base

Definitions

General English

General Science

  • noun the main ingredient of something such as a paint or an ointment
  • noun a number that is taken as the basis of a system of calculation, representing the number of units in the system
  • noun a class from which other classes can be derived by inheritance

Accounting

  • noun a place where a company has its main office or factory, or a place where a business person’s office is located

Banking

  • adjective lowest or first, and used for calculating others
  • verb to set up a company or a person in a place

Cars & Driving

  • noun the lowest supporting part of a usually upright member, or bottom layer or coating in a paint system

Computing

  • noun a collection of files used as a reference.
  • noun an initial or original position
  • verb to start to calculate something from a position

Construction

  • The lowest part of anything upon which the whole rests.
  • A subfloor slab or "working mat," either previously placed and hardened or freshly placed, on which floor topping is placed.
  • The underlying stratum on which a concrete slab, such as pavement, is placed.
  • A board or molding used against the bottom of walls to cover their joint with the floor and to protect them from kicks and scuffs.
  • The protection covering the unfinished edge of plaster or gypsum board.
  • The lowest visible part of a building.

Electronics

  • The foundation of something, or the material that composes said foundation. For instance, silicon serving as a base material in semiconductor manufacturing, or acetate film used as a base for magnetic recording tape.
  • In a bipolar junction transistor, the region between the emitter and the collector, into which the emitter injects minority carriers. Also, the electrode attached to this region. Its symbol is B. Also called base region, base electrode, or base element.
  • A starting point or basis, such as a base address.
  • A reference parameter, such as time based on atomic frequencies.
  • A chemical which does any of the following: that increases the proportion of hydroxyl ions in a solution, that accepts a proton in solution, that can react with an acid to form a salt, or that donates two electrons. According to the pH scale, a base has a reading of greater than 7.0, while an acid has a value below 7.0. The higher the reading, the stronger the base.
  • In an electron tube, the insulated portion through which its connecting terminals protrude.
  • The number of digits used in a numbering system. For example, 2 in the binary system or 10 in the decimal system. The base also serves as the multiplier within its numbering system. In the decimal system, for instance, each single position movement to the right of a digit represents a division by 10, while a movement to the left is a multiplication by 10. This can be seen, for example, in the number 153, where the 1 is in the hundreds position, the 5 is the tens, and the 3 is the units. Also called base number, radix, or radix number.
  • A number which is raised by a power indicated by another number, called the exponent. For example, in 28, the 2 is the base, and the 8 is the exponent.
  • The number upon which a logarithm system is based. That is, the number which is raised to a power indicated by an exponent. For example, log10 1000 = 3, as 10, the base in this example, must be raised to the power of three to equal 1000. Logarithms may use any number as their base. common logarithms have a base of 10, and natural logarithms have a base equal to approximately 2.71828.
  • symbolB

Food

  • The chemical term for a substance which reacts with an acid to form a salt
  • The major component of a dish which is the main determinant of its properties as e.g. stock is the base of soups and sauces.

Media Studies

  • noun the actual number of individuals that were asked questions in a survey

Military

  • noun a secure location from which military operations can be conducted
  • noun a part on which an object rests
  • verb to use as a starting point for a calculation or development process

Publishing

  • noun a flat surface which supports something, such as the flat plate supporting film or the bottom plate used in letterpress printing
  • noun background colour

Real Estate

Slang

  • adjective unpleasant, disgusting, inferior. The standard term, as in ‘base behaviour’, was appropriated, perhaps via black street slang, by high-school and college students in the 1980s. It is popular among female speakers.
  • noun crack. The term is a shortening of freebase, a system of smoking purified cocaine which pre-dated the use of the more refined and potent crack. The word ‘base’ was in use among British users in 1989, together with many other nicknames.
  • verb to denigrate, criticise. A term from black street slang of the later 1990s used in the same way as diss.

Sports

  • noun in baseball, one of the four corners of the diamond-shaped infield that a batter must touch in order to score a run

Origin & History of “base”

there are two distinct words base in English. Base meaning ‘lower part, foundation’ (14th c.) came either via Old French base or was a direct anglicization of Latin basis (acquired by English in its unaltered form at around the same time). The Latin word in its turn came from Greek básis, which meant originally ‘step’ and came ultimately from the Indo-European base *gwm-, from which English gets come; the semantic progression involved was ‘going, stepping’ to ‘that on which one walks or stands’ to ‘pedestal’. The derivative basement (18th c.) is Italian in origin (Italian basamento means ‘base of a column’), but probably reached English via early modern Dutch basement ‘foundation’.

Base meaning ‘low’ (14th c.) comes via Old French bas from medieval Latin bassus ‘short, low’. The ultimate antecedents of this are uncertain, although some have suggested a connection with básson, the comparative form of Greek bathús ‘deep’. The adjective bass is historically the same word as base, but since the 16th century has been distinguished from it by spelling.
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