Webster's Dictionary, 1913

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Bas-relief noun [ French bas- relief ; bas low + relief raised work, relever to raise: confer Italian bassorilievo .] Low relief; sculpture, the figures of which project less than half of their true proportions; -- called also bass-relief and basso-rilievo . See Alto- rilievo .

Basque (bȧsk) adjective [ French] Pertaining to Biscay, its people, or their language.

Basque (bȧsk) noun [ French]
1. One of a race, of unknown origin, inhabiting a region on the Bay of Biscay in Spain and France.

2. The language spoken by the Basque people.

3. A part of a lady's dress, resembling a jacket with a short skirt; -- probably so called because this fashion of dress came from the Basques .

Basquish adjective [ French Basque Biscayan: confer German Baskisch .] Pertaining to the country, people, or language of Biscay; Basque [ Obsolete] Sir T. Browne.

Bass (bȧs) noun ; plural Bass , and sometimes Basses (- ĕz). [ A corruption of barse .] (Zoology)
1. An edible, spiny-finned fish, esp. of the genera Roccus , Labrax , and related genera. There are many species.

» The common European bass is Labrax lupus . American species are: the striped bass ( Roccus lineatus ); white or silver bass of the lakes ( R. chrysops ); brass or yellow bass ( R. interruptus ).

2. The two American fresh-water species of black bass (genus Micropterus ). See Black bass .

3. Species of Serranus , the sea bass and rock bass. See Sea bass .

4. The southern, red, or channel bass ( Sciæna ocellata ). See Redfish .

» The name is also applied to many other fishes. See Calico bass , under Calico .

Bass noun [ A corruption of bast .]
1. (Botany) The linden or lime tree, sometimes wrongly called whitewood ; also, its bark, which is used for making mats. See Bast .

2. (Pron. ...) A hassock or thick mat.

Bass noun [ French basse , from bas low. See Base , adjective ]


1. A bass, or deep, sound or tone.

2. (Mus.) (a) The lowest part in a musical composition. (b) One who sings, or the instrument which plays, bass. [ Written also base .]

Thorough bass . See Thorough bass .

Bass adjective Deep or grave in tone.

Bass clef (Mus.) , the character placed at the beginning of the staff containing the bass part of a musical composition. [ See Illust. under Clef .] -- Bass voice , a deep-sounding voice; a voice fitted for singing bass.

Bass transitive verb To sound in a deep tone. [ R.] Shak.

Bass drum (Mus.) The largest of the different kinds of drums, having two heads, and emitting a deep, grave sound. See Bass , adjective

Bass horn (Mus.) A modification of the bassoon, much deeper in tone.

Bass viol (Mus.) A stringed instrument of the viol family, used for playing bass. See 3d Bass , noun , and Violoncello .

Bass-relief noun Same as Bas- relief .

Bassa, Bassaw noun See Bashaw .

Basset (băs"sĕt or băs*sĕt") noun [ French bassette , from Italian bassetta . Confer Basso .] A game at cards, resembling the modern faro, said to have been invented at Venice.

Some dress, some dance, some play, not to forget
Your piquet parties, and your dear basset .
Rowe.

Basset (băs"sĕt) adjective [ Confer Old French basset somewhat low, dim. of bas low.] (Geol.) Inclined upward; as, the basset edge of strata. Lyell.

Basset noun (Geol.) The edge of a geological stratum at the surface of the ground; the outcrop.

Basset intransitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Basseted ; present participle & verbal noun Basseting .] (Geol.) To incline upward so as to appear at the surface; to crop out; as, a vein of coal bassets .

Basset horn (hôrn`). [ See Basset , adjective ] (Mus.) An instrument blown with a reed, and resembling a clarinet, but of much greater compass, embracing nearly four octaves.

Basset horn (Mus.) The corno di bassetto.

Basset hound [ French basset .] (Zoology) A small kind of hound with a long body and short legs, used as an earth dog.

Basseting noun The upward direction of a vein in a mine; the emergence of a stratum at the surface.

Bassetto noun [ Italian , adj. , somewhat low; noun , counter tenor. See Basso .] (Mus.) A tenor or small bass viol.

Bassinet noun [ Confer French bassinet , dim. of bassin . See Basin , and confer Bascinet .]
1. A wicker basket, with a covering or hood over one end, in which young children are placed as in a cradle.

2. See Bascinet . Lord Lytton.

Basso noun [ Italian , from Late Latin bassus . See Base , adjective ] (Mus.) (a) The bass or lowest part; as, to sing basso . (b) One who sings the lowest part. (c) The double bass, or contrabasso .

Basso-rilievo, Basso-relievo noun [ Italian basso-rilievo .] Same as Bas- relief .

Bassock noun A hassock. See 2d Bass , 2.

Bassoon noun [ French basson , from basse bass; or perhaps from bas son low sound. See Bass a part in music. ] (Mus.) A wind instrument of the double reed kind, furnished with holes, which are stopped by the fingers, and by keys, as in flutes. It forms the natural bass to the oboe, clarinet, etc.

» Its compass comprehends three octaves. For convenience of carriage it is divided into two parts; whence it is also called a fagot .

Bassoonist noun A performer on the bassoon. Busby.

Bassorin noun [ Confer French bassorine .] (Chemistry) A constituent part of a species of gum from Bassora , as also of gum tragacanth and some gum resins. It is one of the amyloses. Ure.

Basswood noun (Botany) The bass ( Tilia ) or its wood; especially, T. Americana . See Bass , the lime tree.

All the bowls were made of basswood ,
White and polished very smoothly.
Longfellow.

