/ beɪs; NAmE / noun , verb , adjective
[ C , usually sing. ] the lowest part of sth, especially the part or surface on which it rests or stands :
the base of a column / glass
a pain at the base of the spine
The lamp has a heavy base.
—picture at column , divan ➡ note at bottom
ORIGINAL IDEA / SITUATION
[ C ] an idea, a fact, a situation, etc. from which sth is developed
SYN basis :
She used her family's history as a base for her novel.
His arguments have a sound economic base.
➡ note at basis
OF SUPPORT / INCOME / POWER
[ C , usually sing. ] the people, activity, etc. from which sb/sth gets most of their support, income, power, etc. :
These policies have a broad base of support.
an economy with a solid manufacturing base
—see also customer base , power base
FIRST / MAIN SUBSTANCE
[ C , usually sing. ] the first or main part of a substance to which other things are added :
a drink with a rum base
Put some moisturizer on as a base before applying your make-up.
[ C ] the main place where you live or stay or where a business operates from :
I spend a lot of time in Britain but Paris is still my base.
The town is an ideal base for touring the area.
The company has its base in New York, and branch offices all over the world.
OF ARMY, NAVY, etc.
[ C , U ] a place where an army, a navy, etc. operates from :
a military / naval base
an air base
After the attack, they returned to base.
[ C ] a chemical substance, for example an alkali , that can combine with an acid to form a salt
[ C , usually sing. ] a number on which a system of counting and expressing numbers is built up, for example 10 in the decimal system and 2 in the binary system
IN BASEBALL / ROUNDERS
[ C ] one of the four positions that a player must reach in order to score points
—see also database
- off base
—more at cover verb , first base , touch verb
[ vn ] [ usually passive ] base sb/sth / yourself in ... to use a particular city, town, etc. as the main place for a business, holiday / vacation, etc. :
They decided to base the new company in York.
We're going to base ourselves in Tokyo and make trips from there.
- base sth on / upon sth
( baser , bas·est ) ( formal ) not having moral principles or rules :
He acted from base motives.
► base·ly adverb
noun and verb Middle English : from Old French , from Latin basis base, pedestal, from Greek .
adjective late Middle English : from Old French bas , from medieval Latin bassus short (found in classical Latin as a type of nickname). Early senses included low, short and of inferior quality ; from the latter arose a sense low in the social scale , and hence (mid 16th cent.) reprehensibly cowardly, selfish, or mean .