Main meanings of base in English

: base1base2


Pronunciation /beɪs/

See synonyms for base

Translate base into Spanish


  • 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’
    • ‘Resting at the thick base of the old tree sat a beautifully etched envelope.’
    • ‘Her other arm held a shield by her side, the base rested on the floor but she was not leaning on it.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Instead of a heated iron, the upper part of the base supports a pierced basket for charcoal.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Lie sideways on the ball with your feet supported against the base of a wall.’
    • ‘If this has happened, gently firm around the base of the plant with the foot being careful not to damage any stems or leaves.’
    • ‘This figurine was designed as a candlestick, with the holder protruding from the base on either side.’
    • ‘Their water tanks were usually steel on stone bases, or sometimes supported on a trestle base made of rail.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He says the name of the mall was inspired by the locality of the site, which rests at the base of the Roodekrans Ridge.’
    • ‘With loaded candlesticks there is a possibility that marks have been ‘let in’ to the edge of the base.’
    • ‘A substantially vertical stand having a foot peg and sharpened base supports the frame.’
    • ‘It was still lying with crushed front forks at the base of the smaller tree.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘At its base rested a small, weathered plaque with a few words elegantly etched into the fine stone.’
    • ‘The bottom edges of the front and rear panels form a support base for the bowl.’
    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.
      ‘Axial loading from earthquakes is minimized by seismic dampers under the column bases.’
      • ‘Column bases, doorsteps, baseboards, and beams - even the interior roof tiles and gutters - all are decorated.’
      • ‘To prevent vandalism and damage, the bases of columns are clad in stainless steel.’
      • ‘The freestanding column shafts are wrapped in black glazed tiles and the bases have a mosaic finish.’
      • ‘Now, how can there be foundation structures such as pillar bases in the ground unless they had been put there to support a building?’
    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’
      • ‘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 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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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?’
      • ‘The length of the base of the rhombus is the length of one of its sides, here shown with 'b'.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Draw 3 times smaller unilateral triangles, with their bases in the middle of each line of the first triangle.’
    4. 1.4Surveying A known line used as a geometrical base for trigonometry.
      ‘All of the angles and at least one side (the base) of the triangulation system are measured.’
      • ‘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.’
    5. 1.5Heraldry The lowest part of a shield.
      ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
  • 2A conceptual structure or entity on which something draws or depends.

    ‘the town's economic base collapsed’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Felsenstein et al. 1999 compare the conceptual bases of these approaches.’
    • ‘And so there are three bases for friendships, depending on which of these qualities binds friends together.’
    • ‘We want to explore and expand the conceptual bases for industrial design.’
    • ‘The experiences since the mid-1980s provide a rich base of evidence to draw on as a springboard for ongoing debate.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Whatever be its conceptual base, what does the duty of reasonable care and skill of a bank encompass?’
    • ‘Working with a variety of pantheons gives you a wider base to draw on when you need help or guidance.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘People are motivated to have children by the need for an economic base.’
    • ‘The possibilities open to any society are constrained by the economic base.’
    • ‘This glimmer of hope is welcome indeed for York as Thrall has been an important part of York's broad economic base.’
    • ‘She has a long-standing interest in the social structural bases of economic activity.’
    • ‘This gives them a broad base of skills and experience when they complete their training.’
    • ‘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.’
    1. 2.1A foundation or starting point for further work.
      ‘she uses existing data as the base for the study’
      • ‘That which was, is the foundation for what is now, which becomes the base for what is to come.’
      • ‘It started with the Native Americans who set the base for all the development.’
      • ‘It also provides a new base for vital research and study of the disease carried out by the University of Sheffield.’
      • ‘It will guarantee a solid base for those students continuing to advanced studies.’
      • ‘And whilst all the talk may have been of forwards, the base for victory was built further down the Newbridge turf.’
      • ‘Hong Kong University law professor Albert Chen said the decision was a good base for political reform discussions.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Since the book is intended to provide the reader a base for further study, the absence of citations is somewhat disturbing.’
      • ‘Since Lisbon Strategy is a topics which has not been given much attention in Croatia, the published articles represent the base for further research.’
      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’
      • ‘There is likely to be an existing customer base for the new product and therefore the risks are lower.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘That approach will be helpful to maintain sales balance, customer base and market share and performance.’
      • ‘Only by whipping up fear and loathing of trade unions among the business community will these organizations get their client base.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Now the company's second act depends on how fast Micromarketing can diversify its client base.’
      • ‘These initial supporters will be the base upon which you build the rest of your list.’
      • ‘The base, not even Dean supporters, but the base of the party turned on them like wolverines.’
      • ‘Political instability has resulted from the inability of leaders to gain support outside their regional bases.’
      • ‘While this robs National of issues, it is making the party increasingly unpalatable to parts of its support base.’
      • ‘Both parties rest on ever more narrow bases of popular support, and function openly as instruments of the financial aristocracy.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘There is considerable overlap between the supporter base of both teams; picking out the away fans was an impossible task.’
      • ‘And, how do we reformat and re-purpose output to encompass the rest of the user base?’
      • ‘Both parties rest on narrow social bases and none of their candidates have substantial popular support.’
      • ‘Of course, the Bibster system itself will continue its work. but this depends on the user base keeping it going.’
  • 3A place used as a centre of operations by the armed forces or others; a headquarters.

