Basis Definition

A foundation upon which something rests.
American Heritage
The base, foundation, or chief supporting factor of anything.
Webster's New World
The chief constituent; the fundamental ingredient.
The basis for most liquids is water.
American Heritage
The principal constituent of anything.
Webster's New World
The fundamental principle.
American Heritage
A set of independent vectors whose linear combinations define a vector space, such as a reference frame used to establish a coordinate system.
American Heritage Science
In the futures market, the difference between the cash and futures prices. For instance, if cash prices for cotton typically are 5 cents below the July futures price, the November basis is said to be “5 cents under.” Separately, basis also is used to calculate the amount of capital gains tax that is due on the sale of an investment or asset. The basis is calculated by taking the purchase price and subtracting any commissions or expenses.
Webster's New World Finance
The value of a taxpayer’s basis in an asset, after making additions or subtractions to his or her original basis, to reflect certain events, such as capital improvements and depreciation, that affect the value of the property subsequent to the taxpayer’s acquisition of or investment in the asset.
Webster's New World Law
The basis of an asset transferred from one owner to another by gift or in trust at the time of the transfer.
Webster's New World Law
Webster's New World Law

Other Word Forms of Basis



Origin of Basis

  • Middle English from Latin from Greek gwā- in Indo-European roots

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • From Latin basis, from Ancient Greek βάσις (basis).

    From Wiktionary


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