of, relating to, or forming a base; fundamental:
a basic principle; the basic ingredient.

pertaining to, of the nature of, or containing a base.
not having all of the hydroxyls of the base replaced by the acid group, or having the metal or its equivalent united partly to the acid group and partly to oxygen.

Metallurgy. noting, pertaining to, or made by a steelmaking process (basic process) in which the furnace or converter is lined with a basic or nonsiliceous material, mainly burned magnesite and a small amount of ground basic slag, to remove impurities from the steel.
Compare acid (def 9).
Geology. (of a rock) having relatively little silica.

basic training.
of lowest rank:
airman basic.


(especially of a female) characterized by predictable or unoriginal style, interests, or behavior:
those basic girls who follow trends.
(of things) boringly predictable or unoriginal:
His lyrics are just so basic.


basic training.
a soldier or airman receiving basic training.

Often, basics. something that is fundamental or basic; an essential ingredient, principle, procedure, etc.:
to learn the basics of music; to get back to basics.
Slang. a person, especially a female, who is boringly predictable or unoriginal.
a widely adopted programming language that uses English words, punctuation marks, and algebraic notation to facilitate communication between the operator or lay user and the computer.
Contemporary Examples

But most mornings or evenings will find me prepping dinner from basic ingredients.
Friday Forum: How often do you cook? Megan McArdle January 10, 2013

The truth is, you can live here and have a great time without offering more than the basic kindnesses.
The Second Life of San Miguel de Allende Michele Willens February 25, 2014

As someone who supports this basic agenda, I am heartened to see this maturation, and the shift in power that has come with it.
We’re Here, We’re Pro-Israel/Pro-Peace, We’re Used to It. Now What? Jay Michaelson September 29, 2013

basic plant matter to basic creatures until I was sitting on top of the earth.
Hallucinating Away a Heroin Addiction Abby Haglage May 3, 2014

The instructors then presented a basic introduction to the sensory evaluation of food.
Confessions of a Shrimp Sniffer Bill Mahan July 10, 2010

Historical Examples

The basic things expected by our people of their political and economic systems are simple.
State of the Union Addresses of Franklin D. Roosevelt Franklin D. Roosevelt

Make as much out of this as you will, but the basic fact is incontestible.
Blood and Iron John Hubert Greusel

I know you are anxious to be more helpful as we all are, but all we can do is get the basic facts.
Warren Commission (10 of 26): Hearings Vol. X (of 15) The President’s Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy

This is the basic reason why psychiatrists are in short supply.
A Practical Guide to Self-Hypnosis Melvin Powers

But in this process over a period of time during these four discussions he never deviated from his basic thesis?
Warren Commission (2 of 26): Hearings Vol. II (of 15) The President’s Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy

of, relating to, or forming a base or basis; fundamental; underlying
elementary or simple: a few basic facts
excluding additions or extras: basic pay

of, denoting, or containing a base; alkaline
(of a salt) containing hydroxyl or oxide groups not all of which have been replaced by an acid radical: basic lead carbonate, 2PbCO3.Pb(OH)2

(metallurgy) of, concerned with, or made by a process in which the furnace or converter is made of a basic material, such as magnesium oxide
(of such igneous rocks as basalt) containing between 52 and 45 per cent silica
(military) primary or initial: basic training
(usually pl) a fundamental principle, fact, etc
a computer programming language that uses common English terms

1832, originally in chemistry, from base (n.) + -ic.

computer language, 1964, initialism for Beginners’ All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code; invented by Hungarian-born U.S. computer scientist John G. Kemeny (1926-1992) and U.S. computer scientist Thomas E. Kurtz (b.1928).

basic ba·sic (bā’sĭk)

Of, being, or serving as a starting point or basis.

Producing, resulting from, or relating to a base.

Containing a base, especially in excess of acid.

Containing oxide or hydroxide anions.

A simple programming language developed in the 1960s that is widely taught to students as a first programming language.
Beginner’s All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code. A simple language originally designed for ease of programming by students and beginners. Many dialects exist, and BASIC is popular on microcomputers with sound and graphics support. Most micro versions are interactive and interpreted.
BASIC has become the leading cause of brain-damage in proto-hackers. This is another case (like Pascal) of the cascading lossage that happens when a language deliberately designed as an educational toy gets taken too seriously. A novice can write short BASIC programs (on the order of 10-20 lines) very easily; writing anything longer is painful and encourages bad habits that will make it harder to use more powerful languages. This wouldn’t be so bad if historical accidents hadn’t made BASIC so common on low-end micros. As it is, it ruins thousands of potential wizards a year.
Originally, all references to code, both GOTO and GOSUB (subroutine call) referred to the destination by its line number. This allowed for very simple editing in the days before text editors were considered essential. Just typing the line number deleted the line and to edit a line you just typed the new line with the same number. Programs were typically numbered in steps of ten to allow for insertions. Later versions, such as BASIC V, allow GOTO-less structured programming with named procedures and functions, IF-THEN-ELSE-ENDIF constructs and WHILE loops etc.
Early BASICs had no graphic operations except with graphic characters. In the 1970s BASIC interpreters became standard features in mainframes and minicomputers. Some versions included matrix operations as language primitives.
A public domain interpreter for a mixture of DEC’s MU-Basic and Microsoft Basic is here ( A yacc parser and interpreter were in the comp.sources.unix archives volume 2.
See also ANSI Minimal BASIC, bournebasic, bwBASIC, ubasic, Visual Basic.
[Jargon File]
Beginner’s All-Purpose Symbolic Instruction Code


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