base

noun
\ ˈbās How to pronounce base (audio) \
plural bases\ ˈbā-​səz How to pronounce bases (audio) \

Definition of base

 (Entry 1 of 4)

1a : the bottom of something considered as its support : foundation the base of the mountain the lamp's heavy base
b biology : that part of a bodily organ by which it is attached to another more central structure of the organism the base of the thumb

c architecture

(1) : the lower part of a wall, pier, or column considered as a separate architectural feature
(2) : the lower part of a complete architectural design (as of a monument)

d mathematics

(1) : a side or face (see face entry 1 sense 5a(5)) of a geometrical figure from which an altitude (see altitude sense 1c(1)) can be constructed especially : a side or face on which the figure stands the base of a triangle
(2) : the length of a base determining the triangle's base
2a : a main ingredient paint having a latex base
b : a supporting or carrying ingredient (as of a medicine)
c : a first or bottom layer of something on which other elements are added Overnight, Utah's famous snow has freshly blanketed both runs, adding to a solid base of three feet …— Abby Carroll
3a : the fundamental part of something : groundwork, basis the book's theoretical base her broad base of knowledge
b : something (as a group of people) that reliably provides support (such as for a business or political candidate) usually singular efforts to expand their customer basethe band's fan baseBut I do believe that that's a very sore point with many Democrats and could be used to energize their base.— John McCain
c Marxism : the economic factors on which all legal, social, and political relations are formed
4a : the starting point or line for an action or undertaking plans to make this city his base of operation— J. A. Loftus
b : a baseline in surveying
c : a center or area of operations The company has its base in London. : such as
(1) : a permanent military installation a naval base The troops were ordered back to base.
(2) : the place from which a military force draws supplies
(3) : a place where military operations begin
d linguistics : root sense 6 "Leave" is the base of the verb "left."

e mathematics

(1) : a number (such as 5 in 56.44 or 57) that is raised to a power (see power entry 1 sense 5a) especially : the number that when raised to a power equal to the logarithm of a number yields the number itself The logarithm of 100 to the base 10 is 2 since 102 = 100.
(2) : a number equal to the number of units in a given digit's place (see place entry 1 sense 8) that for a given system of writing numbers is required to give the numeral 1 in the next higher place The decimal system uses a base of 10. also : such a system of writing numbers using an indicated base Convert from base 10 to base 2.
(3) : a number that is multiplied by a rate or of which a percentage or fraction is calculated To find the interest on $90 at 10 percent multiply the base 90 by .10.
5a : any one of the four stations at the corners of a baseball or softball infield allowing the batter to reach base
b in various games : the starting place or goal
c : a point to be considered His opening remarks touched every base.

6 chemistry

a : any of various typically water-soluble and bitter tasting compounds that in solution have a pH greater than 7, are capable of reacting with an acid to form a salt, and are molecules or ions able to take up a proton from an acid or able to give up an unshared pair of electrons to an acid
b : any of the five purine or pyrimidine bases of DNA and RNA that include cytosine, guanine, adenine, thymine, and uracil
7 finance : a price level at which a security (see security sense 3) previously declining in price resists further decline
8 heraldry : the lower part of a heraldic field (see field entry 1 sense 3c)
9 linguistics : the part of a transformational grammar that consists of rules and a lexicon and generates the deep structures of a language
10 : an electrode that modulates the current flowing through a bipolar junction transistor according to the voltage applied to the electrode This gate, which is called a grid in a tube and a base in a transistor, enables a small "controlling" voltage to turn on and off a much larger voltage between the cathode and the anode.— Thom Hartmann — compare gate entry 1 sense 5b
cover all the bases or less commonly cover every base or have (all) one's bases covered
: to do or include everything that needs to be done or included : to fulfill all requirements or necessities The well rounded menu covers all the bases—pork or duck breast and always a grilled chicken with complementary sauces and relishes …— Caroline Bates In other words, we need to cover every base. Too often, something is remembered at the last minute and we find ourselves waiting for the stores to open on sale day so we can purchase a much-needed item.— Sue Story In your e-mail, let the company know that, for their convenience, you're e-mailing the resume and letter, but that the original documents will arrive by postal service. This way you've got all your bases covered.— Peter Post
off base
1 : wrong, mistaken Estimates were way off base.
2 : unawares caught off base by the charges
touch all the bases or less commonly touch every base
1 : to mention every subject that needs to be considered a speech that touches all the bases
2 : to do or include everything that needs to be done or included : to fulfill all requirements or necessities need to touch all the bases when applying for a mortgage The owner of the Utah Stars is in Salt Lake City, working 24 hours a day in an effort to touch every base to keep his club in Utah's capital city.— Dan Pattison

