See more synonyms for basis on
noun, plural ba·ses [bey-seez] /ˈbeɪ siz/.
  1. the bottom or base of anything; the part on which something stands or rests.
  2. anything upon which something is based; fundamental principle; groundwork.
  3. the principal constituent; fundamental ingredient.
  4. 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.
  5. 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 Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for basis

Contemporary Examples of basis

Historical Examples of basis

  • It is also much used as a basis for numerous other dressings.

    Woman's Institute Library of Cookery, Vol. 4

    Woman's Institute of Domestic Arts and Sciences

  • So, with Sidney the basis of his happiness, he made the most of his evening's freedom.


    Mary Roberts Rinehart

  • He was not certain that the boy's statement had any basis in fact.


    Mary Roberts Rinehart

  • You must have a good glider as the basis of a successful flying machine.

    Flying Machines

    W.J. Jackman and Thos. H. Russell

  • There is no religion in the world that has any other basis than hearsay evidence.

British Dictionary definitions for basis


noun plural -ses (-siːz)
  1. something that underlies, supports, or is essential to something else, esp an abstract idea
  2. a principle on which something depends or from which something has issued
  3. 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 spacethe vectors x, y and z form a basis of the 3-dimensional space all members of which can be written as a x + b y + c z

Word Origin for basis

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

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

basis in Medicine


n. pl. ba•ses (-sēz′)
  1. 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.

basis in Science


Plural bases (sēz′)
  1. 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 © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with basis


see on a first-name basis.

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