Bascule bridge, a counterpoise or balanced drawbridge, which is opened by sinking the counterpoise and thus lifting the footway into the air.

(Base) 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.

2. Low in place or position. [Obs.] Shak.

3. Of humble birth; or low degree; lowly; mean. [Archaic] "A peasant and base swain." Bacon.

4. Illegitimate by birth; bastard. [Archaic]

Why bastard? wherefore base?

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

6. Alloyed with inferior metal; debased; as, base coin; base bullion.

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.

8. Not classical or correct. "Base Latin." Fuller.

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

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.

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.

(Ba*salt"ic) a. [Cf. F. basaltique.] Pertaining to basalt; formed of, or containing, basalt; as basaltic lava.

(Ba*salt"i*form) a. [Basalt + -form.] In the form of basalt; columnar.

(Ba*salt"oid) a. [Basalt + - oid.] Formed like basalt; basaltiform.

(Bas"an) n. Same as Basil, a sheepskin.

(Bas"a*nite) n. [L. basanites lapis, Gr. ba`sanos the touchstone: cf. F. basanite.] (Min.) Lydian stone, or black jasper, a variety of siliceous or flinty slate, of a grayish or bluish black color. It is employed to test the purity of gold, the amount of alloy being indicated by the color left on the stone when rubbed by the metal.

(||Bas`bleu") n. [F., fr. bas stocking + bleu blue.] A bluestocking; a literary woman. [Somewhat derisive]

(Bas"ci*net) n. [OE. bacinet, basnet, OF. bassinet, bacinet, F. bassinet, dim. of OF. bacin, F. bassin, a helmet in the form of a basin.] A light helmet, at first open, but later made with a visor. [Written also basinet, bassinet, basnet.]

(Bas"cule) n. [F., a seesaw.] In mechanics, an apparatus on the principle of the seesaw, in which one end rises as the other falls.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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