base

verb
based; basing

Definition of base (Entry 2 of 4)

transitive verb

1 : to find a foundation or basis for : to find a base (see base entry 1 sense 3a) for usually used with on or upon base an opinion on faulty informationa story based upon real-life events
2 : to make, form, or serve as a base for … great roots based the tree columns …— George Macdonald the company is based in London clients who are based out of their homes

base

adjective (1)

Definition of base (Entry 3 of 4)

1a : lacking or indicating the lack of higher qualities of mind or spirit : ignoble seemed a base betrayal of idealism— L. M. Sears appealing to a person's baser instincts
b : lacking higher values : degrading a drab base way of life
2a : being of comparatively low value and having relatively inferior properties (such as lack of resistance to corrosion) a base metal such as iron — compare noble entry 1
b : containing a larger than usual proportion of base metals base silver denarii

3 feudalism

a : resembling a villein : servile a base tenant
b : held by villenage base tenure
4 archaic : of little height … the cedar stoops not to the base shrub's foot …— Shakespeare
5 archaic : baseborn base in kind and born to be a slave.— William Cowper
6 obsolete : low in place or position … fall to the base earth from the firmament!— Shakespeare
7 obsolete : bass

base

adjective (2)

Definition of base (Entry 4 of 4)

1 : constituting or serving as a base This situation is frequently encountered by seaplane pilots in northern Canada who must fly over lakes and tundra to a base camp located on a river.— Alan Lopez
2 : of the simplest or most basic design or form : having the form of something before upgrades or customization This GTO's 350-hp, 5.7-liter V8 is the same that's used in the base Corvette, and it produces the power and throaty exhaust sound of a classic muscle car.Consumer Reports

Illustration of base

Illustration of base

Noun

base of a column: 1 upper torus, 2 scotia, 3 lower torus, 4 plinth, 5 shaft, 6 fillets

In the meaning defined above

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Other Words from base

Noun

based \ ˈbāst How to pronounce based (audio) \ adjective
baseless \ ˈbā-​sləs How to pronounce baseless (audio) \ adjective

Adjective (1)

basely adverb
baseness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for base

Adjective (1)

base, low, vile mean deserving of contempt because of the absence of higher values. base stresses the ignoble and may suggest cruelty, treachery, greed, or grossness. base motives low may connote crafty cunning, vulgarity, or immorality and regularly implies an outraging of one's sense of decency or propriety. refused to listen to such low talk vile, the strongest of these words, tends to suggest disgusting depravity or filth. a vile remark

Examples of base in a Sentence

Noun

the firm belief that complete trust between husband and wife is the base of any successful marriage the army's base of attack was kept top secret until the battle began

Verb

They are going to base their new company in Seattle. The company has based itself in London. Our tour group based itself in a hotel in the heart of the city.