Bast noun [ Anglo-Saxon bæst ; akin to Icelandic , Swedish , Dan., D., & German bast , of unknown origin. Confer Bass the tree.]
1. The inner fibrous bark of various plants; esp. of the lime tree; hence, matting, cordage, etc., made therefrom.

2. A thick mat or hassock. See 2d Bass , 2.

Basta interj. [ Italian ] Enough; stop. Shak.

Bastard noun [ Old French bastard , bastart , French b...tard , probably from Old French bast , French b...t , a packsaddle used as a bed by the muleteers (fr. Late Latin bastum ) + -ard . Old French fils de bast son of the packsaddle; as the muleteers were accustomed to use their saddles for beds in the inns. See Cervantes, "Don Quixote," chap. 16; and confer German bankert , from bank bench.]
1. A "natural" child; a child begotten and born out of wedlock; an illegitimate child; one born of an illicit union.

» By the civil and canon laws, and by the laws of many of the United States, a bastard becomes a legitimate child by the intermarriage of the parents at any subsequent time. But by those of England, and of some states of the United States, a child, to be legitimate, must at least be born after the lawful marriage. Kent. Blackstone.

2. (Sugar Refining) (a) An inferior quality of soft brown sugar, obtained from the sirups that have already had several boilings. (b) A large size of mold, in which sugar is drained.

3. A sweet Spanish wine like muscadel in flavor.

Brown bastard is your only drink.
Shak.

4. A writing paper of a particular size. See Paper .

Bastard adjective
1. Begotten and born out of lawful matrimony; illegitimate. See Bastard , noun , note.

2. Lacking in genuineness; spurious; false; adulterate; -- applied to things which resemble those which are genuine, but are really not so.

That bastard self-love which is so vicious in itself, and productive of so many vices.
Barrow.

3. Of an unusual make or proportion; as, a bastard musket; a bastard culverin. [ Obsolete]

4. (Print.) Abbreviated, as the half title in a page preceding the full title page of a book.

Bastard ashlar (Architecture) , stones for ashlar work, roughly squared at the quarry. -- Bastard file , a file intermediate between the coarsest and the second cut. -- Bastard type (Print.) , type having the face of a larger or a smaller size than the body; e. g. , a nonpareil face on a brevier body. -- Bastard wing (Zoology) , three to five quill feathers on a small joint corresponding to the thumb in some mammalia; the alula.

Bastard transitive verb To bastardize. [ Obsolete] Bacon.

Bastardism noun The state of being a bastard; bastardy.

Bastardize transitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Bastardized ; present participle & verbal noun Bastardizing .]
1. To make or prove to be a bastard; to stigmatize as a bastard; to declare or decide legally to be illegitimate.

The law is so indulgent as not to bastardize the child, if born, though not begotten, in lawful wedlock.
Blackstone.

2. To beget out of wedlock. [ R.] Shak.

Bastardly adjective Bastardlike; baseborn; spurious; corrupt. [ Obsolete] -- adverb In the manner of a bastard; spuriously. [ Obsolete] Shak. Donne.

Bastardy noun
1. The state of being a bastard; illegitimacy.

2. The procreation of a bastard child. Wharton.

Baste (bāst) transitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Basted ; present participle & verbal noun Basting .] [ Confer Icelandic beysta to strike, powder; Swedish basa to beat with a rod: perhaps akin to English beat .]
1. To beat with a stick; to cudgel.

One man was basted by the keeper for carrying some people over on his back through the waters.
Pepys.

2. (Cookery) To sprinkle flour and salt and drip butter or fat on, as on meat in roasting.

3. To mark with tar, as sheep. [ Prov. Eng.]

Baste transitive verb [ Middle English basten , Old French bastir , French b...tir , probably from Old High German bestan to sew, Middle High German besten to bind, from Old High German bast bast. See Bast .] To sew loosely, or with long stitches; -- usually, that the work may be held in position until sewed more firmly. Shak.

Bastile, Bastille (bȧs*tēl" or bȧs"tel; 277) noun [ French bastille fortress, Old French bastir to build, French bâtir .]


1. (Feud. Fort.) A tower or an elevated work, used for the defense, or in the siege, of a fortified place.

The high bastiles . . . which overtopped the walls.
Holland.

2. "The Bastille", formerly a castle or fortress in Paris, used as a prison, especially for political offenders; hence, a rhetorical name for a prison.

Bastinade noun See Bastinado , noun

Bastinade transitive verb To bastinado. [ Archaic]

Bastinado noun ; plural Bastinadoes [ Spanish bastonada (cf. French bastonnade ), from baston (cf. French bâton ) a stick or staff. See Baston .]


1. A blow with a stick or cudgel.

2. A sound beating with a stick or cudgel. Specifically: A form of punishment among the Turks, Chinese, and others, consisting in beating an offender on the soles of his feet.

Bastinado transitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Bastinadoed ; present participle & verbal noun Bastinadoing .] To beat with a stick or cudgel, especially on the soles of the feet.

Bastion (băs"chŭn; 106) noun [ French bastion (cf. Italian bastione ), from Late Latin bastire to build (cf. French bâtir , Italian bastire ), perhaps from the idea of support for a weight, and akin to Greek basta`zein to lift, carry, and to English baston , baton .] (Fort.) A work projecting outward from the main inclosure of a fortification, consisting of two faces and two flanks, and so constructed that it is able to defend by a flanking fire the adjacent curtain, or wall which extends from one bastion to another. Two adjacent bastions are connected by the curtain , which joins the flank of one with the adjacent flank of the other. The distance between the flanks of a bastion is called the gorge . A lunette is a detached bastion. See Ravelin .

Bastioned adjective Furnished with a bastion; having bastions.

Basto (bȧs"to) noun [ Spanish ] The ace of clubs in quadrille and omber. Pope.