Main definitions of base in English

: base1base2



  • 1The lowest part or edge of something, especially the part on which it rests or is supported.

    ‘she sat down at the base of a tree’
    • ‘A substantially vertical stand having a foot peg and sharpened base supports the frame.’
    • ‘Their water tanks were usually steel on stone bases, or sometimes supported on a trestle base made of rail.’
    • ‘Her other arm held a shield by her side, the base rested on the floor but she was not leaning on it.’
    • ‘This figurine was designed as a candlestick, with the holder protruding from the base on either side.’
    • ‘Lie sideways on the ball with your feet supported against the base of a wall.’
    • ‘The easiest way to swirl is to rest the base of the glass on a table, hold the stem between thumb and forefinger, and gently rotate the wrist.’
    • ‘It was still lying with crushed front forks at the base of the smaller tree.’
    • ‘The bottom edges of the front and rear panels form a support base for the bowl.’
    • ‘Because the base of the stone barely touches the base upon which it rests, it appears that it could easily fall over when the sea wind blows.’
    • ‘With loaded candlesticks there is a possibility that marks have been ‘let in’ to the edge of the base.’
    • ‘At its base rested a small, weathered plaque with a few words elegantly etched into the fine stone.’
    • ‘Instead of a heated iron, the upper part of the base supports a pierced basket for charcoal.’
    • ‘If this has happened, gently firm around the base of the plant with the foot being careful not to damage any stems or leaves.’
    • ‘The bags are used as bed rests and table bases by some interior decorators.’
    • ‘Will the official NBA basketball that rests at the base of the potted palm in the living room remain?’
    • ‘The edges of this framework supported the base of the walls.’
    • ‘He broke down several times as he told the court how his wife had been supporting the base of a ladder as he cut branches off apple trees in their garden.’
    • ‘Resting at the thick base of the old tree sat a beautifully etched envelope.’
    • ‘He says the name of the mall was inspired by the locality of the site, which rests at the base of the Roodekrans Ridge.’
    • ‘All tied up I carried it to the car taking extra care to support the base which was weak from resting in the sodden duck-muck of the pen.’
    foundation, bottom, foot, support, prop, stay, stand, pedestal, plinth, rest, bed, substructure
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Architecture The part of a column between the shaft and pedestal or pavement.
      • ‘Column bases, doorsteps, baseboards, and beams - even the interior roof tiles and gutters - all are decorated.’
      • ‘Now, how can there be foundation structures such as pillar bases in the ground unless they had been put there to support a building?’
      • ‘To prevent vandalism and damage, the bases of columns are clad in stainless steel.’
      • ‘Axial loading from earthquakes is minimized by seismic dampers under the column bases.’
      • ‘The freestanding column shafts are wrapped in black glazed tiles and the bases have a mosaic finish.’
    2. 1.2Botany Zoology The end at which a part or organ is attached to the trunk or main part.
      ‘a shoot is produced at the base of the stem’
      • ‘The petiole or stipe is the stalk at the base of the frond, before the first pinna ‘branches’ from the rachis.’
      • ‘The dead leaves form a skirt around the stem until they are burnt back to the leaf bases by occasional fires to form a sheath around the true stem.’
      • ‘Their long, whip-like tail has a small dorsal fin near its base and up to five venomous spines.’
      • ‘River otters have paired scent glands at the base of their tail which give off a heavy, musky smell.’
      • ‘The storage organ in onion consists of scales derived from swollen leaf bases, whereas in garlic it originates from swollen lateral buds.’
    3. 1.3Geometry A line or surface on which a figure is regarded as standing.
      ‘the base of the triangle’
      • ‘The two points of intersection of the latter with the sides of the triangle lie on a line parallel to the base.’
      • ‘The length of the base of the rhombus is the length of one of its sides, here shown with 'b'.’
      • ‘Draw 3 times smaller unilateral triangles, with their bases in the middle of each line of the first triangle.’
      • ‘It is useful to make a distinction between the base against which an entity is profiled and the domain, or domains, against which concepts take shape.’
      • ‘If the height of a rectangle is 7 1/6 mm and the perimeter is 27 2/15 mm, what is the length of the base of the rectangle?’
    4. 1.4Surveying A known line used as a geometrical base for trigonometry.
      • ‘The base triangulation should have boundary faces; a completion is simply a new triangulation formed from the base triangulation by gluing all of the boundary faces to each other in some fashion’
      • ‘After that, a base triangulation is performed.’
      • ‘All of the angles and at least one side (the base) of the triangulation system are measured.’
    5. 1.5Heraldry The lowest part of a shield.
      • ‘On the purple segment at the base of the shield is a silver stag, trotting with one fore hoof raised, within a silver ring.’
      • ‘The eagle with the outstretched wings at the base of the shield stands for loyalty to country; the olive branch in the right claw being emblematic of out national dedication to the cause of peace, while the arrows in the left claw indicate our readiness to fight for justice and freedom.’
      • ‘Attached on either side of the base of the shield is a doubled, stacked scroll with the upper portion the same angle as the shield.’
  • 2A conceptual structure or entity on which something draws or depends.

