Definition of “basic” - English Dictionary

“basic” in British English

See all translations


uk /ˈbeɪ.sɪk/ us /ˈbeɪ.sɪk/

B1 simple and not complicated, so able to provide the base or starting point from which something can develop:

I really need to get some basic financial advice.
He only has a basic command of English (= he only knows the most important and simple words and expressions).
The basic (= most important) problem is that they don't talk to each other enough.
It's the most basic model (= it only has the most simple features).
The crisis has led to price rises in basic foodstuffs, such as meat, cheese, and sugar.

slang disapproving boring and not unusual or surprising in any way:

All the music they like is so basic.
basic pay, salary, wage, etc. UK US usually base pay, salary, wage, etc.

what a person earns before other amounts of money, such as payments for working extra hours, are added:

She earns a basic salary of £450K per annum.

More examples

  • They lack basic foodstuffs, such as bread and milk.
  • The course gives you basic instruction in car maintenance.
  • She's teaching me some basic dance steps.
  • Twice a week the children are tested in basic mathematical skills such as addition and subtraction.
  • The basic facts of the story are starting to emerge though the details are still unclear.

BASICnoun [ U ]

uk /ˈbeɪ.sɪk/ us /ˈbeɪ.sɪk/

(Definition of “basic” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

“basic” in American English

See all translations


us /ˈbeɪ·sɪk/

most important or central to something:

In physics we study basic principles of force and motion.
We help with basic needs like food and shelter.
adverb [ not gradable ] us /ˈbeɪ·sɪk·li/

The two cars are basically the same.

(Definition of “basic” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

“BASIC” in Business English

See all translations

BASICnoun [ U ]

uk /ˈbeɪsɪk/ us IT

abbreviation for Beginner's all-Purpose Symbolic Instruction Code: a simple language for writing computer programs

(Definition of “BASIC” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)