from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To sew loosely with large running stitches so as to hold together temporarily.
  • transitive v. To moisten (meat, for example) periodically with a liquid, such as melted butter or a sauce, especially while cooking.
  • transitive v. To beat vigorously; thrash. See Synonyms at beat.
  • transitive v. To lambaste.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To sew with wide stitches.
  • v. To sprinkle flour and salt and drip butter or fat on, as on meat in roasting.
  • v. To coat over something
  • v. To beat.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To beat with a stick; to cudgel.
  • transitive v. To sprinkle flour and salt and drip butter or fat on, as on meat in roasting.
  • transitive v. To mark with tar, as sheep.
  • transitive v. To sew loosely, or with long stitches; -- usually, that the work may be held in position until sewed more firmly.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To beat with a stick; thrash; cudgel.
  • To moisten (meat that is being roasted or baked) with melted fat, gravy, etc., to improve the flavor or prevent burning.
  • To mark (sheep) with tar.
  • To sew slightly; fasten together with long stitches, as the parts of a garment, for trying on or fitting, or for convenience in handling during the process of making.
  • n. In card-playing, same as beast, 7.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. strike violently and repeatedly
  • n. a loose temporary sewing stitch to hold layers of fabric together
  • v. sew together loosely, with large stitches
  • v. cover with liquid before cooking


Middle English basten, from Old French bastir, of Germanic origin.
Middle English basten.
Probably of Scandinavian origin; akin to Old Norse beysta; see bhau- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old French bastir ("build, construct, sew up (a garment)"). (Wiktionary)
Unknown, possibly from Old French basser ("moisten, soak"). (Wiktionary)
Perhaps from the cookery sense of baste or from some Scandinavian source. Compare Old Norse beysta ("to beat, thresh") (whence Danish børste ("to beat up")) (Wiktionary)


  • During baking, occasionally "baste" the apples, _i. e._ take spoonfuls of the water from around the apples and pour it on the top of them.

    School and Home Cooking

  • Danielson remembers visiting over the next few weeks to "baste" the ends of the canoe that stuck out of the sand. rss feed

  • The bacon helps to 'baste' the chicken while it cooks.

    We Blog A Lot

  • I just didn't want to deal with it, so I stubbornly ignored it. of course, once I finally forced myself to sew it, it took less than an hour. the trick was to use double sided tape to "baste" it. then I pinned the hell out of it and sewed it with no fear. you can't have fear because the sewing machine can smell fear. it'll eat your fabric or make your zipper wonky at any sign of weakness. besides the zipper, I loved working on this sweater. the pattern was straight forward and the cable pattern kept my interest throughout.

    bitter purl

  • "baste," as cook calls him, knows it just as well as the other name, -- any way, he answers to it just as readily.

    We Ten Or, The Story of the Roses

  • "baste," he boasted, did credit to the "ould counthry:" for although no beauty, he was the cleverest and bravest of all the dogs, and much attached to him.

    Hendricks the Hunter The Border Farm, a Tale of Zululand

  • Instruct your guests to skewer their own kabobs and baste veggies with balsamic vinaigrette.

    Dining With Miss Lil: Mother’s Day Delight «

  • When you next baste the duck, turn the potatoes, making sure they are well covered with the duck juices.

    Roast duck with apples recipe

  • Every half an hour or so use a fine skewer to pierce the duck skin with holes to release its juices and then baste the duck with the liquid that collects in the bottom of the pan.

    Roast duck with apples recipe

  • How shall I baste you? she torments the trapped children in her house of sugary temptation before the kids, as legend demands, turn the tables on her and toss her in the oven.

    Matt's TV Week in Review


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  • In heraldry, a division of the base of a shield equal in width to a bar. Also base-bar.

    October 6, 2011

  • An alternate spelling of basta.

    April 23, 2011

  • the best way to prepare dead horse (they can be so dry)

    April 30, 2008