"large, double-reeded woodwind bass instrument," 1727, from French basson (17c.), from Italian bassone, augmentative of basso (see bass (adj.)). Compare balloon (n.); also see -oon. Related: Bassoonist. The Italian name, fagotto, literally "bundle of sticks" (see faggot (n.2)) is because it comes apart in two or more parts for convenience in carrying.
updated on April 08, 2017