American English

Definition of base noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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    lowest part
  1. 1[countable, usually singular] the lowest part of something, especially the part or surface on which it rests or stands the base of a column/glass a pain at the base of the spine The lamp has a heavy base. Thesaurusbottombase foundation footThese are all words for the lowest part of something.bottom [usually sing.] the lowest part of something:Footnotes are given at the bottom of each page. I waited for them at the bottom of the hill.base [usually sing.] the lowest part of something, especially the part or surface on which it rests or stands:The lamp has a heavy [usually pl.] a layer of bricks, concrete, etc. that forms the solid underground base of a building:to lay the foundations of the new schoolfoot [sing.] the lowest part of something:She waited for him at the foot of the stairs.bottom or foot?Foot is used to talk about a limited number of things: it is used most often with tree, hill/mountain, steps/stairs, and page. Bottom can be used to talk about a much wider range of things, including those mentioned above for foot.Patterns at/near/toward the bottom/base/foot of something on the bottom/base of something (a) firm/solid/strong base/foundation(s)
  2. original idea/situation
  3. 2[countable] an idea, a fact, a situation, etc. from which something is developed synonym basis She used her family's history as a base for her novel. His arguments have a sound economic base. Thesaurusbasisfoundation groundwork baseThese are all words for the ideas, facts, or work that something is based on.basis [usually sing.] a principle, an idea, or a fact that supports something and that it can develop from:This article will form the basis for our [C, U] a principle, an idea, or a fact that supports something and that it develops from:Respect and friendship provide a solid foundation for marriage. The rumor is totally without foundation (= is not based on any facts).basis or foundation?Foundation is often used to talk about larger or more important things than basis:He laid the foundations of Japan's modern economy. These figures formed the basis of their claim for compensation.groundwork [U] work that is done as preparation for other work that will be done later:Her study laid the groundwork for my research.base [usually sing.] an idea, a fact, or a situation from which something is developed:This work provided us with a strong base upon which to build the company.Patterns a/the basis/foundation/groundwork/base for something a secure/solid/sound/strong/weak basis/foundation/base to form the basis/foundation/base of something to lay the foundation/groundwork for something to be without basis/foundation
  4. of support/income/power
  5. 3[countable, usually singular] the people, activity, etc. from which someone or something gets most of their support, income, power, etc. These policies have a broad base of support. an economy with a solid manufacturing base By broadening the tax base (= increasing the number of people who pay taxes) he could raise more revenue. see also customer base, power base
  6. 4base pay/salary/wage the pay that you get before anything extra is added All we got was base pay—we didn't reach profitability levels to earn a bonus.
  7. first/main substance
  8. 5[countable, usually singular] the first or main part of a substance to which other things are added a drink with a rum base Put some moisturizer on as a base before applying your makeup.
  9. main place
  10. 6[countable] the main place where you live or stay or where a business operates from I spend a lot of time in Los Angeles, but Paris is still my base. The town is an ideal base for touring the area. You can use our apartment as a base in New York. The company has its base in New York, and branch offices all over the world.
  11. of army, navy, etc.
  12. 7[countable, uncountable] a place where an army, a navy, etc. operates from a military/naval base an air base After the attack, they returned to base.
  13. chemistry
  14. 8[countable] a chemical substance, for example an alkali, that can combine with an acid to form a salt
  15. mathematics
  16. 9[countable, usually singular] a number on which a system of counting and expressing numbers is built up, for example 10 in the decimal system and 2 in the binary system
  17. in baseball
  18. 10[countable] one of the four positions that a player must reach in order to score points see also database
  19. Idioms
    cover all the bases
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    to consider and deal with all the things that could happen or could be needed when you are arranging something I am confident this contract covers all the bases.
    not get to first base (with something/somebody) (informal)
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    to fail to make a successful start in a project, relationship, etc.; to fail to get through the first stage
    off base (informal)
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    completely wrong about something If that's what you think, you're way off base.
    touch base (with somebody) (informal)
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    to make contact with someone again
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: base