Origin of basic

First recorded in 1835–45; base1 + -ic
Related formsnon·ba·sic, adjectivequa·si-ba·sic, adjective
Can be confusedbasic BASIC

Synonyms for basic



noun Computers.

a widely adopted programming language that uses English words, punctuation marks, and algebraic notation to facilitate communication between the operator or lay user and the computer.

Origin of BASIC

1965–70; B(eginner's) A(ll-purpose) S(ymbolic) I(nstruction) C(ode)
Can be confusedbasic BASIC Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for basic

Contemporary Examples of basic

Historical Examples of basic

  • The Metanoia, the re-directing of my thought, was a thorough and basic change.

  • Make as much out of this as you will, but the basic fact is incontestible.

    Blood and Iron

    John Hubert Greusel

  • The basic fact of the tale I had in my possession for a good many years.

    Notes on My Books

    Joseph Conrad

  • It was contentment, and it stemmed from the basic emotion love.

    Cogito, Ergo Sum

    John Foster West

  • The mastery of an art—be it what you like—does but consist in the comprehension of its basic law.

    Dwellers in the Hills

    Melville Davisson Post

British Dictionary definitions for basic



of, relating to, or forming a base or basis; fundamental; underlying
elementary or simplea few basic facts
excluding additions or extrasbasic pay
  1. of, denoting, or containing a base; alkaline
  2. (of a salt) containing hydroxyl or oxide groups not all of which have been replaced by an acid radicalbasic lead carbonate, 2PbCO 3 .Pb ( OH ) 2
metallurgy of, concerned with, or made by a process in which the furnace or converter is made of a basic material, such as magnesium oxide
(of such igneous rocks as basalt) containing between 52 and 45 per cent silica
military primary or initialbasic training


(usually plural) a fundamental principle, fact, etc




a computer programming language that uses common English terms

Word Origin for BASIC

C20: acronym of b (eginner's) a (ll-purpose) s (ymbolic) i (nstruction) c (ode)
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 basic

1832, originally in chemistry, from base (n.) + -ic.


computer language, 1964, initialism for Beginners' All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code; invented by Hungarian-born U.S. computer scientist John G. Kemeny (1926-1992) and U.S. computer scientist Thomas E. Kurtz (b.1928).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

basic in Medicine




Of, being, or serving as a starting point or basis.
Producing, resulting from, or relating to a base.
Containing a base, especially in excess of acid.
Containing oxide or hydroxide anions.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

basic in Science



A simple programming language developed in the 1960s that is widely taught to students as a first programming language.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.