Based Meaning: Definition, Origin, Use Examples, and More

Elsa Updated on May 30, 2023 Filed to: Teen Slang

As of now, you may have realized that there are many slang terms out here nowadays. If you are a person that loves going through social platforms, then you will see lots of slang and some you won't even understand what they mean. So, to help with this problem, we will start by defining the Based meaning.

based meaning

Over the past few years, the popularity of this common online slang word has increased. From meme culture to political discussions, "based" has become a common signifier for various attitudes and behaviours.

But the question is: What does based mean?

Well, in this article, we will help define what based actually mean in different contexts, determine its origin and how it is used in conversations.

So, regardless of your level of online experience or familiarity with the realm of memes, this piece will provide you a thorough explanation of the word based. So, keep reading!

Based Meaning Slang

The term "based" has undergone a significant transformation in recent years. It was initially used to describe someone addicted to crack cocaine or behaving like they were.

Rapper Lil B, however, reclaimed the phrase and gave it a new definition over the previous few years: "to be true to yourself and exude confidence, without worrying about what others think of you."

Nevertheless, in online communities, particularly within the alt-right movement, "based" has been used differently. It has been co-opted as a general term of praise within this group. They've been used to signal a rejection of politically correct attitudes and a celebration of nonconformity.

What Does Base Mean?

The term "based" on the Internet typically means agreement, and social media and forum users commonly use it to express approval or admiration.

The origins of this slang term can be traced back to its popularization by rapper Brandon "Lil B" McCartney, also known as The Based God. However, it has undergone various evolutions throughout its history.

Now with that said, let's see what this term means on social platforms such as TikTok.

What Does Based Mean TikTok?

On TikTok, this term has gained viral popularity. And so, the idea of being unapologetically true to oneself, without being weighed down by concerns of others' perceptions, means based on TikTok.

As noted, this meaning was initially invented by rapper Lil B. This term is meant to convey the message of self-confidence—the ability to carry oneself with swagger, irrespective of external opinions.

Therefore, when you see people, your friend or kids use this term on TikTok, you know what they are referring to.

With based meaning now determined, let's move on to its origin.

What Is Based AF Meaning?

As noted, based can either refer to being cool or addicted to crack cocaine or behaving like one. But was does 'AF' mean?

The acronym AF stands for the slang term 'As Fucked’, which means really or extreme. For example, if I say; I was drunk AF last night, I mean I was really drunk.

And so this same explanation applies to 'based af,' which means being cool or addicted to crack to cocaine.

Remember that based is a term that can be used in different environments like education—for example, merit-based scholarships.

What Is Merit-based Scholarship Mean?

Merit-based scholarships are financial awards given to college students based on their high achievements and accolades. This scholarship can be based on academic or non-academic achievements, such as excellence in:

  • Music
  • Sports
  • Community service
  • Leadership

They usually award these scholarships to students who have demonstrated exceptional abilities or accomplishments instead of financial need.

Depending on the company or school giving out the scholarships, different organizations may have different requirements.

The tuition, books, housing and board, and other costs associated with a student's education may fully or in part be covered by merit-based scholarships.

Depending on the student's ongoing academic or extracurricular achievements, they may be renewed for a number of years and offered by schools, private groups, or governmental organizations.

What Is Based Origin?

Based is currently among the most used slang, but where did this term originate?

Well, based is a slang term that originated from "basehead," a term used in the 1980s to refer to individuals addicted to freebasing cocaine, a drug-smoking method. Initially, it referred to individuals who exhibited erratic or abnormal behaviour, particularly in West Coast Street slang.

However, rapper Brandon "Lil B" McCartney redefined the term in the 2000s. According to him, based means "being yourself" and "not being afraid of what others think about you." Lil B adopted the moniker "Based God," and a cosmology of Based God emerged, attributing to him extraordinary powers like the ability to curse basketball player Kevin Durant.

Nonetheless, the term based was later adopted by the alt-right community online in the 2010s as a sign of approval for conservative figures. For example, Christina Hoff Sommers, a conservative commentator, was called "Based Mom" during the Gamergate controversy in 2014. Since then, referring to right-wing conservative figures as based has become a way of signalling approval on online platforms.

