[ bey-suh l, -zuh l ]
/ ˈbeɪ səl, -zəl /


of, at, or forming the base.
forming a basis; fundamental; basic.
  1. indicating a standard low level of activity of an organism, as during total rest.
  2. of an amount required to maintain this level.
Medicine/Medical. serving to induce a preliminary or light anesthesia prior to total anesthetization.

Nearby words

  1. barège,
  2. bas bleu,
  3. bas-relief,
  4. bas-rhin,
  5. basad,
  6. basal anaesthesia,
  7. basal anesthesia,
  8. basal body,
  9. basal cell,
  10. basal cell carcinoma

Origin of basal

First recorded in 1820–30; base1 + -al1

Related formsba·sal·ly, adverbpre·ba·sal, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for basal

British Dictionary definitions for basal


/ (ˈbeɪsəl) /


at, of, or constituting a base
of or constituting a foundation or basis; fundamental; essential
Derived Formsbasally, adverb

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

Word Origin and History for basal



"relating to a base," 1828, from base (n.) + -al (1).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for basal


[ bāsəl, -zəl ]


Of, relating to, located at, or forming a base, usually of an organ or a tooth.
Of, relating to, of situated at the lowest level, as of an organ.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.