The term “basis” comes from the Greek word “basis,” which means “a stepping, base, or foundation.” This word is derived from the Greek verb “bainein,” meaning “to walk” or “to go.”

1. Proto-Indo-European (PIE)

The PIE root “*gwa-” means “to go, come.”

2. Greek

From the PIE root, the Greek word “basis” developed, meaning “a stepping, base, or foundation.” The verb “bainein” means “to walk” or “to go.”

3. Latin

The Greek term “basis” was adopted into Latin as “basis,” retaining the meaning of “foundation” or “base.”

4. Old French (c. 9th to 14th century CE)

The Latin term “basis” influenced Old French “base,” meaning “foundation” or “pedestal.”

5. Middle English (c. 11th to 15th century CE)

The Old French “base” was adopted into Middle English as “basis,” meaning “foundation” or “underlying support.”

6. Modern English (from 15th century CE to present)

The term “basis” evolved into its current form and pronunciation, retaining the meaning of “the underlying support or foundation for an idea, argument, or process.”

Phonetic Evolution

Over time, the pronunciation of “basis” has remained relatively stable from Greek to Modern English.

Usage Examples

  • “Basis is often used to describe the underlying support or foundation for something.”
  • “Another example of ‘basis’ in a sentence is ‘The basis of her argument was sound scientific research.'”

Cultural or Historical Notes

The development of the word “basis” was significantly influenced by philosophical, scientific, and architectural contexts, where it is used to describe fundamental principles or the foundational elements of a structure or concept.

The word “basis” reflects the concept of a foundation or starting point, emphasizing the importance of fundamental principles and elements in building and understanding complex ideas and structures.