Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The lowest or bottom part: the base of a cliff; the base of a lamp.
  • n. Biology The part of a plant or animal organ that is nearest to its point of attachment.
  • n. Biology The point of attachment of such an organ.
  • n. A supporting part or layer; a foundation: a skyscraper built on a base of solid rock.
  • n. A basic or underlying element; infrastructure: the nation's industrial base.
  • n. The fundamental principle or underlying concept of a system or theory; a basis.
  • n. A fundamental ingredient; a chief constituent: a paint with an oil base.
  • n. The fact, observation, or premise from which a reasoning process is begun.
  • n. Games A starting point, safety area, or goal.
  • n. Baseball Any one of the four corners of an infield, marked by a bag or plate, that must be touched by a runner before a run can be scored.
  • n. A center of organization, supply, or activity; a headquarters.
  • n. A fortified center of operations.
  • n. A supply center for a large force of military personnel.
  • n. A facial cosmetic used to even out the complexion or provide a surface for other makeup; a foundation.
  • n. Architecture The lowest part of a structure, such as a wall, considered as a separate unit: the base of a column.
  • n. Heraldry The lower part of a shield.
  • n. Linguistics A morpheme or morphemes regarded as a form to which affixes or other bases may be added.
  • n. Mathematics The side or face of a geometric figure to which an altitude is or is thought to be drawn.
  • n. Mathematics The number that is raised to various powers to generate the principal counting units of a number system. The base of the decimal system, for example, is 10.
  • n. Mathematics The number raised to the logarithm of a designated number in order to produce that designated number; the number at which a chosen logarithmic scale has the value 1.
  • n. A line used as a reference for measurement or computations.
  • n. Chemistry Any of a class of compounds whose aqueous solutions are characterized by a bitter taste, a slippery feel, the ability to turn litmus blue, and the ability to react with acids to form salts.
  • n. Chemistry A substance that yields hydroxyl ions when dissolved in water.
  • n. Chemistry A substance that can act as a proton acceptor.
  • n. Chemistry A substance that can donate a pair of electrons to form a covalent bond.
  • n. Electronics The region in a transistor between the emitter and the collector.
  • n. Electronics The electrode attached to this region.
  • n. One of the nitrogen-containing purines (adenine and guanine) or pyrimidines (cytosine, thymine, and uracil) that occurs attached to the sugar component of DNA or RNA.
  • adj. Forming or serving as a base: a base layer of soil.
  • adj. Situated at or near the base or bottom: a base camp for the mountain climbers.
  • adj. Chemistry Of, relating to, or containing a base.
  • transitive v. To form or provide a base for: based the new company in Portland.
  • transitive v. To find a basis for; establish: based her conclusions on the report; a film based on a best-selling novel.
  • transitive v. To assign to a base; station: troops based in the Middle East.
  • idiom off base Badly mistaken.
  • adj. Having or showing a contemptible, mean-spirited, or selfish lack of human decency. See Synonyms at mean2.
  • adj. Devoid of high values or ethics: a base, degrading way of life.
  • adj. Inferior in value or quality.
  • adj. Containing inferior substances: a base metal.
  • adj. Archaic Of low birth, rank, or position.
  • adj. Obsolete Short in stature.
  • n. Obsolete A bass singer or voice.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Low in height; short.
  • adj. Of low value or degree.
  • adj. Of low social standing or rank; vulgar, common.
  • adj. Morally reprehensible, immoral; cowardly.
  • adj. Inferior; unworthy, of poor quality.
  • adj. Designating those metals which are not classed as precious or noble.
  • Alternative form of BASE.
  • n. Something from which other things extend; a foundation.
  • n. The starting point of a logical deduction or thought; (Basis).
  • n. A permanent structure for housing military personnel and material.
  • n. The place where decisions for an organization are made; headquarters.
  • n. A basic but essential component or ingredient.
  • n. Any of a class of generally water-soluble compounds, having bitter taste, that turn red litmus blue, and react with acids to form salts.
  • n. Important areas in games and sports
  • n. The lowermost part of a column, between the shaft and the pedestal or pavement.
  • n. A nucleotide's nucleobase in the context of a DNA or RNA biopolymer.
  • n. The end of a leaf, petal or similar organ where it is attached to its support.
  • n. The name of the controlling terminal of a bipolar transistor (BJT).
  • n. The lowest side of a in a triangle or other polygon, or the lowest face of a cone, pyramid or other polyhedron laid flat.
  • n. A number raised to the power of an exponent.
  • n. Alternative to radix.
  • n. The set of sets from which a topology is generated.
  • n. A topological space, looked at in relation to one of its covering spaces, fibrations, or bundles.
  • n. A cheerleader who stays on the ground.
  • n. A morpheme (or morphemes) that serves as a basic foundation on which affixes can be attached.
  • v. To have as its foundation or starting point.
  • v. To be located (at a particular place).

