[ bey-sis ]
See 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.

  1. the principal constituent; fundamental ingredient.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

First recorded in 1525–35; from Latin, from Greek básis “step, place one stands on, pedestal,” from ba(ínein) “to walk, step” (see also come) + -sis -sis; cf. base1

synonym study For basis

1, 2. See base1.

Words Nearby basis Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use basis in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for basis


/ (ˈbeɪsɪs) /

nounplural -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

  1. 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 space: the 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

Origin of 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

Scientific definitions for basis


[ sĭs ]

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.

Other 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.