Base metal
Base Base (b[=a]s), a. [OE. bass, F. bas, low, fr. LL. bassus thick, fat, short, humble; cf. L. Bassus, a proper name, and W. bas shallow. Cf. {Bass} a part in music.] 1. Of little, or less than the usual, height; of low growth; as, base shrubs. [Archaic] --Shak. [1913 Webster]

2. Low in place or position. [Obs.] --Shak. [1913 Webster]

3. Of humble birth; or low degree; lowly; mean. [Archaic] ``A peasant and base swain.'' --Bacon. [1913 Webster]

4. Illegitimate by birth; bastard. [Archaic] [1913 Webster]

Why bastard? wherefore base? --Shak. [1913 Webster]

5. Of little comparative value, as metal inferior to gold and silver, the precious metals. [1913 Webster]

6. Alloyed with inferior metal; debased; as, base coin; base bullion. [1913 Webster]

7. Morally low. Hence: Low-minded; unworthy; without dignity of sentiment; ignoble; mean; illiberal; menial; as, a base fellow; base motives; base occupations. ``A cruel act of a base and a cowardish mind.'' --Robynson (More's Utopia). ``Base ingratitude.'' --Milton. [1913 Webster]

8. Not classical or correct. ``Base Latin.'' --Fuller. [1913 Webster]

9. Deep or grave in sound; as, the base tone of a violin. [In this sense, commonly written {bass.}] [1913 Webster]

10. (Law) Not held by honorable service; as, a base estate, one held by services not honorable; held by villenage. Such a tenure is called base, or low, and the tenant, a base tenant. [1913 Webster]

{Base fee}, formerly, an estate held at the will of the lord; now, a qualified fee. See note under {Fee}, n., 4.

{Base metal}. See under {Metal}. [1913 Webster]

Syn: Dishonorable; worthless; ignoble; low-minded; infamous; sordid; degraded.

Usage: {Base}, {Vile}, {Mean}. These words, as expressing moral qualities, are here arranged in the order of their strength, the strongest being placed first. Base marks a high degree of moral turpitude; vile and mean denote, in different degrees, the lack of what is valuable or worthy of esteem. What is base excites our abhorrence; what is vile provokes our disgust or indignation; what is mean awakens contempt. Base is opposed to high-minded; vile, to noble; mean, to liberal or generous. Ingratitude is base; sycophancy is vile; undue compliances are mean. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Base metal — Metal Met al (? or ?; 277), n. [F. m[ e]tal, L. metallum metal, mine, Gr. ? mine; cf. Gr. ? to search after. Cf. {Mettle}, {Medal}.] 1. (Chem.) An elementary substance, as sodium, calcium, or copper, whose oxide or hydroxide has basic rather than …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • base metal — base metals N VAR A base metal is a metal such as copper, zinc, tin, or lead that is not a precious metal. Ant: precious metal …   English dictionary

  • base metal — noun count a metal that is not worth a lot of money, for example iron ─ compare PRECIOUS METAL …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • base metal — n [U and C] a metal that is not very valuable, such as iron or lead …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • base metal — ► NOUN ▪ a common non precious metal such as copper, tin, or zinc …   English terms dictionary

  • Base metal — Base metal. См. Основной металл. (Источник: «Металлы и сплавы. Справочник.» Под редакцией Ю.П. Солнцева; НПО Профессионал , НПО Мир и семья ; Санкт Петербург, 2003 г.) …   Словарь металлургических терминов

  • Base metal — In chemistry, the term base metal is used informally to refer to a metal that oxidizes or corrodes relatively easily, and reacts variably with diluted hydrochloric acid (HCl) to form hydrogen. Examples include iron, nickel, lead and zinc. Copper… …   Wikipedia

  • base metal — noun a metal that is common and not considered precious lead, iron, copper, tin, and zinc are base metals • Hypernyms: ↑metallic element, ↑metal * * * ˌbase ˈmetal [base metal base metals] …   Useful english dictionary

  • base metal — UK / US noun [countable] Word forms base metal : singular base metal plural base metals a metal that is not worth a lot of money, for example iron • See: precious metal …   English dictionary

  • base metal — netaurusis metalas statusas T sritis fizika atitikmenys: angl. base metal vok. Nichtedelmetall, n; unedles Metall, n rus. неблагородный металл, m pranc. métal bas, m; métal pauvre, m; métal vil, m …   Fizikos terminų žodynas

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