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Of little, or less than the usual, height; of low growth.
  • adj. Low in place or position.
  • adj. Of humble birth; or low degree; lowly; mean.
  • adj. Illegitimate by birth; bastard.
  • adj. Of little comparative value, as metal inferior to gold and silver, the precious metals.
  • adj. Alloyed with inferior metal; debased.
  • adj. Morally low. Hence: Low-minded; unworthy; without dignity of sentiment; ignoble; mean; illiberal; menial.
  • adj. Not classical or correct.
  • adj. Deep or grave in sound.
  • adj. Not held by honorable service.
  • n. The bottom of anything, considered as its support, or that on which something rests for support; the foundation.
  • n. Fig.: The fundamental or essential part of a thing; the essential principle; a groundwork.
  • n.
  • n. The lower part of a wall, pier, or column, when treated as a separate feature, usually in projection, or especially ornamented.
  • n. The lower part of a complete architectural design, as of a monument; also, the lower part of any elaborate piece of furniture or decoration.
  • n. That extremity of a leaf, fruit, etc., at which it is attached to its support.
  • n. The positive, or non-acid component of a salt; a substance which, combined with an acid, neutralizes the latter and forms a salt; -- applied also to the hydroxides of the positive elements or radicals, and to certain organic bodies resembling them in their property of forming salts with acids.
  • n. The chief ingredient in a compound.
  • n. A substance used as a mordant.
  • n. The exterior side of the polygon, or that imaginary line which connects the salient angles of two adjacent bastions.
  • n. The line or surface constituting that part of a figure on which it is supposed to stand.
  • n. The number from which a mathematical table is constructed.
  • n. A low, or deep, sound. (Mus.) (a) The lowest part; the deepest male voice. (b) One who sings, or the instrument which plays, base.
  • n. A place or tract of country, protected by fortifications, or by natural advantages, from which the operations of an army proceed, forward movements are made, supplies are furnished, etc.
  • n. The smallest kind of cannon.
  • n. That part of an organ by which it is attached to another more central organ.
  • n. The basal plane of a crystal.
  • n. The ground mass of a rock, especially if not distinctly crystalline.
  • n. The lower part of the field. See Escutcheon.
  • n. The housing of a horse.
  • n. A kind of skirt (often of velvet or brocade, but sometimes of mailed armor) which hung from the middle to about the knees, or lower.
  • n. The lower part of a robe or petticoat.
  • n. An apron.
  • n. The point or line from which a start is made; a starting place or a goal in various games.
  • n. A line in a survey which, being accurately determined in length and position, serves as the origin from which to compute the distances and positions of any points or objects connected with it by a system of triangles.
  • n. A rustic play; -- called also prisoner's base, prison base, or bars.
  • n. Any one of the four bounds which mark the circuit of the infield.
  • transitive v. To put on a base or basis; to lay the foundation of; to found, as an argument or conclusion; -- used with on or upon.
  • transitive v. To abase; to let, or cast, down; to lower.
  • transitive v. To reduce the value of; to debase.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Low; of small height: applied to things.
  • Hence In botany, of low or lowly growth: as, base broom; base rocket.
  • Low in place, position, or degree.
  • Of little value; coarse in quality; worthless, absolutely or comparatively: as, the base metals (so called in contrast with the noble or precious metals).
  • Hence Fraudulently debased in value; spurious; false: as, base coin.
  • Low in scale or rank; of humble origin, grade, or station; wanting dignity or estimation; mean; lowly: as, base menials.
  • Suitable to or characteristic of a low condition; depressed; abject: as, base servility.
  • Of mean spirit; morally low; without dignity of sentiment: said of persons.
  • Showing or proceeding from a mean spirit: said of things.
  • Of illegitimate birth; born out of wedlock.
  • Deep; grave: applied to sounds: as, the base tones of a viol. See bass.
  • In old English law, not held or holding by honorable tenure: as, a base estate, that is, an estate held by services not honorable nor in capite, or by villeinage. Such a tenure is called base or low, and the tenant a base tenant.
  • Not classical or refined: as, “base Latin,”
  • Synonyms Ignoble, vulgar, plebeian, mean, contemptible, despicable, abject, sordid, groveling, servile, slavish, menial, rascally, villainous.
  • n. A plaited skirt, reaching from the waist to the knee, worn during the first half of the sixteenth century.
  • n. A skirt of plate - armor, corrugated or ribbed vertically, as if in imitation of the preceding. See lamboys.
  • n. The skirt of a woman's outer garment. The word was used throughout the seventeenth and part of the eighteenth century.
  • n. An apron.
  • n. The housing of a horse: used in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.
  • n. In music, same as bass.
  • To let down; abase; lower.
  • To lower in character, condition, or rank; degrade; debase.
  • To reduce the value of by the admixture of meaner elements; debase.
  • n. The bottom of anything, considered as its support, or the part of the thing itself, or a separate feature, on which the thing stands or rests: as, the base of a column; the base of a mountain.
  • n. Hence A fundamental principle or groundwork; foundation; basis.
  • n. In architecture, specifically— The lowest member of a wall, either projecting beyond the face of the portion of the wall above it, or differing otherwise from it in construction, and often resting on a plinth, with or without intervening moldings.
  • n. The member on which the shaft rests in columns of nearly all styles.
  • n. In zoology and botany, the extremity opposite to the apex; the point of attachment, or the part of an organ which is nearest its point of attachment: as, the base of a leaf; the base of a shell. The point of attachment of an anther, however, is sometimes at the apex.
  • n. In zoology, also, that part or extremity of anything by which it is attached to another of higher value or significance.
  • n. In chem., a compound substance which unites with an acid to form a salt.
  • n. In pharmacy, the principal ingredient of any compound preparation.
  • n. In crystallography, same as basal plane (which see, under basal).
  • n. In petrography, the amorphous or isotropic portion of the ground-mass of a rock.
  • n. In dentistry, the setting for artificial teeth.
  • n. In dyeing, a substance that has an affinity for both the cloth and the coloring matter; a mordant.
  • n. In fortification, the exterior side of the polygon, or that imaginary line which is drawn from the point or salient angle of one bastion to the point of the next.
  • n. In geometry, the line or surface forming that part of a figure on which it is supposed to stand; the side opposite to the apex.
  • n. In arithmetic and algebra, a number from the different powers of which all numbers are conceived as produced.
  • n. It is 2.718281828459 +
  • n. In heraldry, the lower part of the field, the charges in which are said to be in base.
  • n. Milit.: A tract of country protected by fortifications, strong by natural advantages, or for any other reason comparatively secure, from which the operations of an army proceed, or from which supplies are obtained: called distinctively the base of operations or the base of supply.
  • n. The rounded hinder portion of a gun, generally called the base of the breech.
  • n. A small light cannon used in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.
  • n. In surveying, same as baseline.
  • n. The place from which racers or tilters start; a starting-post.
  • n. An old game, played in various ways, in some of which it is still practised, and in all of which there are certain spaces marked out, beyond or off which any player is liable to be touched with the hand or struck with a ball by a player on the enemy's side.
  • n. One of the spaces marked off in the game of base or prisoners' base. See In base-ball, one of the four corners of the diamond. See base-ball.
  • n. That part of an electromagnetic apparatus which contains the helix, switch, and first and secondary binding-posts.
  • To form a foundation for.
  • To use as a groundwork or foundation for; ground; found; establish: with on or upon: as, all sound paper currency must be based on coin or bullion; he bases his arguments upon false premises.
  • n. Another form of bass and barse.
  • n. In chem., this term is properly applied to the hydroxid of a distinctly electropositive metal or compound radical, which easily exchanges hydroxyl for an acid radical, producing a salt; but the same term is often applied in a looser and more general way to other substances of more or less electropositive character, although not containing hydroxyl, as, for example, to ammonia and compounds of analogous structure.
  • n. In the gasteropod Mollusca, the flattened lower surface of the final whorl.

