and various percussive devices.’
  • ‘It begins with electronic sounds of garbled voices and interference from static-laden radio channels, and gradually introduces gentle guitar strumming, stately piano chords, warm contrabass, and dreamy steel guitar.’
  • ‘The musician, an Estonian-born musician, specialized in the contrabass.’
  • ‘The performer, who plays contrabass, remembers the sensational popularity of the song.’
  • ‘A low-pitched member of a family of instruments, with a range lower than tenor and higher than contrabass or double bass.’


  • Denoting a musical instrument with a range an octave lower than the normal bass range.

    ‘a contrabass clarinet’
    • ‘These horns are often found in their lowest manifestation, with Havard Lund playing bass clarinet and Nils Jansen alternating between contrabass clarinet and bass saxophone.’
    • ‘I played contrabass clarinet in the school Concert Band, guitar in the Jazz Big Band, percussion in the school orchestra and I began to write music.’
    • ‘Among the collection's highlights are the double slide contrabass trombone which inspired Wagner to write for the instrument in his Ring Cycle, a crystal glass flute and an early euphonium.’
    • ‘Gustafsson plays contrabass saxophone, but his contribution is also too brief, though staggering enough when it does enter the fray.’
    • ‘The work is more of a textural tone poem - and a rather heavy-handed one at that - spending most of its time in a noisy netherworld of guitars, electronics, and occasional contrabass saxophone.’
    • ‘One is a real contrabass balalaika, I brought it from Russia.’


Late 18th century from Italian contrabasso, from contra- ‘pitched an octave below’ + basso (see bass).