/bays/ , n., adj., v., based, basing .
1. the bottom support of anything; that on which a thing stands or rests: a metal base for the table.
2. a fundamental principle or groundwork; foundation; basis: the base of needed reforms.
3. the bottom layer or coating, as of makeup or paint.
a. the distinctively treated portion of a column or pier below the shaft or shafts. See diag. under column .
b. the distinctively treated lowermost portion of any construction, as a monument, exterior wall, etc.
5. Bot. , Zool.
a. the part of an organ nearest its point of attachment.
b. the point of attachment.
6. the principal element or ingredient of anything, considered as its fundamental part: face cream with a lanolin base; paint with a lead base.
7. that from which a commencement, as of action or reckoning, is made; a starting point or point of departure.
a. any of the four corners of the diamond, esp. first, second, or third base. Cf. home plate .
b. a square canvas sack containing sawdust or some other light material, for marking first, second, or third base.
9. a starting line or point for runners, racing cars, etc.
10. (in hockey and other games) the goal.
a. a fortified or more or less protected area or place from which the operations of an army or an air force proceed.
b. a supply installation for a large military force.
12. Geom. the line or surface forming the part of a figure that is most nearly horizontal or on which it is supposed to stand.
a. the number that serves as a starting point for a logarithmic or other numerical system.
b. a collection of subsets of a topological space having the property that every open set in the given topology can be written as the union of sets of the collection.
c. a collection of neighborhoods of a point such that every neighborhood of the point contains one from the collection.
d. a collection of sets of a given filter such that every set in the filter is contained in some set in the collection.
14. Also called base line . Survey. See under triangulation (def. 1).
a. vehicle (def. 10).
b. Also called carrier . inert matter, used in the preparation of lakes, onto which a coloring compound is precipitated.
16. Photog. a thin, flexible layer of cellulose triacetate or similar material that holds the light-sensitive film emulsion and other coatings, esp. on motion-picture film.
a. a compound that reacts with an acid to form a salt, as ammonia, calcium hydroxide, or certain nitrogen-containing organic compounds.
b. the hydroxide of a metal or of an electropositive element or group.
c. a group or molecule that takes up or accepts protons.
d. a molecule or ion containing an atom with a free pair of electrons that can be donated to an acid; an electron-pair donor.
e. any of the purine and pyrimidine compounds found in nucleic acids: the purines adenine and guanine and the pyrimidines cytosine, thymine, and uracil.
18. Gram. the part of a complex word, consisting of one or more morphemes, to which derivational or inflectional affixes may be added, as want in unwanted or biolog- in biological. Cf. root 1 (def. 11), stem 1 (def. 16).
19. Ling. the component of a generative grammar containing the lexicon and phrase-structure rules that generate the deep structure of sentences.
a. an electrode or terminal on a transistor other than the emitter or collector electrodes or terminals.
b. the part of an incandescent lamp or electron tube that includes the terminals for making electrical connection to a circuit or power supply.
21. Stock Exchange. the level at which a security ceases a decline in price.
22. Heraldry. the lower part of an escutcheon.
23. bases , Armor. a tonlet formed of two shaped steel plates assembled side by side.
24. Jewelry. pavilion (def. 6).
25. get to first base . See first base (def. 2).
26. in base , Heraldry. in the lower part of an escutcheon.
27. off base ,
a. Baseball. not touching a base: The pitcher caught him off base and, after a quick throw, he was put out by the second baseman.
b. Informal. badly mistaken: The police were way off base when they tried to accuse her of the theft.
28. on base , Baseball. having reached a base or bases: Two men are on base.
29. touch base with , to make contact with: They've touched base with every political group on campus.
30. serving as or forming a base: The walls will need a base coat and two finishing coats.
31. to make or form a base or foundation for.
32. to establish, as a fact or conclusion (usually fol. by on or upon ): He based his assumption of her guilt on the fact that she had no alibi.
33. to place or establish on a base or basis; ground; found (usually fol. by on or upon ): Our plan is based on a rising economy.
34. to station, place, or situate (usually fol. by at or on ): He is based at Fort Benning. The squadron is based on a carrier.
35. to have a basis; be based (usually fol. by on or upon ): Fluctuating prices usually base on a fickle public's demand.
36. to have or maintain a base: I believe they had based on Greenland at one time.
[ 1275-1325; ME (n.) basis BASIS; cf. PRISONER'S BASE ]
Syn. 1. BASE, BASIS, FOUNDATION refer to anything upon which a structure is built and upon which it rests. BASE usually refers to a literal supporting structure: the base of a statue. BASIS more often refers to a figurative support: the basis of a report. FOUNDATION implies a solid, secure understructure: the foundation of a skyscraper or a rumor.
— basely , adv. — baseness , n.
/bays/ , adj., baser, basest , n.
1. morally low; without estimable personal qualities; dishonorable; meanspirited; selfish; cowardly.
2. of little or no value; worthless: hastily composed of base materials.
3. debased or counterfeit: an attempt to eliminate the base coinage.
4. characteristic of or befitting an inferior person or thing.
5. of illegitimate birth.
6. not classical or refined: base language.
7. Old Eng. Law. held by tenure less than freehold in return for a service viewed as somewhat demeaning to the tenant.
a. of humble origin or station.
b. of small height.
c. low in place, position, or degree: base servitude.
9. Obs. deep or grave in sound; bass: the base tones of a piano.
10. Music. Obs. bass 1 (defs. 3, 4).
[ 1350-1400; ME bas bassus low, short, perh. of Oscan orig. ]
Syn. 1. despicable, contemptible. See mean 2 . 2. poor, inferior, cheap, tawdry. 3. fake, spurious. 4. servile, ignoble, abject, slavish, menial.