frame of reference
1 a set of basic assumptions or standards that determines and sanctions behaviour
2 any set of planes or curves, such as the three coordinate axes, used to locate or measure movement of a point in space
English Collins Dictionary - English Definition & Thesaurus
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"Collins English Dictionary 5th Edition first published in 2000 © HarperCollins Publishers 1979, 1986, 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000 and Collins A-Z Thesaurus 1st edition first published in 1995 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995"