    ‘the town's economic base collapsed’
    • ‘This gives them a broad base of skills and experience when they complete their training.’
    • ‘This is the key point of the book, but I am less convinced of this claim and not quite sure what lessons might be drawn from it for understanding the broader bases for sustained economic growth.’
    • ‘And so there are three bases for friendships, depending on which of these qualities binds friends together.’
    • ‘As the brownstone industry expanded, it provided a broad economic base for the town of Portland.’
    • ‘Some economists think Howard's approach might be the last best chance for towns that have seen family farms vanish and their economic bases crumble.’
    • ‘Felsenstein et al. 1999 compare the conceptual bases of these approaches.’
    • ‘She has a long-standing interest in the social structural bases of economic activity.’
    • ‘The theoretical bases of these concepts are found in Structural Family Therapy.’
    • ‘Academic freedom rests on a solid base of peer review and as such is the responsibility of the entire profession.’
    • ‘This glimmer of hope is welcome indeed for York as Thrall has been an important part of York's broad economic base.’
    • ‘People are motivated to have children by the need for an economic base.’
    • ‘We want to explore and expand the conceptual bases for industrial design.’
    • ‘We believe that it is important for economists to have a sense of the burden management faces over the next year and to help provide solid conceptual bases for the decisions that must be made.’
    • ‘One of the fundamental bases of the structural transformation and modernization of European life and society was the development of burgerliche domesticity.’
    • ‘Personally I think you should find your own truth, but if you are looking for some solid structure as a base then go for it.’
    • ‘The experiences since the mid-1980s provide a rich base of evidence to draw on as a springboard for ongoing debate.’
    • ‘Working with a variety of pantheons gives you a wider base to draw on when you need help or guidance.’
    • ‘Whatever be its conceptual base, what does the duty of reasonable care and skill of a bank encompass?’
    • ‘When I arrived in 1988, this was a city that was trying to reinvent itself, realising as it was that culture could become an economic base.’
    • ‘The possibilities open to any society are constrained by the economic base.’
    1. 2.1 A foundation or starting point for further work.
      ‘she uses existing data as the base for the study’
      • ‘It will guarantee a solid base for those students continuing to advanced studies.’
      • ‘It started with the Native Americans who set the base for all the development.’
      • ‘Since Lisbon Strategy is a topics which has not been given much attention in Croatia, the published articles represent the base for further research.’
      • ‘That which was, is the foundation for what is now, which becomes the base for what is to come.’
      • ‘His systematization of these texts became one of the chief bases for the structure of the later printed versions of this corpus of texts.’
      • ‘For people whose school Spanish is a distant memory, this course will offer revision and updating of the written and spoken language, to improve competence and confidence and form a base for further study.’
      • ‘Hong Kong University law professor Albert Chen said the decision was a good base for political reform discussions.’
      • ‘It also provides a new base for vital research and study of the disease carried out by the University of Sheffield.’
      • ‘Since the book is intended to provide the reader a base for further study, the absence of citations is somewhat disturbing.’
      • ‘And whilst all the talk may have been of forwards, the base for victory was built further down the Newbridge turf.’
      • ‘But it doesn't take long to defrost, and it is a good thing to have a supply of in the freezer in case of impromptu guests or as the base for a quick easy meal.’
      • ‘I think that's a fine base for a resolution for the new year.’
      • ‘After completion, this will provide a firm base to push the Pattaya Sports Club into the new Millennium.’
      basis, bedrock, foundation, core, essence, essential, nitty-gritty, basics, starting point, key component, fundamental, root, roots, heart, backbone, theory, principle, rationale
      View synonyms
    2. 2.2with modifier A group of people regarded as supporting an organization, for example by buying its products.
      ‘a customer base’
      • ‘Both parties rest on ever more narrow bases of popular support, and function openly as instruments of the financial aristocracy.’
      • ‘And, how do we reformat and re-purpose output to encompass the rest of the user base?’
      • ‘Now the company's second act depends on how fast Micromarketing can diversify its client base.’
      • ‘Of course, the Bibster system itself will continue its work. but this depends on the user base keeping it going.’
      • ‘These initial supporters will be the base upon which you build the rest of your list.’
      • ‘A deal would allow them to merge the private client customer bases of two of the second tier stockbrokers in the Irish market.’
      • ‘Ten years ago the company had a customer base of only 45000 clients, with 2450 employees.’
      • ‘The base, not even Dean supporters, but the base of the party turned on them like wolverines.’
      • ‘That approach will be helpful to maintain sales balance, customer base and market share and performance.’
      • ‘There is likely to be an existing customer base for the new product and therefore the risks are lower.’
      • ‘There is considerable overlap between the supporter base of both teams; picking out the away fans was an impossible task.’
      • ‘York City FC has never won a major trophy, never even played in the top League, and has a supporter base of no more than 4,000 stalwarts.’
      • ‘ProStrategy has a number of existing customers in Britain and it will expand there by adding customers to its existing client base.’
      • ‘Ortega has won his loyal client base by offering a constantly updated range across his entire empire.’
      • ‘The top business leadership will have to look after its bases of support, having betrayed the political class and union leaders by supporting a junta that scarcely could have done worse when in power.’
      • ‘They'd be loosely aligned, run joint advertising campaigns, and pool their supporter base.’
      • ‘Both parties rest on narrow social bases and none of their candidates have substantial popular support.’
      • ‘Political instability has resulted from the inability of leaders to gain support outside their regional bases.’
      • ‘Only by whipping up fear and loathing of trade unions among the business community will these organizations get their client base.’
      • ‘While this robs National of issues, it is making the party increasingly unpalatable to parts of its support base.’
  • 3A place used as a centre of operations by the armed forces or others; a headquarters.

