Definition of base noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary




lowest part

1 [countable, usually singular] the lowest part of something, especially the part or surface on which it rests or standsthe base of a column/glassa pain at the base of the spineThe lamp has a heavy base.

original idea/situation

2 [countable] an idea, a fact, a situation, etc. from which something is developed synonym basisShe used her family's history as a base for her novel.His arguments have a sound economic base.

of support/income/power

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 economy with a solid manufacturing baseBy broadening the tax base (= increasing the number of people who pay taxes) he could raise more revenue. see also customer base, power base4 base pay/salary/wage the pay that you get before anything extra is addedAll we got was base pay—we didn't reach profitability levels to earn a bonus.

first/main substance

5 [countable, usually singular] the first or main part of a substance to which other things are addeda drink with a rum basePut some moisturizer on as a base before applying your makeup.

main place

6 [countable] the main place where you live or stay or where a business operates fromI 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.

of army, navy, etc.

7 [countable, uncountable] a place where an army, a navy, etc. operates froma military/naval basean air baseAfter the attack, they returned to base.


8 [countable] a chemical substance, for example an alkali, that can combine with an acid to form a salt


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

in baseball

10 [countable] one of the four positions that a player must reach in order to score points
see also databaseIDIOMS

cover all the bases

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.cover all the bases

not get to first base (with something/someone)

(informal) to fail to make a successful start in a project, relationship, etc.; to fail to get through the first stagenot get to first basenot get to first base with

off base

(informal) completely wrong about somethingIf that's what you think, you're way off base

touch base (with someone)

(informal) to make contact with someone againtouch basetouch base with
Usage noteUsage note: bottombase 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.patternsat/near/toward the bottom/base/foot of somethingon the bottom/base of something(a) firm/solid/strong base/foundation(s)Usage noteUsage note: basisfoundation 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.patternsa/the basis/foundation/groundwork/base for somethinga secure/solid/sound/strong/weak basis/foundation/baseto form the basis/foundation/base of somethingto lay the foundation/groundwork for somethingto be without basis/foundation