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

Racers have about half a mile of running on pavement to come to terms with conditions before hitting the base of the mountain. Author: Kat Sorensen, Anchorage Daily News, "Mount Marathon is always arduous, but smoke, dust and heat could add to this year’s challenge," 2 July 2019 As the fastest player around the bases, Madonna flashes her skills to the max. Duane Byrge, The Hollywood Reporter, "'A League of Their Own': THR's 1992 Review," 1 July 2019 How to get the Padres to quit hitting dingers: Allow batters to come up with men on base. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column: MLB’s power surge could lead one to some juicy speculation," 30 June 2019 Xander Bogaerts left in the eighth after appearing to hurt a leg while running the bases. Washington Post, "Ye Olde Slugfest: Yanks top Red Sox 17-13 in MLB Euro debut," 30 June 2019 Plus, the White Sox’ young offense is seemingly getting better as the season wears on, giving Jimenez more guys on base to drive in and more lineup protection. Matt Martell, SI.com, "Two of MLB's Brightest Young Stars Lead This Week's Fantasy Baseball Trade Winds," 25 June 2019 The Nationals doubled their lead in a single swing just one inning later, as Trea Turner blasted a home run with two runners on base to build his team’s lead to, 6-0. Christian Simmons, sun-sentinel.com, "Marlins fall to Max Scherzer, Nationals in first game back home after strong road trip," 25 June 2019 His complete stat line — 64 strikes, eight hits, four runs (three earned), one home run and two batters —wasn't an entirely accurate representation of his performance considering infield errors helped the Nationals get on base. Tess Demeyer, USA TODAY, "Dallas Keuchel’s Braves debut wasn’t perfect but showed potential," 22 June 2019 Ten of Michigan's 14 RBIs came with two outs, and the Wolverines still left 14 runners on base. Eric Olson, Houston Chronicle, "Texas Tech eliminated from College World Series," 21 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The European Southern Observatory, based in Chile, will also share a live view. Ashley Strickland, CNN, "Total solar eclipse moves across South America today," 2 July 2019 Sutton, based in Fair Oaks, is known as a go-to doctor for medical vaccine exemptions. SFChronicle.com, "State investigates 4 doctors for issuing questionable vaccination exemptions," 2 July 2019 Originally based in Silicon Valley, the company moved its headquarters to Officers Row near downtown Vancouver in 2017. Mike Rogoway, oregonlive.com, "Vancouver startup RealWear raises $80 million for augmented reality hardhat," 1 July 2019 Carolina Waterfowl Rescue, based in Indian Trail, put out their plea on Facebook Saturday. Fox News, "North Carolina wildlife rescue seeking bra clasps to fix broken turtle shells," 1 July 2019 One of the top Madden gamers in the world, Serious Moe, based in Indianapolis, offered to make the road trip. Robert Klemko, SI.com, "You Can Bet on Yourself in Madden and 2K," 1 July 2019 Microsoft, based near Seattle, has a similar policy. Author: Richard Read, Anchorage Daily News, "Alexa, how many dogs come to work at Amazon Seattle? 7,000," 30 June 2019 That glorious climate lured the indigenous Tongva tribe, which based a village nearby, and the 19th-century Bavarian vintners who gave the city its current name. Jim Webster, Twin Cities, "In Orlando or Anaheim for a Disney vacation? Explore the cities beyond the gates, too," 29 June 2019 Village Farms International, based in British Columbia, Canada, is leading the Texas green rush to grow hemp, as first reported in the Big Bend Sentinel. John Maccormack, ExpressNews.com, "Hemp rush begins on West Texas farms," 29 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Yet The Hill has chosen to demonize Rapinoe in an appeal to the basest people in this country. Nancy Armour, USA TODAY, "Opinion: Criticism of what Megan Rapinoe does during national anthem is tired," 24 June 2019 The plan was for Mejia to start two games against Milwaukee and two against Pittsburgh and then base playing time on match-ups and performance. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Padres notes: Margot running himself right; Hedges starting; Machado’s power streak," 23 June 2019 The men’s players, whose base salary and benefits are paid by their pro club teams, receive U.S. Soccer bonuses based on roster selection and performances in games and tournaments. Kevin Baxter, latimes.com, "U.S. Soccer and USWNT players agree to mediation over pay dispute," 22 June 2019 Hosmer, in the base path, got caught up with Solano while trying to get to the ball. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Giants sweep bumbling Padres to lowest point of season," 13 June 2019 The Rockets' base salary offer of $5 million is shy of other recent contracts for veteran coaches. Jenny Dial Creech, Houston Chronicle, "Rockets, Mike D'Antoni reignite extension talks," 8 June 2019 The gator likely came up through nearby swampland and travelled across the base golf course to reach the flight line. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "A Rogue Alligator Wandered onto a Florida Air Force Base," 15 May 2019 Long signed a four-year, $27.5 million contract with the Jets last March and was also due a base salary of about $3.46 million next year. Dennis Waszak Jr., The Seattle Times, "Jets release guard/center Spencer Long after 1 season," 5 Feb. 2019 That’s created a kind of lingua franca, a base level of understanding among a large group of people about the experience of playing the game. Bijan Stephen, The Verge, "Fortnite was 2018’s most important social network," 21 Dec. 2018

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

4 Jul 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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