One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Architecture. The lowest part of a horizontally divided base.
2A base placed under the bottom of a machine or other apparatus to raise it; a base placed under another base.
3A secondary station or base.
4Civil Engineering. A layer underneath the base layer of a road, pavement, or the like; specifically one immediately above the subgrade.
Early 17th century. From sub- + base.
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