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

  • n. A foundation upon which something rests.
  • n. The chief constituent; the fundamental ingredient: The basis for most liquids is water.
  • n. The fundamental principle.
  • n. A pattern or schedule for proceeding: on a weekly basis.
  • n. A condition for relating or proceeding: a first-name basis; a friendly basis. See Synonyms at base1.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A starting point, base or foundation for an argument or hypothesis.
  • n. An underlying condition or circumstance.
  • n. regular frequency
  • n. In a vector space, a linearly independent set of vectors spanning the whole vector space.
  • n. Amount paid for an investment, including commissions and other expenses.
  • n. 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 the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. 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.
  • n. In architecture, same as base, 3.
  • n. A pedestal.
  • n. The principal constituent of a compound; a fundamental ingredient.
  • n. Milit., same as base, 15
  • n. . In crystallography and petrography, same as basal plane (which see, under basal).
  • n. In botany and conchology, same as base, 4.
  • n. [NL.] In anatomy, the base; the fundamental or basilar part of anything: as, basis cranii, the base of the skull.
  • n. In prosody, a trochee or its substitute preceding the dactyls of a logaœdic series.
  • n. Same as basipodite.

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

  • n. the most important or necessary part of something
  • n. the fundamental assumptions from which something is begun or developed or calculated or explained
  • n. 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