noun Also, base line.
Baseball. the area between bases within which a base runner must keep when running from one base to another.
Tennis. the line at each end of a tennis court, parallel to the net, that marks the in-bounds limit of play.
(in perspective drawing) a horizontal line in the immediate foreground formed by the intersection of the ground plane and the picture plane.
a basic standard or level; guideline: to establish a baseline for future studies.
a specific value or values that can serve as a comparison or control.
Typography. the imaginary line on which the bottoms of primary letters align.
Surveying, See under triangulation ( def 1 ).
Electronics. a horizontal or vertical line formed on the face of a cathode-ray tube by the sweep of the scanning dot.
Naval Architecture. a line on the body plan or sheer plan of a hull, representing a horizontal reference plane for vertical dimensions.
basic or essential.

1740–50; base1 + line1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
baseline (ˈbeɪsˌlaɪn)
1.  surveying a measured line through a survey area from which triangulations are made
2.  an imaginary line, standard of value, etc, by which things are measured or compared
3.  a line at each end of a tennis court that marks the limit of play

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

1750, originally in surveying, from base (n.) + line (n.). Baseline estimate in use by 1983.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Computing Dictionary

baseline definition

released version

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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Example sentences
With every download of data, the time baseline of the light curves is extended.
Each accomplishment only lifts one up to a new baseline of expectations.
Take a star's position on dates separated by half a year, and you get the
  widest possible baseline.
The baseline species counts established by the census have already come in
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