from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Of, relating to, located at, or forming a base.
  • adjective Botany Located at or near the base of a plant stem, or at the base of any other plant part.
  • adjective Of primary importance; basic.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Of or pertaining to the base; constituting the base; fundamental.
  • Pertaining to the base of a part or organ. On or near the base: as, a basal mark.
  • Nearest the base: as, the basal joint, or the four basal joints of an insect's antenna.
  • In ichthyology, of or pertaining to the basalia. See basale.
  • In the wings of Diptera, one of the elongate cells near the base of the wing between the second and fifth or second and sixth longitudinal veins; they are numbered, the first being the one nearest the costal margin.
  • noun One of the basal joints of the branches of a crinoid, bearing the radials.
  • noun In ichthyology, the basisphenoid.
  • In a typical solitary coral, as Caryophyllia, that part of the skeleton which is between the zoöid and the surface of attachment.
  • noun Same as genital plate (which see, under genital).

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Relating to, or forming, the base.
  • adjective See under Cleavage.
  • adjective (Crystallog.) a plane parallel to the lateral or horizontal axis.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective Relating to, or forming, the base, or point of origin.
  • adjective In a phylogenetic tree, being a group, or member of a group, which diverged earlier.
  • noun anatomy Any basal structure or part

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adjective especially of leaves; located at the base of a plant or stem; especially arising directly from the root or rootstock or a root-like stem
  • adjective serving as or forming a base
  • adjective of primary importance


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

base +‎ -al


  • Does the term basal tear excite your sympathy, or reflex tear ignite a shower of certain understanding?

    Archive 2007-07-01

  • In time, a slow and steady rise in basal cell calcium levels leads to activation of calcineurin, which in turn leads to nuclear importation of the transcription factor NFAT (Nuclear Factor of T-cells).

    Urology Division Research

  • Furthermore, while the cochleal canal is shorter, and the promontorium is smaller, in basal mammaliaforms than is the case in mammals (Luo et al. 1995), Morganucodon in more mammal-like in these features than are more basal mammaliaforms (like Sinoconodon).

    Archive 2006-01-01

  • During the 1970s and 80s emphasis in basal whale research began to shift from Africa to Asia, at first because Sahni & Mishra (1972) described primitive whale remains discovered in India, and later as West (1980) figured and identified lower jaw specimens from Pakistan.

    Archive 2006-02-01

  • This method of ovulation prediction is called the basal body temperature guide or BBT Using the BBT involves taking your temperature every day for at least two months.

    Getting Pregnant

  • This is what is referred to as your basal metabolic rate BMR.

    Hold it!

  • The disease-induced destruction of these cells, which are called "basal forebrain cholinergic" BFC neurons, is key to the progression of Alzheimer's.

    Yahoo! News: Business - Opinion

  • Well, actually, there were ‘sea snakes’ in the Mesozoic – that is, marine members of Serpentes – but they weren’t close relatives of modern sea snakes, rather they were far more basal within the snake family tree (though how basal is the subject of contentious debate).

    Archive 2006-07-01

  • In a study on the distribution of an ossified Meckel’s cartilage in basal mammals, Meng et al. (2003) noted that the medial dentary scar seen in Chronoperates might not house post-dentary bones, as Fox et al. proposed, but instead a persisting Meckel’s cartilage.

    Archive 2006-05-01

  • To establish the first, Hoover showed samples from meteorites of forms that appeared to have cells and cell walls, that were in the process of splitting or otherwise reproducing, that were attached to the rock with what he identified as a primitive stalk called a basal heterocyst, and that had lived in what appeared to be colonies of microbes known to coexist on Earth.

    First Contact


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