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 top-secret military base known as Area 51 has long been a point of discussion for conspiracy theorists who believe the facility holds government secrets about aliens and UFOs. Fox News, "What's Area 51, and why is it so popular right now? 4 things to know about the top-secret site," 16 July 2019 It is slated to involve more than 16,000 communities across 50 states, U.S. territories, Canada and military bases. Shiela Johnson, baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll, "North Carroll: Scholarships awarded to local students; National Night Out upcoming in Hampstead, Manchester," 15 July 2019 The Guptas raised eyebrows in South Africa when Zuma’s administration granted them permission to land a private plane carrying family wedding guests on a military base in 2013. Washington Post, "Former South African president Jacob Zuma dismisses corruption hearings as a ‘conspiracy’," 15 July 2019 Plenty of shows have passionate viewers, but none of them compare to the Hearties—the official fan base of Hallmark’s When Calls the Heart. Megan Stein, Country Living, "'When Calls the Heart' Fans Planned a Massive 'Hearties Family Reunion' and We Need to Go," 14 July 2019 This year, Pyongyang has conducted three smaller-scale weapons tests—including a May launch of evasive short-range missiles that military experts believe can reach U.S. military bases in South Korea. Timothy W. Martin And Dasl Yoon, WSJ, "North Korea Threatens the South Over Its Purchase of U.S. Stealth Fighters," 11 July 2019 During the post-credit tag, viewers learn that the Russians have an American in captivity inside a military base in Kamchatka, Russia. Christina Dugan, PEOPLE.com, "David Harbour Discusses Stranger Things Season 4: 'The Duffers Have a Plan'," 9 July 2019 Inside a military base in snowy Kamchatka, the Russians are in possession of a Demogorgon (remember when Erica sees the cage in the mall basement?) and throw a prisoner into a cell with the aforementioned creature. Tim Stack, EW.com, "Is [SPOILER] really dead? Duffer Brothers answer burning questions about Stranger Things 3 ending," 8 July 2019 Maduro applauded and pumped his fist as soldiers marched past, tanks rolled by and fighter jets streaked overhead at a Caracas military base. Scott Smith, chicagotribune.com, "Venezuela’s Maduro flexes military power in parade to celebrate country’s independence," 5 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

But as CBS News correspondent Major Garrett reported, the nation has observed Mr. Trump, as candidate and president, judge based on race. CBS News, "From birtherism to racist tweets: Trump's history of inflaming racial tensions," 16 July 2019 Many of the companies that set up shop in the city aren’t even based here: It’s Facebook leasing a new office tower or a startup opening up a satellite office to give young workers the option of city living. Gregory Barber, WIRED, "No More Deals: San Francisco Considers Raising Taxes on Tech," 16 July 2019 Bohlsen warns, however, that relying solely on your loved ones is not the best choice as financial decisions should be based on your individual needs that parents may be unaware of. Dalvin Brown, USA TODAY, "Gen Z, Millennials: It's 'embarrassing' to rely on parents for money after 27," 16 July 2019 Jones is known by many as the most visible fan of University of Kentucky college sports, who has created a media empire based on the school's rabid fan base. Phillip M. Bailey, The Courier-Journal, "Kentucky Sports Radio's Matt Jones yanked from TV show amid US Senate speculation," 16 July 2019 Both were penned by Cohen & Gardner-repped Zevin, and the latter was based on another of her nine best-selling novels. Rebecca Sun, The Hollywood Reporter, "Naveen Andrews to Star in Romantic Dramedy 'The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry' (Exclusive)," 16 July 2019 Redline Steel founder Colin Wayne Erwin shared a photo with Trump through the company’s Facebook page: Redline Steel, which produces home decor steel pieces, is based in Tanner. William Thornton | Wthornton@al.com, al.com, "This Alabama company was spotlighted at the White House," 16 July 2019 Some companies are able to gain insights through their own sales on the site or estimations based on sales rankings and other information Amazon discloses. Author: Spencer Soper, Anchorage Daily News, "Amazon shoppers snatch up deals on potato chips and toilet paper," 16 July 2019 There was just one catch: Though it was based on a novel written by a woman, Liane Moriarty, the series was written and directed by men. Meredith Blake, latimes.com, "Andrea Arnold reportedly losing control over ‘Big Little Lies’ isn’t just about gender," 15 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

That's equivalent to 1/13th of an NHL player's base salary. Julia Stumbaugh, azcentral, "Why the folding of the National Women's Hockey League could be best thing for the sport," 16 July 2019 Johnson, who has been town manager since 1993, will receive a base salary of $191,919 and a $5,000 deposit into his retirement account. Peter Marteka, courant.com, "Glastonbury town manager receives praise and raise," 16 July 2019 Labanc had a base salary of $650,000 last season, according to CapFriendly. Curtis Pashelka, The Mercury News, "Sharks sign RFA Kevin Labanc to one-year deal," 8 July 2019 The base salary for USWNT players is $173,000 per year. Grant Wahl, SI.com, "The Intricacies and Ever-Changing Landscape of the Global Market for Women's Players," 6 July 2019 Norman, who signed a five-year, $75 million deal with Washington in 2016, will earn a base salary of $11 million this upcoming season. Jill Martin, CNN, "Washington cornerback Josh Norman donates $18,000 to immigrant detention center in Texas," 28 June 2019 The 58-year-old will serve an initial term through Dec. 31, 2020, and receive a base salary of $650,000 a year. Maria Armental, WSJ, "Sealed Air Fires CFO, Citing SEC Investigation," 20 June 2019 Badet, who spent his rookie year in 2018 on the practice squad, is on the books to make a base salary of $495,000 in 2018. Chris Tomasson, Twin Cities, "Vikings’ Trae Waynes, Jeff Badet ready for 40-yard challenge — and million-dollar prize," 18 June 2019 Including the base salary, Calipari was originally set to be paid $3.7 million in his first year on the job. Jon Hale, The Courier-Journal, "How John Calipari's contract has changed over 10 years as Kentucky's basketball coach," 17 June 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

18 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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