base2 /beɪs/


I. adjective

1. without moral principles; ignoble

the electorate’s baser instincts of greed and selfishness.
‹archaic› denoting or befitting a person of low social class.
3. (of coins or other articles) not made of precious metal.

the basest coins in the purse were made in the 620s AD.
II. derivatives

basely /ˈbeɪsli /

– origin late Middle English: from Old French bas, from medieval Latin bassus ‘short’ (found in classical Latin as a cognomen). 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’.

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