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 singularefforts 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
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 uponbase 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

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

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

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 This season Benton is expected to get time in the base defense and could be used in a 2-4-5 because of his ability to rush the passer. Jeff Potrykus, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Keeanu Benton's task for 2020 is to turn flashes of brilliance into a stream of consistently outstanding nose-tackle play," 22 Oct. 2020 What Apple gets: In exchange for access to its massive user base, Google pays Apple billions of dollars a year in advertising revenue. Charles Riley, CNN, "The 'Code Red' scenario for Google," 21 Oct. 2020 Jackson, the night's lowest scorer with the judges, avoided the elimination phase, perhaps testament to her fan base. Bill Keveney, USA TODAY, "'Dancing With the Stars': Chrishell Stause, Jeannie Mai offer emotional stories; huge upset averted," 20 Oct. 2020 Presidential elections tend to tighten in the end, as wandering voters return to their home base, and as candidates manage to frame the final choice to their benefit. Gerald F. Seib, WSJ, "Voters Tend to Trust Trump on the Economy. Yet He’s Behind. Why?," 19 Oct. 2020 An array of such devices could calculate the range and direction of a source of sound such as a ship or submarine and send it back to base. The Economist, "How to send underwater messages without batteries," 17 Oct. 2020 Thousands of young Americans enlist in the armed services and live in barracks confined to their base during basic training. Los Angeles Times, "Letters: Lakers end title drought, but Dodgers still have title doubts," 16 Oct. 2020 Bernard and Thomas rotated for the final three quarters of Sunday’s game, with Thomas taking snaps in the nickel and dime sub-packages, and Bernard playing in the base defense (4-3). Dallas News, "Cowboys DC Mike Nolan’s changes vs. Giants extended beyond moving from the booth to the sideline," 14 Oct. 2020 Eric Wilson:The linebacker has gone from a base-defense player to an every-down player in Anthony Barr's absence, and Sunday night was probably his best game as a pro. Ben Goessling, Star Tribune, "Love it or hate it, Mike Zimmer is getting more aggressive on fourth downs," 12 Oct. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The solution, then, is to base at least some of the cannons on ships. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "The Army's Mind-Bending 1,000-Mile Cannon Is Coming. Could It Bring Back Battleships?," 16 Oct. 2020 There will be a large number of exhibits and horse races, bicycle races, base all game etc. NOLA.com, "From the Files of The Farmer," 13 Oct. 2020 Nearly all Minnesota schools still base layoff decisions solely on when teachers were hired. Bernadeia Johnson, Star Tribune, "Former super says: Seniority layoff system still expels educators of color," 9 Oct. 2020 By rendering the planet’s atmosphere in boxes only 1 kilometer across, a scale many times finer than existing climate models, Destination Earth can base its forecasts on far more detailed real-time data than ever before. Paul Voosen, Science | AAAS, "Europe is building a ‘digital twin’ of Earth to revolutionize climate forecasts," 1 Oct. 2020 For the remaining six home games, the team will base all decisions off state and local guidelines. Katherine Fitzgerald, The Arizona Republic, "Arizona Cardinals able to have small group of family and friends in attendance Sunday," 22 Sep. 2020 Managers base the seasonal catch on the first week’s performance, which produced a quick 1.4 million pounds, compared to 772,000 in the first week last summer. Anchorage Daily News, "Pandemic restrictions create uncertainties for Bering Sea crab fleet," 15 Sep. 2020 Strong-side linebacker has become a passé role as defenses have shifted to base Nickel and mixes of 4-2-5 and 3-3-5 packages. oregonlive, "Oregon Ducks fall camp breakdown: Stud/outside linebacker," 5 Oct. 2020 Health professionals look at data from research, and base their advice to medical professionals and the public on the same. Fortune, "Trump’s COVID diagnosis will impact how Americans view their pandemic risk," 3 Oct. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Abreu led the league in hits, RBIs, slugging percentage, total bases and extra-base hits. Mark Gonzales, chicagotribune.com, "Jose Abreu wins the American League Outstanding Player award, becoming only the 3rd Chicago White Sox player to earn the honor," 22 Oct. 2020 Arozarena, who wasn’t even called up to the big leagues until Aug. 30, homered again for his fifth of the postseason to go along with 19 hits, 12 runs, nine extra-base hits and 39 total bases this postseason. Bob Nightengale, USA TODAY, "Manager Dusty Baker's gamble pays off, Astros stave off elimination with 4-3 win over Rays in ALCS Game 4," 15 Oct. 2020 The workers argued for a base salary of $51,000 a year; the museum ultimately agreed to $46,000. Robin Pogrebin, New York Times, "The New Museum Is World Class, but Many Find It a Tough Place to Work," 5 Oct. 2020 Davis finished the season batting .200 with seven extra-base hits, but has appeared to be making harder contact recently and has five strikeouts in 35 plate appearances in his past 10 starts. Matt Kawahara, SFChronicle.com, "A’s Khris Davis could play ‘much bigger role’ in ALDS against Astros," 3 Oct. 2020 The Bronco starts at $29,995 for the base two-door model and $34,695 for the four door. Connor Hoffman, Car and Driver, "Ford Bronco Getting a High-Performance Raptor or Warthog Model," 16 Sep. 2020 Naylor, who came to Cleveland in the deadline trade from San Diego, went 4-for-4 and is the first player with three extra-base hits in his postseason debut. Tom Withers, SFChronicle.com, "No debate: Aaron Judge, Yankees pound Shane Bieber, Indians in opener," 29 Sep. 2020 Opposing hitters only have eight extra-base hits against Hill all season, and all eight of them came from right-handed hitters. Charlie Goldsmith, The Enquirer, "Best Bets: Reds close 2020 regular season with seeding on the line vs. Minnesota Twins," 27 Sep. 2020 At the time of the injury, Santander was leading the American League in extra-base hits with 25 and tied for second in the AL with 13 doubles, tied for third with 32 RBIs and tied for sixth with 11 home runs. Nathan Ruiz, baltimoresun.com, "Breakout outfielder Anthony Santander named 2020 Most Valuable Oriole," 25 Sep. 2020

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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Time Traveler for base

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for base

Last Updated

25 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Base.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/base. Accessed 30 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for base

base

noun
How to pronounce base (audio)

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.
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

Other Words from base

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

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