basic

adjective
ba·​sic | \ ˈbā-sik also -zik How to pronounce basic (audio) \

Definition of basic

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1a : of, relating to, or forming the base or essence : fundamental basic truths
b : concerned with fundamental scientific principles : not applied basic research
2 : constituting or serving as the basis or starting point a basic set of tools
3a : of, relating to, containing, or having the character of a chemical base
b : having an alkaline reaction
4 : containing relatively little silica basic rocks
5 : relating to, made by, used in, or being a process of making steel done in a furnace lined with basic material and under basic slag

basic

noun (1)

Definition of basic (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : something that is basic : fundamental get back to basics

BASIC

noun (2)
BA·​SIC | \ ˈbā-sik How to pronounce BASIC (audio) \

Definition of BASIC (Entry 3 of 3)

computers : a simplified high-level language for programming a computer The program was written in BASIC.

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from basic

Adjective

basicity \ bā-​ˈsi-​sə-​tē How to pronounce basicity (audio) \ noun

Examples of basic in a Sentence

Adjective

In this class, you will learn the basic principles of chemistry. At its most basic level, the book is about a father's relationship with his children. The basic difference between the two companies is their size. rights that are basic to all human beings basic reading, writing, and mathematics She lacks even the most basic skills necessary for the job. That's just the basic salary without overtime or tips. The motel is comfortable but pretty basic: you get the necessities all right, but no luxuries.

Noun (1)

He's teaching me the basics of Japanese cooking. He starts basic in two months.

Noun (2)

The program is written in BASIC.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Getting a good night's sleep and instituting screen-time caps may seem basic, but their benefit is real. Mia Adorante, Town & Country, "5 Expert Tips for Younger Looking Eyes," 12 Mar. 2019 The four bedrooms and galley kitchen are fairly basic, but a private casita boasts on-point mountain views and the outdoor area includes a mature cactus garden, spa, and pool. Megan Barber, Curbed, "Cheery midcentury modern in Palm Springs wants $659K," 10 Oct. 2018 The basic conceit was a collection of pop culture icons, led by Snow White, taking a tour through Hollywood history. Emma Dibdin, Harper's BAZAAR, "Why the 2019 Oscars Don't Have a Host—And the Disaster That Ensued Last Time It Happened," 24 Feb. 2019 The company has hired about 300 salespeople in the country to increase brand awareness and, on a more basic level, change the way consumers and travel agents think about cruises. Ezequiel Minaya, WSJ, "For Royal Caribbean, a Good Ground Game Strengthens Sea Legs in China," 19 Feb. 2019 At their most basic level, populists on both the right and the left pit the common people against the elite, the entrenched political class. Lori Hinnant, The Seattle Times, "Tech could unite Europe’s populists ahead of EU vote in May," 19 Feb. 2019 So, the basic level of knowledge will be different. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "How Princess Margaret Paved the Way for the Younger Generation of Royals," 16 Feb. 2019 At the most basic level, loops of music repeat themselves, then disintegrate. Corey Seymour, Vogue, "The Caretaker’s Musical Project Is One Part Psychological Experiment, One Part Auditory Revelation," 14 Dec. 2018 At the most basic level, that’s energy — so sugar that can be from sugar beets or cane or whatever makes sense for the local environment. Angela Chen, The Verge, "These are the technology advances that could end animal farming," 9 Nov. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Dogs are motivated by the basics: food, activity, and companionship. Alexandra Gekas, Woman's Day, "9 Things Your Dog Is Trying to Tell You, According to Experts," 25 Feb. 2019 Still, understanding some basics about the tax legislation can help investors evaluate new disclosures in the months and years ahead. Theo Francis, WSJ, "WSJ Tax Guide 2019: What Investors Need to Know," 15 Feb. 2019 Shopping for bedding can be a chore: There's the sheets, comforter, duvet cover, pillows — and those are just the basics. Nicole Saporita, Good Housekeeping, "The 5 Best Bed-in-a-Bag Sets You Can Buy," 24 Dec. 2018 When sticking to your basics, punch up the look with bold accessories. Carrie Goldberg, Harper's BAZAAR, "The Ultimate Honeymoon Packing List," 25 Jan. 2019 Most pharmacies and convenience stores can usually help you out with the basics — or even last-minute gifts, like mugs from Starbucks or stocking stuffers from CVS. Amina Lake Abdelrahman, Good Housekeeping, "These Stores Will Be Open on Christmas Day This Year," 18 Dec. 2018 Professor Dowling starts off with the basics by outlining the structure and organization of the brain, the cells that compose it, and how chemical and electrical signals are transmitted through those cells. Diana Gitig, Ars Technica, "Understanding the Brain is a catalog of all we don’t know about the brain," 10 Nov. 2018 Luckily, there's the Complete Learn to Code Masterclass Bundle which is packed with all the basics a prospective programmer would need to a career in tech. Popular Mechanics Shop Team, Popular Mechanics, "Kickstart a Career in Programming for Only $39," 2 Oct. 2018 Millions of people switched presidential vote in 2016 Let’s begin with the basics. Matthew Yglesias, Vox, "Swing voters are extremely real," 23 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'basic.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of basic

Adjective

1842, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Noun (1)

1908, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun (2)

1964, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for basic

Adjective

base entry 1 + -ic entry 1

Noun (2)

Beginner's All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about basic

Dictionary Entries near basic

basi

basial

basibranchial

basic

BASIC

basic airman

basically

Statistics for basic

Last Updated

23 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for basic

The first known use of basic was in 1842

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for basic

basic

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of basic

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: forming or relating to the most important part of something
: forming or relating to the first or easiest part of something
: not including anything extra

basic

noun

English Language Learners Definition of basic (Entry 2 of 3)

: the simplest and most important parts of something (such as a subject of study)

BASIC

noun

English Language Learners Definition of BASIC (Entry 3 of 3)

computers : a simple language used for programming computers

basic

adjective
ba·​sic | \ ˈbā-sik How to pronounce basic (audio) \

Kids Definition of basic

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : relating to or forming the basis or most important part of something the basic principles of science a basic set of tools
2 : relating to or characteristic of a chemical base a basic compound

Other Words from basic

basically \ -​si-​kə-​lē \ adverb

basic

noun

Kids Definition of basic (Entry 2 of 2)

: something that is one of the simplest and most important parts of something the basics of farming

basic

adjective
ba·​sic | \ ˈbā-sik also -zik\

Medical Definition of basic

1 : of, relating to, or forming the base or essence
2a : of, relating to, containing, or having the character of a base
b : having an alkaline reaction

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on basic

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for basic

Spanish Central: Translation of basic

Nglish: Translation of basic for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of basic for Arabic Speakers

Comments on basic

What made you want to look up basic? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to reflect, repel, echo, or resound

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Original Meanings Quiz

  • rembrandt-painting-a-young-scholar-and-his-tutor
  • Which of the following is the earliest known sense of the word awe?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!