    ‘he headed back to base’
    • ‘Living on a Marine base on the edge of restive Ramadi is a shock to a civilian's senses.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The firm has outgrown its base on Stricklandgate and needs extra space in order to expand and create more jobs.’
    • ‘Unique geological, glaciological, and meteorological studies continue there from purpose-built bases around the edge of Antarctica or at the South Pole.’
    • ‘During World War II, Utah's population increased as the government developed military bases and supported wartime industries.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘From there he was employed by Mero Space Frame, a German firm with a British base.’
    • ‘The interior of the stronghold was as utilitarian as the rest of the base, made of white stone with no attempt at ornamentation.’
    • ‘He had an office that connected to the rest of the base through a short tube.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘When they were far enough away from the base, they all rested and sat down.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘We were eager to get out of there, and to the new base near the front lines.’
    • ‘Troops frequently spot suspicious figures just outside the base.’
    • ‘A railroad line was constructed from the base to the front lines at Petersburg.’
    • ‘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.’
    headquarters, centre, starting point, camp, site, station, settlement, post
    View synonyms
    1. 3.1The 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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Installing ourselves in Gunn's Village, which was to be our base for the next three weeks, we made some less welcome acquaintances.’
      • ‘Taking the Sighting scene as his base, Gericault went on to expand his composition unit by unit.’
      • ‘From 1608, when he returned there from Italy as his mother lay dying, Rubens made Antwerp his base.’
  • 4A main or important element or ingredient to which other things are added.

    ‘soaps with a vegetable oil base’
    • ‘There is a firm called Kuze, based in Ikebukuro, Tokyo, specializing in sauces and soup bases.’
    • ‘Syrups are made with a base of sugar syrup, honey or perhaps maple syrup.’
    • ‘It has the Dr Pepper flavors as a base with berries thrown into the mix.’
    • ‘The cast iron pan and drippings make for the base of a tremendous sauce.’
    • ‘This pea-flavoured stock will be the base for the soup.’
    • ‘With its distinctive dry taste, Tequila is the base for marvellous drinks, not the least of which is the Margarita.’
    • ‘The sweetness in milk or an ice cream base allows coffee flavors to come through.’
    • ‘Sweetened ricotta base with apple and cherry pie filling, cookie dough and more sweet stuff.’
    • ‘Then you add another whole chicken to the soup and use the soup base as your water.’
    • ‘Make crumb base by rubbing biscuits and butter together.’
    • ‘For the coconut soup base: In a pot, combine ingredients and bring to a simmer.’
    • ‘It is safe and cost-effective compared to other drugs as its base is neem oil, which is available in plenty in India.’
    • ‘The appetizer was a small plate of radish pieces served in a sauce that tastes similar to the creamy vegetable soup base.’
    • ‘The soup base is a Western tomato soup, while the beef slice and beef stomach is stewed in a traditional Chinese sauce.’
    • ‘Brooks explains the smoothies are composed of yogurt base and a water/pectin solution.’
    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.
      ‘Whether you choose water or solvent base, your next choice is going to be liquid or semi-paste.’
      • ‘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.’
    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.’
      • ‘To make eye colours ‘pop,’ use a light or neutral concealer as your eye makeup base.’
      • ‘You can reshape your brows this way: Cover the brows with an opaque makeup base.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
  • 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

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

    ‘Transistors are composed of three parts - a base, a collector, and an emitter.’
    • ‘The presence of this P + layer results in pinch-off between itself and the bipolar base.’
    • ‘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.

    ‘The children had to say the base of a suffixed word pronounced by the experimenter.’
    • ‘According to Crystal, a prefixation is “an affix is placed before the base of the word” (1997, p. 90).’
    • ‘The Greek Xu-w, which etymologists justly connect with our loose, loosen, may possibly be the base of the word.’
    1. 7.1The uninflected form of a verb.
      ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The verb base is what you look up in the dictionary when you want to know how to say something.’
  • 8Mathematics
    A number used as the basis of a numeration scale.

