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

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

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 west African country of Niger has declared three days of mourning after an attack on a military base killed 89 soldiers. Aj Willingham, CNN, "5 things to know for January 14: Impeachment, Iran, 2020 race, Niger, teacher protest," 14 Jan. 2020 It's been 10 years since Darren LaBonte's life ended at age 35 on a remote base in Afghanistan when a CIA operation went spectacularly wrong. NBC News, "Ten years after a CIA operation in Afghanistan went wrong, a slain officer's family celebrates his memory," 13 Jan. 2020 No nerves, like going into a bases-loaded situation or some kind of tough situation. Dallas News, "10 things to know about Rangers 3B Todd Frazier, from his Little League World Series triumph to his Frank Sinatra fandom," 13 Jan. 2020 Similarly, Sanders has a fan base with college students, public-sector union members, and aging hippies. John Fund, National Review, "Democrats No Longer Dismiss Bernie Sanders’s Odds," 12 Jan. 2020 For the past 20 years in New England, no team, and no player, has been more beloved than the Patriots and Brady, their six Super Bowls together spoiling a fan base that is so appreciative yet at the same time so spoiled, eager for more. Tara Sullivan, BostonGlobe.com, "It’s up to Bill Belichick to resolve the Patriots’ Tom Brady question," 12 Jan. 2020 The teen died after a car struck his motorcycle near RAF Croughton, a British military base that’s home to a signals intelligence station operated by the U.S. Air Force. Fox News, "UK issues extradition request for American woman charged in death of British teen," 12 Jan. 2020 Much of MOSAiC’s first leg was spent searching for an appropriate ice floe for the ship to freeze next to and use as a main research base. Chelsea Harvey, Scientific American, "Frozen in Dwindling Ice, a Historic Expedition Finds a “New Arctic”," 10 Jan. 2020 Our Haitian Cultural Recovery Project established a base of operations in a former UN building and compound in Port-au-Prince. Richard Kurin, Smithsonian Magazine, "To safeguard cultural heritage, a massive Smithsonian-led cultural rescue operation can now be mobilized to help countries recover from disaster," 10 Jan. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Existing bans of public-sector use that are based on its present, inaccurate, and discriminatory implementations likely won't be sustainable long-term as the technology improves. Susan Crawford, Wired, "Facial Recognition Laws Are (Literally) All Over the Map," 16 Dec. 2019 She was based out of the Houston duty station, officials said. Michelle Iracheta, Houston Chronicle, "New details emerge in League City Thanksgiving homicide involving married border patrol officers," 16 Dec. 2019 That's based on only three Summerfest shows that were reported to Pollstar, data shows. Piet Levy, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "In first full year, Milwaukee's Fiserv Forum is the 25th top-grossing arena for concerts in U.S.," 16 Dec. 2019 Viagogo, which is based in Switzerland, has not filed any financial records in the U.K. and its earnings are not a matter of public record. Richard Smirke, Billboard, "UK Competition Regulator Opens Preliminary Investigation Into Viagogo-StubHub Merger," 14 Dec. 2019 New York–based Dina Litovsky has previously photographed Taipei and Barcelona for National Geographic Travel. Dina Litovsky, National Geographic, "Here’s why you’ll fall in love with Philadelphia," 14 Dec. 2019 Note: The Enquirer staff named the football winners based on the state championship results. James Weber, Cincinnati.com, "Enquirer announces Greater Cincinnati high school athletes of the week, Dec. 13," 13 Dec. 2019 But the first conclusions of the WHI study, on which so much antipathy to HRT is still based, were almost entirely wrong. The Economist, "Managing menopause Millions of women are missing out on hormone replacement therapy," 12 Dec. 2019 Bernadette is what the filmmakers call a composite character, but she is clearly based on Gina Haspel, who today is the director of Trump’s CIA. David Klion, The New Republic, "The Heavy Burden of The Report," 12 Dec. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Bené was paid a base salary of $1.18 million and total compensation of $10.7 million, including bonuses, stock and stock options, according to Sysco’s most recent proxy statement. Paul Takahashi, Houston Chronicle, "Outgoing Sysco CEO to receive $6M golden parachute," 16 Jan. 2020 Among the new terms in the agreement is a 53% increase in total cash compensation, consisting of base salary, additional performance bonuses prize pools for newly created in-season competitions, and league and team marketing deals. Akeem Glaspie, Indianapolis Star, "WNBA deal with players: increased cash compensation may mean they don't have to play abroad," 14 Jan. 2020 The company pays its professional League of Legend players starting at a base salary of $75,000, but 2018 average gamer salaries surpassed $300,000. Audrey Winn, Quartz, "League of Legends gamers could become California’s newest workforce," 9 Jan. 2020 Brady’s contract this past season included a $20.25 signing bonus and $1.75 million base salary. Matt Goul, cleveland, "NFL free agents 2020: Top 50 players to watch, potential fits for the Browns," 1 Jan. 2020 Police and firefighters who have been with their departments for five and a half years earn a base salary of $85,000 and sanitation workers with the same amount of time on the job earn $77,000. Theo Wayt, NBC News, "Medical first responders say they're underpaid and overworked. Will anything change?," 30 Dec. 2019 Fickell's base salary in his contract running through 2022 will increase to $2.4 million in January, according to the 2017 MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) between UC and Fickell. Fletcher Page, Cincinnati.com, "Why UC AD John Cunningham's wife says Luke and Amy Fickell are heroes," 18 Dec. 2019 As the university’s 15th president, Alexander will make $704,400, which includes a base salary of $366,000 plus $263,400 from the university’s foundation. oregonlive, "Oregon State President Ed Ray will be succeeded by Louisiana State’s F. King Alexander," 13 Dec. 2019 Van Gruensven's base salary will be $234,600 in 2020 (a $4,600 raise). Devi Shastri, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "UW System's 13 chancellors each will get 2% raises in 2020," 6 Dec. 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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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

17 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Base.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/basing. Accessed 23 January 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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More from Merriam-Webster on base

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for base

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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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