Adjective (1)

Iron is a base metal. a base and sneaky act that is a clear violation of international law
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The latter occurred with the bases loaded and pushed in a run. Los Angeles Times, "Angels lower the (Anthony) Bemboom on the Red Sox in 10-inning victory," 11 Aug. 2019 Miami tied it at 6 in the ninth when Starlin Castro hit a two-run double with the bases loaded off Atlanta reliever Shane Greene. sun-sentinel.com, "Marlins stun Braves with four runs in ninth inning and walk-off sac fly in 10th," 11 Aug. 2019 Chris Owings, released by the Royals this year, hit in Betts’s leadoff spot and went 0 for 5 with three strikeouts (Owings fanned with the bases loaded to end the second). Dan Shaughnessy, BostonGlobe.com, "Frustrated Red Sox running out of games," 11 Aug. 2019 It is estimated there are 34,000 American service members stationed in Germany across more than three dozen Army and Air Force bases, as well as 17,000 American civilian support staff. Fox News, "US threatens to pull troops from Germany if no increase in NATO defense spending," 10 Aug. 2019 How to do it: Ground down through your left foot and find a strong, centered base. Hayden Carpenter, Outside Online, "12 Yoga Poses for Climbers to Do Daily," 9 Aug. 2019 Strategically, Pakistan would not be safe even with bases in Afghanistan and Iran. Raghvendra Singh, Quartz India, "What Britain gained by partitioning the subcontinent into India and Pakistan," 9 Aug. 2019 The eye-catching bronze sculpture, resting upon a concrete base, is the second of its kind that serves as a focal point of UHD pride. Danny Hermosillo, Houston Chronicle, "'Allen the alligator' finds new perch at UH Downtown campus," 9 Aug. 2019 In 59 games with the Brewers, Pérez hit .235 with five homers and 11 RBI but reached base at just a .277 clip while starting games at shortstop, second base, third base and in right field. Todd Rosiak, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Somewhat unexpectedly, popular utility man Hernán Pérez is back with the Brewers," 9 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The Orlando Sentinel partnered with Energage to determine Central Florida’s top workplaces for 2019, and 80 companies earned recognition based on employee responses to a 24-question survey about workplace culture. Todd Stewart, orlandosentinel.com, "Top Workplaces: 2019 Central Florida rankings," 13 Aug. 2019 Winner of the championship, based on the best gross score regardless of flight, was Roberts’ score of 143. Pomerado News, "Todd Roberts wins Bernardo Heights golf title," 13 Aug. 2019 While the scrimmage was closed to the media, here are some notes and takeaways based on information gathered via sources: — Backup quarterback Mac Jones was one of the standouts of the scrimmage. Matt Zenitz | Mzenitz@al.com, al, "Notes, takeaways from Alabama scrimmage," 12 Aug. 2019 For others who aren't quite settled, here are the candidates' responses to critical issues, based on the debate and interviews with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Alison Dirr, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Heading into Tuesday election, candidates vying for Witkowski's seat differ in approach," 12 Aug. 2019 The bride wore Vivienne Westwood, and the party looked like an excellent time based on the Instagram posts from the couple's friends and family. Abby Gardner, Glamour, "Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth's Relationship: A Complete Timeline," 11 Aug. 2019 Shia LaBeouf wrote and stars in a film that has him playing a character based on his father. Jacob Kastrenakes, The Verge, "New trailers: Mindhunter, Carnival Row, and more," 10 Aug. 2019 But researchers estimate that, based on the size of the trunks, the trees maxed out at about 10 feet with most in the five- to six-foot range. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Fossil Trees Reveal the Oldest Known Forest in Asia," 9 Aug. 2019 Outside the world of genre, the storyline is reminiscent of GLOW, the Netflix series based on a group of real women wrestlers from the ’80s. Soraya Roberts, Longreads, "Won’t You Be My Neighbor: An Anti-Hate Pop Culture Syllabus," 9 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Now that also reveals people’s baser instincts, too. John Hammontree | Jhammontree@al.com, al, "Sonequa Martin-Green on Star Trek, Walking Dead, Space Jam and Alabama," 12 Aug. 2019 Pricing starts at $25,200 for the base front-drive S model with 168 horsepower 2.5-liter four-cylinder. San Diego Union-Tribune, "2019 Ford Escape: Last of a generation," 12 Aug. 2019 To battle the problem, the director of the base civil engineer group, Richard Treviño, said ceiling fans would be installed in each of Building 1215’s 96 rooms. Sig Christenson, ExpressNews.com, "San Antonio dorm project part of Air Force’s war on mold," 1 Aug. 2019 Ducich is expected to continue helping the base prepare for wildfires and other disasters as well as any potential foreign conflicts. Daniel Langhorne, Daily Pilot, "New Los Alamitos training base commander prepares for natural disasters, future conflicts," 31 July 2019 For example, players for the women’s team have a base salary while the men are paid based on matches and performance. BostonGlobe.com, "US soccer claims women’s team has earned more than men’s team," 29 July 2019 Yet bad as that is, the monstrous part is that his audience, trained by 50 years of appeals to their basest selves, cheers him on. Leonard Pitts Jr - Miami Herald, The Mercury News, "Leonard Pitts Jr.: Is the Republican Party a hate group?," 23 July 2019 There must be a base currency (or some equation) to examine, otherwise regulators are left only with a nebulous white paper. Matthew De Silva, Quartz, "If Facebook can ban users, will its Libra cryptocurrency do the same?," 18 July 2019 Wagner, 29, will earn a base salary of $10.5 million in 2019, the final year of his previous four-year deal. oregonlive.com, "Seattle Seahawks’ Bobby Wagner agrees to contract extension: Report," 27 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'base.' 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 base