    ‘he headed back to base’
    • ‘We galloped to the base where the rest of the people were unloading the cargo.’
    • ‘Neither it is limited to armies and combatants facing each other but targets the enemy formations and supporting bases with long distance aircraft and missiles.’
    • ‘Analysts have criticised Karzai for clumsy attempts to impose his will by sending in appointees to try to implement disarmament without necessary support bases, or central backup.’
    • ‘Troops frequently spot suspicious figures just outside the base.’
    • ‘Unique geological, glaciological, and meteorological studies continue there from purpose-built bases around the edge of Antarctica or at the South Pole.’
    • ‘Living on a Marine base on the edge of restive Ramadi is a shock to a civilian's senses.’
    • ‘After pulling up to the smooth blue band that marked the perimeter of the base, the rest of the unit limped into view.’
    • ‘He turned the turret to examine the rest of the base.’
    • ‘The interior of the stronghold was as utilitarian as the rest of the base, made of white stone with no attempt at ornamentation.’
    • ‘A railroad line was constructed from the base to the front lines at Petersburg.’
    • ‘We were eager to get out of there, and to the new base near the front lines.’
    • ‘He stressed the successes not just of the aircrew but of the hundreds of Combat Support Group personnel supporting combatant forces at bases within and outside Australia.’
    • ‘It was the only working lift in the building, seeing as it was underground like the rest of the base, so no one knew it existed apart from those in their sector.’
    • ‘He said the company had always had two move workers between the two bases depending on where the work was, but now circumstances dictated closure of the Scalloway workshop for the time being.’
    • ‘The firm has outgrown its base on Stricklandgate and needs extra space in order to expand and create more jobs.’
    • ‘When they were far enough away from the base, they all rested and sat down.’
    • ‘During World War II, Utah's population increased as the government developed military bases and supported wartime industries.’
    • ‘He had an office that connected to the rest of the base through a short tube.’
    • ‘From there he was employed by Mero Space Frame, a German firm with a British base.’
    • ‘Well, his firm had a base on the Old Kent Road under the name London Easylink, and its prime contract was route 185 from Lewisham.’
    headquarters, centre, starting point, camp, site, station, settlement, post
    View synonyms
    1. 3.1 The main place where a person works or stays.
      ‘she makes the studio her base’
      ‘your hotel is a good base from which to explore’
      • ‘Peter's first six months will be very much a getting to know you process and will involve some travel, but Stephen Street will be his firm base.’
      • ‘From 1608, when he returned there from Italy as his mother lay dying, Rubens made Antwerp his base.’
      • ‘He continues to shuttle between Chennai, his base for over a decade now, and Kerala where he has several teaching assignments.’
      • ‘We then proceeded to our hotel which is the Catic Plaza, which was to become our base for five nights and it was the essence of luxury in every way.’
      • ‘Taking the Sighting scene as his base, Gericault went on to expand his composition unit by unit.’
      • ‘Installing ourselves in Gunn's Village, which was to be our base for the next three weeks, we made some less welcome acquaintances.’
  • 4A main or important element or ingredient to which other things are added.

