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

  • noun A foundation upon which something rests.
  • noun The chief constituent; the fundamental ingredient.
  • noun The fundamental principle.
  • noun An underlying circumstance or condition: synonym: base.
  • noun A pattern or schedule for proceeding.
  • noun A condition for relating or proceeding.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Same as basipodite.
  • noun The foundation of anything; that on which a thing stands or on which anything is reared; a foundation, groundwork, or supporting principle: now most commonly used of immaterial things.
  • noun In architecture, same as base, 3.
  • noun A pedestal.
  • noun The principal constituent of a compound; a fundamental ingredient.
  • noun Milit., same as base, 15
  • noun . In crystallography and petrography, same as basal plane (which see, under basal).
  • noun In botany and conchology, same as base, 4.
  • noun [NL.] In anatomy, the base; the fundamental or basilar part of anything: as, basis cranii, the base of the skull.
  • noun In prosody, a trochee or its substitute preceding the dactyls of a logaœdic series.

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

  • noun The foundation of anything; that on which a thing rests.
  • noun obsolete The pedestal of a column, pillar, or statue.
  • noun The groundwork; the first or fundamental principle; that which supports.
  • noun The principal component part of a thing.

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

  • noun A starting point, base or foundation for an argument or hypothesis.
  • noun An underlying condition or circumstance.
  • noun regular frequency
  • noun linear algebra In a vector space, a linearly independent set of vectors spanning the whole vector space.
  • noun accounting Amount paid for an investment, including commissions and other expenses.
  • noun topology A collection of subsets ("basis elements") of a set, such that this collection covers the set, and for any two basis elements which both contain an element of the set, there is a third basis element contained in the intersection of the first two, which also contains that element.

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

  • noun the most important or necessary part of something
  • noun the fundamental assumptions from which something is begun or developed or calculated or explained
  • noun a relation that provides the foundation for something


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

[Middle English, from Latin, from Greek; see gwā- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin basis, from Ancient Greek βάσις (basis).


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  • basis

    I am in cape town, south africa and our local television broadcasts a lot of usa/hollywood

    films & programms. what i have noticed is that the use of many words have been twisted. from the definition of the word 'basis', how do get a 'basis' that occurs daily/monthly an so on? it is another action that occurs daily upon which the subsequent occurence or item is based? in an afrikaans program, an actress said "my kinders is by my elke dag" and the english subtitle had "my children are with me on a daily basis". what ever happened to the simple "I read the daily newspaper"? you don't go to a shop to get a daily basis. a statue doesn't get a new pedestal everday!

    for example - the children go to school on a bus each day, they dont go on a daily basis to school.

    how did the usage of the word "basis" 'creep' into everyday use like this. the english language has become "sophisticated" (the real meaning/etymology i use the soed v6 and older )!

    September 9, 2009