Director Barry Levinson said on MLB Network's "Costas at the Movies" in 2013 that while the film is based in fantasy, "through the years, these things which are outlandish actually [happen] ... like Kirk Gibson hitting the home run and limping around the bases ... Curt Schilling with the blood on the sock in the World Series." (source)

Why is the preposition "in" used here? I thought "base in" can only refer to someone/something being based in a place. Is this usage in the Wiki article correct?

2 Answers 2


The use of based in in can also be used (perhaps only idiomatically) in a synonymous way with rooted in.

Specifically, it can be juxtaposed with both fantasy and reality.

From an article called "I’m in love with a woman in work. Should I tell her?" in The Irish Times:

So what you feel right now? That is not love. That is want and infatuation and obsession, and it’s not based in reality; it’s based in fantasy.

You might argue that based in fantasy is short for based in a fantasy world, but that doesn't explain the use of based in reality—because it's certainly not short for based in a reality world or based in a real world. Both fantasy and reality are being used here as concepts rather than shortened forms of a countable noun.

We understand based in reality in the same way that we understand rooted in reality.

From Merriam-Webster's definition of rooted in:

: formed, made, or developed by using (something) as a basis • Her opinions are deeply rooted in her faith. • a dance rooted in African tradition

In an equivalent sense, based in does not need to refer to a physical location.

In fact, if you look at the Merriam-Webster definition of based, it doesn't refer to "a base of operation" but to an adjective:

: having a specified type of base or basis • a soundly based argument • I realized that his technique was psychoanalytically based. —Robert Klitzman


My understanding of this quote is that when the author says "based in fantasy", he is implicitly saying "based in a fantasy world".

This would satisfy the requirement for the phrase 'based in' to reference a place.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .