Try Our Apps


The saddest words


[bey-sis] /ˈbeɪ sɪs/
noun, plural bases
[bey-seez] /ˈbeɪ siz/ (Show IPA)
the bottom or base of anything; the part on which something stands or rests.
anything upon which something is based; fundamental principle; groundwork.
the principal constituent; fundamental ingredient.
a basic fact, amount, standard, etc., used in making computations, reaching conclusions, or the like:
The nurse is paid on an hourly basis. He was chosen on the basis of his college grades.
Mathematics. a set of linearly independent elements of a given vector space having the property that every element of the space can be written as a linear combination of the elements of the set.
Origin of basis
1525-35; < Latin < Greek básis step, place one stands on, pedestal, equivalent to ba-, base of baínein to walk, step (akin to come) + -sis -sis; cf. base1
Synonym Study
1, 2. See base1. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for basis
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The work is to be commended on the basis of its value to the individual boy.

  • You are judging us with yourself as a basis of contrast, I fancy!

    Stanford Stories Charles K. Field
  • They have formed the basis of the great improvements in the breeds in Great Britain.

    Soil Culture J. H. Walden
  • This was to be elected on the basis of a census taken by the county officials.

    The Negro and the Nation George S. Merriam
  • I am still of opinion that our best way to reach them is from a Chinese basis.

British Dictionary definitions for basis


noun (pl) -ses (-siːz)
something that underlies, supports, or is essential to something else, esp an abstract idea
a principle on which something depends or from which something has issued
(maths) (of a vector space) a maximal set of linearly independent vectors, in terms of which all the elements of the space are uniquely expressible, and the number of which is the dimension of the space: the vectors x, y and z form a basis of the 3-dimensional space all members of which can be written as ax + by + cz
Word Origin
C14: via Latin from Greek: step, from bainein to step, go
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for basis

1570s, "bottom or foundation (of something material)," from Latin basis "foundation," from Greek basis "a step, stand, base, that whereon one stands," from bainein "go, step" (see come). Transferred and figurative senses (of immaterial things) are from c.1600.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
basis in Medicine

basis ba·sis (bā'sĭs)
n. pl. ba·ses (-sēz')
The foundation upon which something, such as an anatomical part, rests.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source
basis in Science
Plural bases (bā'sēz')
A set of independent vectors whose linear combinations define a vector space, such as a reference frame used to establish a coordinate system.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source
Idioms and Phrases with basis
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for basis

All English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for basis

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for basis