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

Prices for basal insulin are down 15% to 20% year over year, Mr. Verdult said, while prices for Victoza, a glucagon-like peptid 1 product used to treat diabetes, have been flat. Nina Trentmann, WSJ, "Danish Insulin Maker Novo Nordisk Cuts Jobs, Shifts R&D Spending," 1 Nov. 2018 The radar cross section has been tilted 90°. The leftmost white line is the surface radar echo, while the light bluespots along the basal radar echo highlight areas of very high reflectivity, interpreted as being caused by the presence of water. Jay Bennett, Popular Mechanics, "Underground Lake of Liquid Water Detected on Mars," 25 July 2018 The plants grow in tight, multi-stemmed clumps with mostly basal leaves. The Editors, Good Housekeeping, "How to Grow Gorgeous Echinacea in Your Garden," 29 May 2018 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

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

Statistics for basal

Last Updated

20 Nov 2018

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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 \-​ē \ adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on basal

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for basal

Comments on basal

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a soft lustrous wool fabric with mohair

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