    ‘soaps with a vegetable oil base’
    • ‘It has the Dr Pepper flavors as a base with berries thrown into the mix.’
    • ‘Syrups are made with a base of sugar syrup, honey or perhaps maple syrup.’
    • ‘The soup base is a Western tomato soup, while the beef slice and beef stomach is stewed in a traditional Chinese sauce.’
    • ‘The cast iron pan and drippings make for the base of a tremendous sauce.’
    • ‘The sweetness in milk or an ice cream base allows coffee flavors to come through.’
    • ‘For the coconut soup base: In a pot, combine ingredients and bring to a simmer.’
    • ‘Brooks explains the smoothies are composed of yogurt base and a water/pectin solution.’
    • ‘With its distinctive dry taste, Tequila is the base for marvellous drinks, not the least of which is the Margarita.’
    • ‘Sweetened ricotta base with apple and cherry pie filling, cookie dough and more sweet stuff.’
    • ‘This pea-flavoured stock will be the base for the soup.’
    • ‘Make crumb base by rubbing biscuits and butter together.’
    • ‘Then you add another whole chicken to the soup and use the soup base as your water.’
    • ‘There is a firm called Kuze, based in Ikebukuro, Tokyo, specializing in sauces and soup bases.’
    • ‘The appetizer was a small plate of radish pieces served in a sauce that tastes similar to the creamy vegetable soup base.’
    • ‘It is safe and cost-effective compared to other drugs as its base is neem oil, which is available in plenty in India.’
    medium, vehicle, carrier
    View synonyms
    1. 4.1mass noun A substance into which a pigment is mixed to form paint, such as water, oil, or powdered aluminium hydroxide.
      • ‘Using oil base paint or glaze will slow the drying time and allow you more time to blend your veins.’
      • ‘The alcohol and dissolved base are then mixed with the oil and agitated for one to two hours.’
      • ‘Whether you choose water or solvent base, your next choice is going to be liquid or semi-paste.’
    2. 4.2mass noun A substance used as a foundation for make-up.
      ‘her make-up artist works with base, eye make-up, and lipstick’
      • ‘Makeup base is one of the most commonly misused cosmetics, but it doesn't have to be.’
      • ‘Their legacy is cemented in a strange concoction of Karo syrup, red dye, and makeup base.’
      • ‘Its richer, heavier structure means that it is also extremely good as a moisturiser and it is an excellent base under make-up.’
      • ‘I don't believe in eating junk and I protect my face all the time from the sun, even in the winter with base and makeup.’
      • ‘You can reshape your brows this way: Cover the brows with an opaque makeup base.’
      • ‘To make eye colours ‘pop,’ use a light or neutral concealer as your eye makeup base.’
  • 5Chemistry
    A substance capable of reacting with an acid to form a salt and water, or (more broadly) of accepting or neutralizing hydrogen ions.

    Compare with acid and alkali
    • ‘Soon chemists became more interested in studying the properties of acids and bases and the neutralization reaction between the two substances.’
    • ‘Neutralization is a chemical reaction in which a base reacts with an acid to create water and a salt.’
    • ‘They found that these nonaqueous-superacid solutions reacted with weak bases which did not react with either sulfuric or perchloric acid in water.’
    • ‘Metallic oxides are bases because the oxide ions accept protons from water molecules, thereby generating hydroxide ions in solution.’
    • ‘Nitric acid reacted with a base will give the nitrate of the salt and water.’
    1. 5.1Biochemistry A purine or pyrimidine group in a nucleotide or nucleic acid.
      • ‘There are four DNA bases: adenine, cytosine, guanine, and thymine (A, C, G, and T).’
      • ‘Oxidized bases (both pyrimidines and purines) and misincorporated uracil, were similar for fresh and frozen lymphocytes.’
      • ‘Purine salvage pathway allows interconversion of bases, nucleosides and nucleotides.’
      • ‘Radical-induced cleavage of DNA and oxidation of nucleotide bases can proceed.’
      • ‘The nucleosides are better models for the bases in DNA and RNA because the sugar moiety eliminates tautomers that cannot occur in the polymers.’
  • 6Electronics
    The middle part of a bipolar transistor, separating the emitter from the collector.

