Ba·sis n.; pl. Bases
1. The foundation of anything; that on which a thing rests.
2. The pedestal of a column, pillar, or statue. [Obs.]
If no basis bear my rising name. --Pope.
3. The groundwork; the first or fundamental principle; that which supports.
The basis of public credit is good faith. --A. Hamilton.
4. The principal component part of a thing.
adj 1: serving as or forming a base; "the painter applied a base
coat followed by two finishing coats" [syn: basal]
2: (used of metals) consisting of or alloyed with inferior
metal; "base coins of aluminum"; "a base metal"
3: of low birth or station (`base' is archaic in this sense);
"baseborn wretches with dirty faces"; "of humble (or
lowly) birth" [syn: baseborn, humble, lowly]
4: not adhering to ethical or moral principles; "base and
unpatriotic motives"; "a base, degrading way of life";
"cheating is dishonorable"; "they considered colonialism
immoral"; "unethical practices in handling public funds"
[syn: dishonorable, dishonourable, immoral, unethical]
5: having or showing an ignoble lack of honor or morality;
"that liberal obedience without which your army would be a
base rabble"- Edmund Burke; "taking a mean advantage";
"chok'd with ambition of the meaner sort"- Shakespeare;
"something essentially vulgar and meanspirited in
politics" [syn: mean, meanspirited]
6: illegitimate [syn: baseborn]
7: debased; not genuine; "an attempt to eliminate the base
n 1: any of various water-soluble compounds capable of turning
litmus blue and reacting with an acid to form a salt and
water; "bases include oxides and hydroxides of metals
and ammonia" [syn: alkali]
2: installation from which a military force initiates
operations; "the attack wiped out our forward bases" [syn:
base of operations]
3: lowest support of a structure; "it was built on a base of
solid rock"; "he stood at the foot of the tower" [syn: foundation,
fundament, foot, groundwork, substructure, understructure]
4: place that runner must touch before scoring; "he scrambled
to get back to the bag" [syn: bag]
5: (numeration system) the positive integer that is equivalent
to one in the next higher counting place; "10 is the radix
of the decimal system" [syn: radix]
6: the bottom or lowest part; "the base of the mountain"
7: (anatomy) the part of an organ nearest its point of
attachment; "the base of the skull"
8: a lower limit; "the government established a wage floor"
9: the fundamental assumptions from which something is begun or
developed or calculated or explained; "the whole argument
rested on a basis of conjecture" [syn: basis, foundation,
fundament, groundwork, cornerstone]
10: a support or foundation; "the base of the lamp" [syn: pedestal,
11: the bottom side of a geometric figure from which the
altitude can be constructed; "the base of the triangle"
12: the most important or necessary part of something; "the
basis of this drink is orange juice" [syn: basis]
13: the place where you are stationed and from which missions
start and end [syn: home]
14: an intensely anti-western terrorist network that dispenses
money and logistical support and training to a wide
variety of radical Islamic terrorist group; has cells in
more than 50 countries [syn: al-Qaeda, Qaeda, al-Qa'ida,
15: (linguistics) the form of a word after all affixes are
removed; "thematic vowels are part of the stem" [syn: root,
root word, stem, theme, radical]
16: the stock of basic facilities and capital equipment needed
for the functioning of a country or area; "the industrial
base of Japan" [syn: infrastructure]
17: the principal ingredient of a mixture; "glycerinated gelatin
is used as a base for many ointments"; "he told the
painter that he wanted a yellow base with just a hint of
green"; "everything she cooked seemed to have rice as the
18: a flat bottom on which something is intended to sit; "a tub
should sit on its own base"
19: (electronics) the part of a transistor that separates the
emitter from the collector
v 1: use as a basis for; found on; "base a claim on some
observation" [syn: establish, ground, found]
2: use (purified cocaine) by burning it and inhaling the fumes
3: assign to a station [syn: station, post, send, place]
[also: bases (pl)]