Definition of base adjective from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



BrE BrE//beɪs//
; NAmE NAmE//beɪs//
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(baser, basest) (formal) not having moral principles or rules He acted from base motives. See related entries: Immoral Word Originadjective late Middle English: from Old French bas, from medieval Latin bassus ‘short’ (found in classical Latin as a type of nickname). Early senses included ‘low, short’ and ‘of inferior quality’; from the latter arose a sense ‘low in the social scale’, and hence (mid 16th cent.) ‘reprehensibly cowardly, selfish, or mean’.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: base