    • ‘The presence of this P + layer results in pinch-off between itself and the bipolar base.’
    • ‘Transistors are composed of three parts - a base, a collector, and an emitter.’
    • ‘A resistor RB is required to limit the current flowing into the base of the transistor and prevent it being damaged.’
  • 7Linguistics
    The root or stem of a word or a derivative.

    • ‘According to Crystal, a prefixation is “an affix is placed before the base of the word” (1997, p. 90).’
    • ‘The children had to say the base of a suffixed word pronounced by the experimenter.’
    • ‘The Greek Xu-w, which etymologists justly connect with our loose, loosen, may possibly be the base of the word.’
    1. 7.1 The uninflected form of a verb.
      • ‘The verb base is what you look up in the dictionary when you want to know how to say something.’
      • ‘Determine the ending of the verb that goes with that pronoun and add it to the base of the verb you want to use in the sentence.’
      • ‘So if you want to conjugate a regular - er verb, simply remove the - er ending from the infinitive and place the base of the verb in front of the endings.’
  • 8Mathematics
    A number used as the basis of a numeration scale.

    • ‘There is no logical reason why we cannot use any integer bigger than zero for a base.’
    • ‘Arabic astronomers used a base 60 version of Arabic letter system.’
    • ‘The Egyptians had a bases 10 system of hieroglyphs for numerals.’
    • ‘Some historians believe that the Babylonian base 60 place-value system was transmitted to the Indians via the Greeks.’
    • ‘If base 10 is used with an additive system without intermediate symbols then many characters are required to express certain numbers.’
    1. 8.1 A number in terms of which other numbers are expressed as logarithms.
      • ‘Taking logarithms to the base, we are looking for a solution.’
      • ‘In that year Briggs gave a numerical approximation to the base 10 logarithm of e but did not mention e itself in his work.’
      • ‘Choosing different numbers gives logarithms to different bases.’
  • 9Baseball
    Each of the four stations that must be reached in turn to score a run.

    See also first base
    • ‘During baseball season, fire hydrants and stoops serve as bases, the middle of the street as the field.’
    • ‘Four different times I switched over to see the bases loaded, scoring I believe a total of one run.’
    • ‘‘I made sure I touched every one of those sweet white bases,’ Fisk told Maury Allen of the New York Post.’
    • ‘There's no reason he shouldn't hit 30 home runs and steal 30 bases if he stays healthy.’
    • ‘He first arranged four of these in a diamond-shaped pattern to represent the bases and home plate.’


[with object]
  • 1base something onUse (something specified) as the foundation or starting point for something.