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1c(1)

Verb

1587, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Adjective (1)

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 4

Adjective (2)

1734, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for base

Noun

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin basis, from Greek, step, base, from bainein to go — more at come

Verb

verbal derivative of base entry 1

Adjective (1)

Middle English bas, from Anglo-French, from Late Latin bassus fat, short, low

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Statistics for base

Last Updated

15 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for base

The first known use of base was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for base

base

noun

English Language Learners Definition of base

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the bottom or lowest part of something : the part on which something rests or is supported
: something (such as a group of people or things) that provides support for a place, business, etc.
: a main ingredient to which other things are added to make something

base

verb

English Language Learners Definition of base (Entry 2 of 2)

: to have a particular place as the main place where a person works or lives or where a business operates

base

noun
\ ˈbās How to pronounce base (audio) \

Kids Definition of base

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : a thing or a part on which something rests : bottom, foundation the base of a statue the base of the mountain
2 : a starting place or goal in various games
3 : any of the four stations a runner in baseball must touch in order to score
4 : the main place or starting place of an action or operation The company's base is in New York.
5 : a place where a military force keeps its supplies or from which it starts its operations an air force base
6 : a line or surface of a geometric figure upon which an altitude is or is thought to be constructed base of a triangle
7 : the main substance in a mixture
8 : a number with reference to which a system of numbers is constructed
9 : a chemical substance (as lime or ammonia) that reacts with an acid to form a salt and turns red litmus paper blue

base

verb
based; basing

Kids Definition of base (Entry 2 of 3)

: to use as a main place of operation or action The company is based in Ohio.
base on or base upon
: to make or form from a starting point It's based on a true story.

base

adjective
baser; basest

Kids Definition of base (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : of low value and not very good in some ways base metals
2 : not honorable “I'll appeal to his baser instincts, of which he has plenty.”— E. B. White, Charlotte's Web

base

noun
\ ˈbās How to pronounce base (audio) \
plural bases\ ˈbā-​səz How to pronounce bases (audio) \

Medical Definition of base

1 : that portion of a bodily organ or part by which it is attached to another more central structure of the organism the base of the thumb
2a : the usually inactive ingredient of a preparation serving as the vehicle for the active medicinal preparation the fatty base of an ointment
b : the chief active ingredient of a preparation

called also basis

3a : any of various typically water-soluble and bitter tasting compounds that in solution have a pH greater than 7, are capable of reacting with an acid to form a salt, and are molecules or ions able to take up a proton from an acid or are substances able to give up an unshared pair of electrons to an acid — compare alkali
b : any of the five purine or pyrimidine bases of DNA and RNA that include cytosine, guanine, adenine, thymine, and uracil
4 : freebase

Other Words from base

based \ ˈbāst How to pronounce based (audio) \ adjective

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More from Merriam-Webster on base

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with base

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for base

Spanish Central: Translation of base

Nglish: Translation of base for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of base for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about base

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