bas·al | \ˈbā-səl, -zəl \

Definition of basal 

1a : relating to, situated at, or forming the base

b : arising from the base of a stem basal leaves

2a : of or relating to the foundation, base, or essence : fundamental

b : of, relating to, or being essential for maintaining the fundamental vital activities of an organism : minimal a basal diet

c : used for teaching beginners basal readers

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Other Words from basal

basally adverb

Examples of basal in a Sentence

she clearly lacked even a basal familiarity with the topic

Recent Examples on the Web

The plants grow in tight, multistemmed clumps with mostly basal leaves. The Editors Of Organic Life, Good Housekeeping, "How To Grow Gorgeous Medicinal Echinacea In Your Garden," 17 July 2017 Those canes that are fruitful will produce fruiting shoots at their basal half-dozen or so buds; the buds further out are capable of producing shoots that will fruit the next year. The Editors Of Organic Life, Good Housekeeping, "How To Grow Your Own Kiwis In Your Backyard," 6 Feb. 2018 That's not the case anymore: Young women are getting melanoma, and squamous- and basal-cell carcinomas (less-aggressive but still potentially deadly forms of skin cancer) are increasing. Elizabeth Siegel, Allure, "Why Skin Cancer Is the Most Common Type of Cancer — and Why Women Are More Likely to Contract It," 21 Mar. 2018 Women tend to have a slightly higher basal temperature than men. Richard Klasco, M.d., New York Times, "Do I Have a Fever? My Temperature Is 98.6 but I Feel Feverish," 9 Feb. 2018 Some basal species that are believed to be representative of earlier forms of dragonfish have unusual attachments between the vertebrae and the cranium but not a hinge, per se. Jackson Landers, Smithsonian, "This Hinged Skull Helps Dragonfish Eat Prey Bigger Than Its Head," 17 Feb. 2017 He was put under local anesthetic and doctors removed basal cell carcinoma, a common, slow-growing form of skin cancer, from the right side of his nose. Orange County Register, "Gov. Jerry Brown to get further prostate cancer treatment," 28 Jan. 2017 This thin skin is most likely to develop basal cell and squamous cell cancers, so the recommendation is to wear the largest pair of sunglasses possible to protect the eyelids and surrounding skin. Susan Scutti, CNN, "What you should know before buying sunglasses," 30 May 2017 In the United States, about 245,000 basal cell and 168,000 squamous cell carcinomas develop each year as a result of indoor tanning, compared with 6,200 melanomas, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation. Sue Arrowsmith, miamiherald, "Watch out for those tanning beds — they’re linked to skin cancer," 27 May 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'basal.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of basal

circa 1645, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for basal

base entry 1 + -al entry 1

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Dictionary Entries near basal





basal age

basal area

basal body

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Time Traveler for basal

The first known use of basal was circa 1645

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More Definitions for basal


ba·sal | \ˈbā-səl, -zəl \

Medical Definition of basal 

1 : relating to, situated at, or forming the base

2 : of, relating to, or essential for maintaining the fundamental vital activities of an organism (as respiration, heartbeat, or excretion) a basal diet — see basal metabolism

3 : serving as or serving to induce an initial comatose or unconscious state that forms a basis for further anesthetization basal narcosis a basal anesthetic

Other Words from basal

basally \ \ adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on basal

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Comments on basal

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lying above or upon

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