[ bey-sik ]
See synonyms for basic on
  1. of, relating to, or forming a base; fundamental: a basic principle; the basic ingredient.

  2. Chemistry.

    • pertaining to, of the nature of, or containing a base.

    • not having all of the hydroxyls of the base replaced by the acid group, or having the metal or its equivalent united partly to the acid group and partly to oxygen.

  1. Metallurgy. noting, pertaining to, or made by a steelmaking process (basic process ) in which the furnace or converter is lined with a basic or nonsiliceous material, mainly burned magnesite and a small amount of ground basic slag, to remove impurities from the steel.: Compare acid (def. 9).

  2. Geology. (of a rock) having relatively little silica.

  3. Military.

    • primary: basic training.

    • of lowest rank: airman basic.

  4. Slang.

    • (especially of a female) characterized by predictable or unoriginal style, interests, or behavior: those basic girls who follow trends.

    • (of things) boringly predictable or unoriginal: His lyrics are just so basic.

  1. Military.

  2. Often basics. something that is fundamental or basic; an essential ingredient, principle, procedure, etc.: to learn the basics of music; to get back to basics.

  1. Slang. a person, especially a female, who is boringly predictable or unoriginal.

Origin of basic

First recorded in 1835–45; base1 + -ic

Other words for basic

Other words from basic

  • non·ba·sic, adjective
  • quasi-basic, adjective

Words that may be confused with basic

Words Nearby basic

Other definitions for BASIC (2 of 2)

[ bey-sik ]

  1. 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

First recorded in 1965–70; B(eginner's) A(ll-purpose) S(ymbolic) I(nstruction) C(ode)

Words that may be confused with BASIC Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use basic in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for basic (1 of 2)


/ (ˈbeɪsɪk) /

  1. of, relating to, or forming a base or basis; fundamental; underlying

  2. elementary or simple: a few basic facts

  1. excluding additions or extras: basic pay

  2. chem

    • of, denoting, or containing a base; alkaline

    • (of a salt) containing hydroxyl or oxide groups not all of which have been replaced by an acid radical: basic lead carbonate, 2PbCO 3 .Pb ( OH ) 2

  3. 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

  4. (of such igneous rocks as basalt) containing between 52 and 45 per cent silica

  5. military primary or initial: basic training

  1. (usually plural) a fundamental principle, fact, etc

British Dictionary definitions for BASIC (2 of 2)



/ (ˈbeɪsɪk) /

  1. a computer programming language that uses common English terms

Origin of 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

Scientific definitions for BASIC


[ sĭk ]

  1. 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.