Nearby words

  1. basaltes,
  2. basaltware,
  3. basanite,
  4. bascinet,
  5. bascule,
  6. base box,
  7. base bullion,
  8. base camp,
  9. base community,
  10. base component


Origin of base

1275–1325; Middle English (noun) < Middle French < Latin basis basis; cf. prisoner's base

Related formsun·based, adjectivewell-based, adjective

Synonym study

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.


[ beys ]
/ beɪs /

adjective, bas·er, bas·est.


Music Obsolete. bass1(defs 3, 4).

Origin of base

1350–1400; Middle English bas < Old French < Late Latin bassus low, short, perhaps of Oscan orig.

1. despicable, contemptible. See mean2. 2. poor, inferior, cheap, tawdry. 3. fake, spurious. 4. servile, ignoble, abject, slavish, menial.

Related formsbase·ly, adverbbase·ness, noun


[ trahy-ang-gyuh-ley-shuh n ]
/ traɪˌæŋ gyəˈleɪ ʃən /

noun Surveying, Navigation.

a technique for establishing the distance between any two points, or the relative position of two or more points, by using such points as vertices of a triangle or series of triangles, such that each triangle has a side of known or measurable length (base or base line) that permits the size of the angles of the triangle and the length of its other two sides to be established by observations taken either upon or from the two ends of the base line.
the triangles thus formed and measured.

Origin of triangulation

1810–20; < Medieval Latin triangulātiōn- (stem of triangulātiō) the making of triangles. See triangulate, -ion Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for base

British Dictionary definitions for base


/ (beɪs) /



(tr foll by on or upon) to use as a basis (for); found (on)your criticisms are based on ignorance
(often foll by at or in) to station, post, or place (a person or oneself)

Word Origin for base

C14: from Old French, from Latin basis pedestal; see basis


adjective, noun

music an obsolete spelling of bass 1
Derived Formsbasely, adverbbaseness, noun

Word Origin for base

C14: from Old French bas, from Late Latin bassus of low height, perhaps from Greek bassōn deeper


/ (traɪˌæŋɡjʊˈleɪʃən) /


a method of surveying in which an area is divided into triangles, one side (the base line) and all angles of which are measured and the lengths of the other lines calculated trigonometrically
the network of triangles so formed
the fixing of an unknown point, as in navigation, by making it one vertex of a triangle, the other two being known
chess a key manoeuvre in the endgame in which the king moves thrice in a triangular path to leave the opposing king with the move and at a disadvantage
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 base
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for base


[ bās ]


The part of an organ nearest its point of attachment.
A fundamental ingredient; a chief constituent of a mixture.
Any of a large class of compounds, including the hydroxides and oxides of metals, having a bitter taste, a slippery solution, the capacity to turn litmus blue, and to react with acids to form salts.
A molecular or ionic substance capable of combining with a proton to form a new substance.Brønsted base
A nitrogen-containing organic compound that combines in such a manner.
A substance that provides a pair of electrons for a covalent bond with an acid.

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

Science definitions for base


[ bās ]

  1. Any of a class of compounds that form hydroxyl ions (OH) when dissolved in water, and whose aqueous solutions react with acids to form salts. Bases turn red litmus paper blue and have a pH greater than 7. Their aqueous solutions have a bitter taste. Compare acid.
  2. See nitrogen base.
  1. The side or face of a geometric figure to which an altitude is or is thought to be drawn. The base can be, but is not always, the bottom part of the figure.
  2. The number that is raised to various powers to generate the principal counting units of a number system. The base of the decimal system, for example, is 10.
  3. The number that is raised to a particular power in a given mathematical expression. In the expression an, a is the base.


[ trī-ăng′gyə-lāshən ]

A method of determining the relative positions of points in space by measuring the distances, and sometimes angles, between those points and other reference points whose positions are known. Triangulation often involves the use of trigonometry. It is commonly used in the navigation of aircraft and boats, and is the method used in the Global Positioning System , in which the reference points are satellites.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Culture definitions for base


Any of a number of bitter-tasting, caustic materials. Technically, a material that produces negative ions in solution. A base is the opposite of an acid and has a pH of 7 to 14. A given amount of a base added to the same amount of an acid neutralizes the acid; water and a salt are produced. Alkalis are bases; ammonia is a common base.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with base


see get to first base; off base; touch base.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.