    ‘the film is based on a novel by Pat Conroy’
    ‘entitlement will be based on income’
    • ‘A group of scientists favoring nuclear power accuses Kennedy of basing her conclusions on fear, not science.’
    • ‘Some of the articles included discuss the novel that the film has been based on, which is often used in Japanese classrooms.’
    • ‘Last year, for example, the government based its conclusions on the general level of pesticides in all fresh peas from only 27 samples.’
    • ‘Cooper based this conclusion on the fact that since 1892 the operation had been depositing materials, which sank to the river bottom.’
    • ‘Rutenberg bases his conclusion on numbers provided by Nielsen Media Research.’
    • ‘Rosenstiel bases his conclusion on reasoning very different than ours.’
    • ‘Dershwitz based his conclusion on witnesses who said Reid had slurred speech and difficulty holding up his head at the start of the interview.’
    • ‘This defines the foundation our society is based on: equal rights, freedom and peace.’
    • ‘I have no idea what the evidence is that they may be basing their conclusion on.’
    • ‘When it came to a philosophy of politics and ethics, again Archytas based his ideas on mathematical foundations.’
    • ‘You don't know how they relate until you examine them and it's better to examine the evidence than base conclusions on wishful thinking.’
    • ‘The last thing the humans needed was a major leak of information that could potentially destroy the very foundation their resistance was based on.’
    • ‘He bases his conclusion on the stories he's been told, as well as the occupancy load (number of students per classroom) and the variety of activities that take place in schools.’
    • ‘Miramax has hired playwright Warren Leight to come up with a script, but Roddy Doyle - who wrote the novel the original film was based on - will not be getting involved.’
    • ‘The US Senate committee report says it based its conclusions on documents from the Iraqi oil ministry, distinct from those alleged foreign ministry papers relied upon by the Telegraph.’
    • ‘Unfortunately, they base their conclusions on a survey from a print-on-demand publisher.’
    • ‘The researchers, from Imperial College School of Medicine at the National Heart and Lung Institute in London, based their conclusions on a study of 625 children in Ashford, Kent.’
    • ‘I've read poor reviews here, and elsewhere, about the conductor, so I base my conclusions on that…!’
    • ‘Although he based his films on Kannada novels, the novelists complained that their stories had been altered.’
    • ‘Was he basing his conclusion on facts or was he being swayed because she was a beautiful young woman in distress that had made a favorable impression.’
    found, build, construct, form, establish, ground, root
    View synonyms
  • 2Situate at a specified place as the centre of operations.

    ‘the Science Policy Review Unit is based at the University of Sussex’
    ‘a London-based band’
    • ‘Galbraith was confused by the blank help and asked where the man he was talking to was based.’
    • ‘As a result, both are now basing themselves at the Endurance Performance Centre at St Mary's University, Twickenham.’
    • ‘I will be based near a few of the training camps and hope to see what the England boys are doing.’
    • ‘It is thought he too does not count as an overseas player as he has been based in England for some time.’
    • ‘The consultants have also been approached by a cosmetic surgery company which is interested in basing itself at the hospital.’
    • ‘He is based in Devizes half of the week and the rest of the time in West Gloucestershire.’
    • ‘I was in Boston, and then we ended up all moving here to New York and basing ourselves here.’
    • ‘In recent weeks, the flights have been stopping at Larnaca in Cyprus where BA is basing its crews operating to the Middle East.’
    • ‘The open road is calling for Nike Akinfenwa, who hopes to take a year out to travel, basing herself in London and moving on from there.’
    • ‘I ask where they are based and nine times out of ten they are in a country many miles away.’
    • ‘The choice in Jura is limited, so you may be better off basing yourself on Islay and visiting just for the day.’
    • ‘We were based up near the Kelvinside Park area and he used to go out and wander about.’
    • ‘I needed to be based in this area because of my work so we really had no other choice but to rent.’
    • ‘And when the exams are out the way, she intends to go full time, basing herself abroad.’
    • ‘In his place you will get a locally based MP who will be available to listen and to act for you.’
    • ‘I am however hedging my bets quite firmly on it being a London based blog that wins.’
    • ‘All operations are home based and will require just a couple of hours of your time.’
    • ‘Both are based in Harpurhey and the area has been the inspiration for much of their work.’
    locate, station, situate, post, position, place, install, deploy, site, establish, garrison
    View synonyms


  • off base

    • informal Mistaken.

      ‘the boy is way off base’
      • ‘If Mr. Zakaria's diagnosis is off base, his remedy is incomprehensible.’
      • ‘I thought your editing was off base, by the way, as are most of your long-winded comments on this site.’
      • ‘Similarly, the initial hypothesis is often way off base and this subtly drives home the fact that whilst these people are supremely good at their jobs, no one is perfect.’
      • ‘Let me ask you something that, perhaps, is a little off base.’
      • ‘The question was, are they off base, the party, in going into tax cuts and abortion which the public doesn't seem to be on their side with?’
      • ‘I think he's an idealist, which is good, but I think he's way off base here.’
      • ‘I don't imagine that these complaints are too far off base.’
      • ‘In reflecting on what I wrote yesterday about all the American soldiers being war criminals, I realize that I was way off base.’
      • ‘I'd say the comparisons to Nazis and Hitler are not only off base, but a blatant attempt to further demonize America and its troops.’
      • ‘Sometimes he makes sense, sometimes he seems wildly off base.’
  • touch base

    • informal Briefly make or renew contact with someone.

