Meaning of BASE in English


I. ˈbās noun

( plural bas·es ˈbāsə̇z)

Etymology: Middle English, from Middle French, from Latin basis, from Greek, step, stepping, base, pedestal, from bainein to go, step — more at come


a. : the bottom of something considered as its support : that on which something rests or stands : foundation

the base of the lamp

the base of the pyramid

the base of the mountain


(1) : the lower part of a wall, pier, or column considered as a separate architectural feature

(2) : the lower part of a complete architectural design (as of a monument)

c. : one of the lines or surfaces of a geometrical figure from which an altitude is or is thought to be constructed

the base of a triangle

d. : that part of a bodily organ by which it is attached to another more central structure of the organism

the base of the thumb


(1) : the part on, to, or in which the frame and operating parts of a mechanism are fastened

(2) : the part (as a panelboard) upon which other parts (as buses, switches, terminal and contact parts) are mounted

(3) : the insulated part of a lamp bulb or electron tube through which its intervals make electrical connection with the circuit associated with it

f. : block I 4g

2. : the main ingredient

an exotic drink with a rum base



(1) : an essential ingredient of an explosive — compare double-base powder , single-base powder

(2) : the predominating substance held in solution in a crude petroleum or left as a residue on refining

mixed- base crudes

— see asphalt-base , naphthene-base , paraffin-base


(1) : an inert supporting or carrying ingredient : an absorbent or adsorbent (as kieselguhr in dynamite) : carrier 9 — compare dope 3a

(2) : an active supporting ingredient (as wood pulp mixed with an oxidizing agent in dynamite)


(1) : the usually inactive ingredient of a preparation serving as the vehicle for the active medicinal principle

the fatty base of an ointment

(2) : the chief active ingredient of a preparation — called also basis


(1) : a transparent support for photographic film

(2) : the paper support used for photographic paper


a. : the fundamental part of something : basic principle : essence , foundation , basis , groundwork

tried to furnish criticism with a psychological base — C.I.Glicksberg

rejuvenating the moral base of a society — Herbert Agar


(1) : the fundamental unit or pattern of a rhythm or one of its component parts or the norm of this unit

(2) : the nuclear pattern in a complex rhythmic figure or system

(3) : basis 5

4. bases plural , archaic : a skirt often of velvet or brocade and sometimes of mailed armor that reaches from the waist to the knees

5. : the lower or back part of something without reference to its function as a support: as

a. : the lower part of an heraldic field — usually used in the phrase in base ; compare escutcheon 1

b. : the lowest part of the hilt of a saber

c. : the pavilion of a cut gem

d. : the underside of a cloud

fly below the cloud base


a. : the point or line from which a start is made in an action or undertaking

plans to make this city his base of operation for six to eight weeks — J.A.Loftus

b. : a line in a survey which when accurately determined in length and position serves as the origin for computing the distances and relative positions of remote points and objects by triangulation


(1) : the locality or the installations on which a military force relies for supplies or from which it initiates operations

a large naval base

an advanced base

(2) : the element on which a military movement or formation is regulated

d. : a number (as 5 in 5 6.44 or 5 7 ) that is raised to a power ; especially : the number that when raised to a power equal to the logarithm of a number yields the number itself

the logarithm of 100 to the base 10 is 2 since 10 2 =100

e. : a number equal to the number of units in a given digit's place that for a given system of writing numbers is required to give the numeral 1 in the next higher place

the decimal system uses a base of 10

also : such a system of writing numbers using an indicated base

convert from base 10 to base 2


(1) historical and comparative linguistics : root , stem , theme ; especially : one reconstructed from words or from the relationships among words in several languages (as assumed Indo-European bher- “to carry” reconstructed from Greek pherein, Latin ferre, Old English beran, and their cognates)

(2) descriptive linguistics : the word or morpheme, which may be a bound form but not an affix, selected as a convenient point of departure in the analysis of complex words or derivatives (as play used in the analysis of played and playful, sing used in the analysis of sings, sang, sung, and song, or acet- used in the analysis of acetal and acetate )

g. : the basal pinacoid of a crystal

h. : the quantity equaling 100 from which variations in an index number are measured

the 1946-49 profit base


a. : the starting place or goal in various games

b. obsolete : prisoner's base

c. : any one of the four stations at the corners of a baseball infield

was thrown out at first base


a. : a compound (as lime, ammonia, a caustic alkali, or an alkaloid) capable of reacting with an acid to form a salt either with or without the elimination of water, its aqueous solutions if it is water-soluble having an acrid brackish taste and turning litmus blue : a compound (MOH) containing the hydroxide ion (OH - ) or hydroxyl group (OH) that is capable of yielding in aqueous solution a hydroxyl ion together with the cation (M + ), the degree of ionization in dilute solutions of strong bases (as sodium hydroxide, calcium hydroxide, and choline) being virtually complete and that of weak bases (as ammonium hydroxide and many organic bases) being in the neighborhood of one percent or less

b. according to the Brønsted-Lowry system : a molecule (as ammonia) or ion (as hydroxyl or nitrate) that can take up a proton from an acid : a proton acceptor

the chloride ion is the conjugate base of hydrogen chloride

c. according to the G.N.Lewis system : a compound (as ammonia, ether, or benzene) or a negative ion (as hydroxyl) capable of giving up to an acid an unshared pair of electrons which then form a covalent chemical bond — called also Lewis base

9. : the least number of natural cards that will form a canasta when a required number of natural or wild cards is added