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

    See also first base

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


[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’
    • ‘This defines the foundation our society is based on: equal rights, freedom and peace.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Although he based his films on Kannada novels, the novelists complained that their stories had been altered.’
    • ‘The last thing the humans needed was a major leak of information that could potentially destroy the very foundation their resistance was based on.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘When it came to a philosophy of politics and ethics, again Archytas based his ideas on mathematical foundations.’
    • ‘Cooper based this conclusion on the fact that since 1892 the operation had been depositing materials, which sank to the river bottom.’
    • ‘A group of scientists favoring nuclear power accuses Kennedy of basing her conclusions on fear, not science.’
    • ‘I have no idea what the evidence is that they may be basing their conclusion 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.’
    • ‘Rosenstiel bases his conclusion on reasoning very different than ours.’
    • ‘Rutenberg bases his conclusion on numbers provided by Nielsen Media Research.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Last year, for example, the government based its conclusions on the general level of pesticides in all fresh peas from only 27 samples.’
    • ‘Dershwitz based his conclusion on witnesses who said Reid had slurred speech and difficulty holding up his head at the start of the interview.’
    • ‘Unfortunately, they base their conclusions on a survey from a print-on-demand publisher.’
    • ‘I've read poor reviews here, and elsewhere, about the conductor, so I base my conclusions on that…!’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Some of the articles included discuss the novel that the film has been based on, which is often used in Japanese classrooms.’
    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’
    • ‘All operations are home based and will require just a couple of hours of your time.’
    • ‘In recent weeks, the flights have been stopping at Larnaca in Cyprus where BA is basing its crews operating to the Middle East.’
    • ‘As a result, both are now basing themselves at the Endurance Performance Centre at St Mary's University, Twickenham.’
    • ‘The consultants have also been approached by a cosmetic surgery company which is interested in basing itself at the hospital.’
    • ‘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 was in Boston, and then we ended up all moving here to New York and basing ourselves here.’
    • ‘And when the exams are out the way, she intends to go full time, basing herself abroad.’
    • ‘The choice in Jura is limited, so you may be better off basing yourself on Islay and visiting just for the day.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘It is thought he too does not count as an overseas player as he has been based in England for some time.’
    • ‘Both are based in Harpurhey and the area has been the inspiration for much of their work.’
    • ‘Galbraith was confused by the blank help and asked where the man he was talking to was based.’
    • ‘I will be based near a few of the training camps and hope to see what the England boys are doing.’
    • ‘He is based in Devizes half of the week and the rest of the time in West Gloucestershire.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I ask where they are based and nine times out of ten they are in a country many miles away.’
    locate, station, situate, post, position, place, install, deploy, site, establish, garrison
    View synonyms


    off base
    • Mistaken.

      • ‘the boy is way 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 thought your editing was off base, by the way, as are most of your long-winded comments on this site.’
      • ‘Let me ask you something that, perhaps, is a little off base.’
      • ‘Sometimes he makes sense, sometimes he seems wildly 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?’
      • ‘If Mr. Zakaria's diagnosis is off base, his remedy is incomprehensible.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I don't imagine that these complaints are too far off base.’
      • ‘I think he's an idealist, which is good, but I think he's way off base here.’
    touch base
    • Briefly make or renew contact with someone.

      • ‘they are travelling back to Star City, where they plan to touch base with relatives’
      • ‘That is calling people, touching base with contacts.’
      • ‘If you aren't hunting for new sources of supply, you may use the opportunity to touch base and renew relationships.’
      • ‘I finally got sick of wondering what she was up to, and touched base, and we are now in regular, close contact.’
      • ‘You touch base with acquaintances or business contacts you wouldn't otherwise contact.’
      • ‘Just want to touch base if anyone wants to contact me and have a chat about the year.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘This partnership basically helps in leveraging resources and touching base with communities faster.’
      • ‘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).’
      • ‘Among those Roussel touched base with were Helen Thomas, Chris Wallace and his boss from the Ford White House days, Donald Rumsfeld.’
      • ‘A lot of them had not touched base with their loved ones, with their spouses, with their parents, with their children, and their friends.’


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

Main meanings of base in English

: base1base2


Pronunciation /beɪs/

See synonyms for base

Translate base into Spanish


  • 1Without moral principles; ignoble.

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

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

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


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’.