      ‘they are travelling back to Star City, where they plan to touch base with relatives’
      • ‘Well, circumstances conspired against that goal but I did have a good break and even touched base with the family again (always a good thing).’
      • ‘I finally got sick of wondering what she was up to, and touched base, and we are now in regular, close contact.’
      • ‘That is calling people, touching base with contacts.’
      • ‘You touch base with acquaintances or business contacts you wouldn't otherwise contact.’
      • ‘This partnership basically helps in leveraging resources and touching base with communities faster.’
      • ‘Just want to touch base if anyone wants to contact me and have a chat about the year.’
      • ‘A lot of them had not touched base with their loved ones, with their spouses, with their parents, with their children, and their friends.’
      • ‘If you aren't hunting for new sources of supply, you may use the opportunity to touch base and renew relationships.’
      • ‘I also spent Monday touching base with various reporters and editors at mainstream newspapers and magazines in Washington, and not one would defend CBS's action in this case.’
      • ‘Among those Roussel touched base with were Helen Thomas, Chris Wallace and his boss from the Ford White House days, Donald Rumsfeld.’


Middle English: from Old French, from Latin basis ‘base, pedestal’, from Greek.




Main definitions of base in English

: base1base2



  • 1Without moral principles; ignoble.

    ‘the electorate's baser instincts of greed and selfishness’
    • ‘Whilst detained we came face to face with base police corruption.’
    • ‘However, his inner and outer selves are constant and we do not see, in his monologues, the base evil of his Machiavellian soul.’
    • ‘And it is one way to shine moral clarity on a subject that too often inspires only base moral equivalence.’
    • ‘The story is intent on delving into the core of what it means to be human and what kind of base behaviors we are susceptible to, both good and bad.’
    • ‘It is also a saga about the savagery that can result when the British and the Irish resort to their base instincts.’
    • ‘Small wonder that she places her faith in spite and base dishonesty.’
    • ‘In their bodiliness, images make men desert rationality in favor of base instinct.’
    • ‘And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a base mind and to improper conduct.’
    • ‘There was nothing sheltering this base creature from the eye of his moral superiors.’
    • ‘The meaning of human life would be reduced to the physical, base animal instincts, trapped within the contours of the body.’
    • ‘Some believe that the people's base instincts could even throw the peace process off course.’
    • ‘It's just the ones who want to scream it in the streets and have their base instincts publicly titillated I wish to avoid, and should be able to.’
    • ‘By appealing to the base instincts of race and religion the President and his able cohorts are naturally inducing one crisis after the other.’
    • ‘Did you figure that, I, the writer, was a base individual who was using a cheap ploy to attract potential readers?’
    • ‘My base instinct was to go round the dressing room and clip a few, but unfortunately those days were well gone.’
    • ‘The Party is pandering to the racist, base instincts of the right wing press and politicians.’
    • ‘In contrast a man must be specially trained not to trample - their base instinct is to cause harm.’
    • ‘If humankind did not have a consciousness and still lived on the base instinct of perpetuation of the species, we would simply be born, mature, mate and die.’
    • ‘Even as a young man, however, Jekyll had a penchant for base pleasures.’
    • ‘His antagonism towards the media will be recast as a firmness of character that wouldn't pander to the most base instincts of people.’
    sordid, improper, low, mean, bad, wrong, evil, wicked, iniquitous, immoral, sinful
    View synonyms
  • 2archaic Denoting or befitting a person of low social class.

    • ‘"Fetch, base peasant!! Remain invisible!!!" demanded your cold visage.’
    • ‘Farewell, base peasant, and thank God thy fathers were no gentlemen.’
    • ‘The thought of such a man with a background of base peasants to be Kikyo's teacher was almost ludicrous.’
  • 3(of coins or other articles) not made of precious metal.

    ‘the basest coins in the purse were made in the 620s AD’
    • ‘Compared with precious metals, base metals are plentiful in nature and therefore much cheaper, of course.’
    • ‘Most modern currencies are fiat currency, allowing the coins to be made of base metal.’
    • ‘A longtime goal of the alchemists was the transmutation of base metals into precious metals.’


Late Middle English: from Old French bas, from medieval Latin bassus ‘short’ (found in classical Latin as a cognomen). Early senses included ‘low, short’ and ‘of inferior quality’; from the latter arose a sense ‘low in the social scale’, and hence (mid 16th century) ‘reprehensibly cowardly, selfish, or mean’.