- off base

[s]base.jpg[/s] [

base of a column: 1 upper torus, 2 scotia, 3 lower torus, 4 plinth, 5 shaft, 6 fillets


II. verb

( -ed/-ing/-s )

transitive verb


a. : to make or form a foundation for

great roots based the tree columns — George Macdonald

b. : to serve as a base for

these carriers can base 100 planes

c. : to establish or maintain a base for

would be necessary to base them at specially designated … strategic points — Vera M. Dean

2. : to use as a base or basis for : establish , found — used with on or upon

bases his position on a wide and shrewd scrutiny of man — A.L.Locke

basing her life-sized portrait … on contemporary evidence — Harry Levin

intransitive verb

1. : to become based — used with on or upon

the value of diamonds bases on the gem value — G.S.Brady

2. : to establish or maintain one's base

would fly on to Luzon after the attack and base there overnight — Fletcher Pratt


base , found , ground , bottom , stay , and rest can mean, in common, to provide with or serve as a basis. base now usually applies to what underlies a belief, a system of thought, a judgment, a hope, and so on

a conviction not based on any ascertainable fact

a tax based on prospective earnings

a religion based on faith as much as principle

found is very close to base but usually adds the idea of something consciously advanced as support (of an opinion, a judgment, and so on)

an opinion founded on a careful written analysis of facts

this criticism is founded in misconception — B.N.Cardozo

the terrible old mythic story on which the drama was founded — Matthew Arnold

ground implies or connotes an implanting (as in the ground) to give solidity and firmness

a love grounded in understanding and trust

grounded all his work as a novelist on the faithful study of human nature — M.P.Linehan

America was grounded not in the overthrow of the feudal past but in escape from it — Richard Hofstadter

bottom , rarer in this sense than the other terms, implies a broad and strong base

his report was bottomed on sober statistics — Time

bottomed on ideas to which everyone subscribes today — C.G.Bowers

stay implies a support that keeps upright or prevents from falling

stay a tipping barn with heavy supporting timbers on one side

his nature looked coldly upon its early faith and sought to stay itself with rational knowledge — H.O.Taylor

rest stresses reliance upon something as a base or fundamental support, usually figurative

continuing progress based on science and technology … the foundation upon which our prosperity and our increasing standard of living rest — H.H.Curtice

their academic reputations rest, quite largely, upon their academic power — C.W.Mills

the cultures of the ancient empires of the Near East, of Greece and Rome, and of medieval Europe, all rest on the technical achievements of the Neolithic Age — Benjamin Farrington

III. adjective

Etymology: base (I)

1. : constituting or serving as a base

are now setting up a string of base camps — Time

2. : basic

the right to work is a base right — Ira Mosher

IV. adjective

( -er/-est )

Etymology: Middle English bas, from Middle French, from Medieval Latin bassus fat, short, low

1. archaic : of little height : not high or tall

the cedar stoops not to the base shrub's foot — Shakespeare

2. obsolete : low in place or position

fall to the base earth from the firmament — Shakespeare

3. obsolete : bass III

4. archaic

a. : of humble birth or position : lowly , plebeian , poor

base in kind and born to be a slave — William Cowper

b. : of illegitimate birth : bastard

Edmund the base shall top the legitimate — Shakespeare


a. : like a villein : servile

a base tenant

b. : held by villenage

base tenure

6. : of inferior quality : shabby , coarse , debased: as


(1) : alloyed with inferior metal

base gold

(2) : made of inferior metal

base coins of aluminum

b. of language : not classical

base Latin

7. : having no dignity of sentiment or trustworthiness : low-minded , meanspirited , shameful , ignoble , unworthy

seemed a base betrayal of idealism — L.M.Sears

8. : lacking higher values : degrading , menial

citizens go on existing with a base mechanical kind of life like that of insects — Stephen Spender

9. : of comparatively little value : not precious — compare base metal


low , vile : base stresses the ignoble; it may suggest cruelty, treachery, greed, or grossness

all those features which distinguish the errors of magnanimous and intrepid spirits from base and malignant crimes — T.B.Macaulay

base self-centered indulgence and selfish ambition — W.R.Inge

low may connote crafty cunning, vulgarity, or immorality

a man who by exercising a low sort of cunning, has managed to grab three or four millions of money selling bad whiskey — G.B.Shaw

some sporting events of a low type, such as setting on men, women, or animals to fight — G.M.Trevelyan

vile , the most extreme of these three words, often suggests depravity or filth

a jeering intention in his meanly unctuous tone, something more vile than mere cruelty — Joseph Conrad

vile abuse and unbelievable blasphemies poured from her snarling lips — W.H.Wright

the jail was a vile place, in which most kinds of debauchery and villainy were practiced, and where dire diseases were bred — Charles Dickens

or, unlike base and low , is often used as a strong synonym for objectionable or poor

curses … for the vile drinks he had been the means of introducing there — W.M.Thackeray


Etymology: base (IV)


variant of bass II

VI. noun

1. : a number that is multiplied by a rate or of which a percentage or fraction is calculated

to find the interest on $90 at 10% multiply the base 90 by .10

2. : the economic factors on which in Marxist theory all legal, social, and political relations are formed

3. : a price level at which a security previously actively declining in price resists further price decline

4. : any of the five purine or pyrimidine bases of DNA and RNA that include cytosine, guanine, adenine, thymine, and uracil

5. : a point to be considered

is covering … detailed material and is trying to touch every base — R.L.Tobin

6. : freebase herein

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.