Who Used the Term Based?

Based is a term popularized in the hip-hop subculture and is primarily associated with the rapper Lil B. Being based is essentially a way of life that emphasizes having maximum swagger, achieving success, and living a luxurious lifestyle. It's about being true to oneself, having confidence, and doing what one wants without fear of judgment.

And so, who uses this term?

Well, the young generation and people associated with the hip-hop culture commonly use this slang. But since it has become a common theme on TikTok and other social media platforms, it has become widely used by anyone.

How Is Based Used in Conversation?

The slang term 'Based' can be used in several ways in conversation. Here are some common meanings and usage of the word:

1. As an expression of admiration or respect:

In some contexts, 'Based' can express admiration or respect for someone seen as courageous or unapologetically true to themselves. For instance, someone might say, "That rapper is so Based," meaning they appreciate the artist for speaking their mind and being true to themselves.

Other examples include:

  • "That athlete is so Based. He never backs down from a challenge."
  • "Have you seen that comedian's latest special? It's so Based."

2. As an affirmation or agreement:

This slang term can also be used as a simple affirmation or agreement with what someone is saying. For instance, if someone says something that another person finds particularly insightful, the second person might respond with "Based" as a way of saying "I agree" or "That's right."

Other examples include:

  • "I don't understand why people get so offended over everything these days." "Based."
  • "People need to stop taking everything so seriously." "Based."

3. As a descriptor of one's worldview:

'Based' can also be used to describe one's general worldview or philosophy. For example, someone might express themselves as 'Based' if they prioritize individualism, free speech, and self-expression over conformity to social norms.

Other examples include:

  • "I'm all about free speech and being true to yourself. I guess you could say I'm pretty Based."
  • "I don't care about fitting in with the crowd. I'm just trying to live my life in a Based way."
  • "I think everyone should be able to express themselves however they want. That's a Based philosophy, in my opinion."

4. As a term of endearment or greeting:

Furthermore, 'Based' can be used as an endearment or greeting among friends.

Other examples include:

  • "Hey, Based God! What's up?"
  • "What's good, my Based friend?"
  • "What's crackin', Based Squad?"

5. As a descriptor of something cool or impressive:

Lastly, 'Based' can describe something cool or impressive. For example, someone might say, "That song is so Based," to express their admiration for the track or to describe its positive qualities.

Other examples include:

  • "That new video game is so Based. The graphics are insane."
  • "Did you hear that new rapper's album? It's so Based. The beats are sick."
  • "That car is so Based. I love the retro look and feel."

6. Someone who is addicted to cocaine

This might not be the typical use case of the base, but it can still refer to someone addicted to cocaine. And so you should also watch out for this.

Other examples include:

  • That G is based af
  • Stop using that shit, or else you will soon be another based

How Can You Identify If Your Kid Is Using Based Slang Terms?

Based may not seemingly look like a bad word that you should be worried about if your kids happen to use it often. However, if it is being used in the context of drug abuse, then you should be concerned. And so, how can you tell if your kid is using this term?

Well, there are three main ways you can do so:

  • Ask your kid: Not effective, but you can get some insights
  • Check their mobile devices: Well, this method is much better than the first one and may help you discover if they are using this term. Checking their conversations is an effective way to discover that.
  • Use the Parental control app: This is the best way between all these three. A parental control app like AirDroid Parental Control can help you track their conversation anywhere and anytime without them knowing.

AirDroid Parental Monitoring

Keep in mind that the AirDroid Parental Control app has more benefits besides tracking conversations. For example, this app can help your limit screen time, manage different apps, track locations and more.


To wrap it up, it is essential to note that based meaning is founded on the context in which this slang term is used. Therefore, it is crucial to know all the potential meanings and use cases of based to learn how to use them.

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Elsa has worked on a number of iOS & Android solutions, she can always find her way around almost any application. She is an accomplished, skilled and versatile writer with more than 7 years of technical article writing experience.
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