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

  • n. a terrorist network intensely opposed to the United States that dispenses money and logistical support and training to a wide variety of radical Islamic terrorist groups; has cells in more than 50 countries
  • n. a lower limit
  • v. situate as a center of operations
  • adj. (used of metals) consisting of or alloyed with inferior metal
  • adj. serving as or forming a base
  • n. the principal ingredient of a mixture
  • n. (numeration system) the positive integer that is equivalent to one in the next higher counting place
  • n. (linguistics) the form of a word after all affixes are removed
  • n. (electronics) the part of a transistor that separates the emitter from the collector
  • n. installation from which a military force initiates operations
  • n. a place that the runner must touch before scoring
  • n. the place where you are stationed and from which missions start and end
  • v. use as a basis for; found on
  • adj. debased; not genuine
  • n. the stock of basic facilities and capital equipment needed for the functioning of a country or area
  • n. the fundamental assumptions from which something is begun or developed or calculated or explained
  • adj. not adhering to ethical or moral principles
  • adj. having or showing an ignoble lack of honor or morality
  • n. the most important or necessary part of something
  • adj. illegitimate
  • n. any of various water-soluble compounds capable of turning litmus blue and reacting with an acid to form a salt and water
  • n. the bottom side of a geometric figure from which the altitude can be constructed
  • n. lowest support of a structure
  • adj. of low birth or station (`base' is archaic in this sense)
  • n. the bottom or lowest part
  • n. (anatomy) the part of an organ nearest its point of attachment
  • v. use (purified cocaine) by burning it and inhaling the fumes
  • n. a flat bottom on which something is intended to sit
  • n. a phosphoric ester of a nucleoside; the basic structural unit of nucleic acids (DNA or RNA)
  • n. a support or foundation

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old French, from Latin basis, from Greek; see gwā- in Indo-European roots.
Middle English bas, low, from Old French, from Medieval Latin bassus.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old French bas, from Late Latin bassus ("low"). (Wiktionary)
From Old French base, from Latin basis, from Ancient Greek βάσις (basis). (Wiktionary)

Examples

Comments

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  • xkcd, "The Base Metaphor Explained"

    March 26, 2009

  • (n): in photography and cinematography, the clear perforated strip of film upon which the light-sensitive emulsion layer is affixed.

    January 18, 2009