Basting Stitching: a temporary straight stitch with few stitches per inch, so the stitches are longer and easier to remove. The setting on most machines for basting is about a 5 for length. That comes out to be about 8-10 stitches per inch.
ie: When fitting, you may want to baste the item together first, try it on, and make sure it is correct. It is easy to change if changes need to be made, and you can restitch using regulation stitching if it is correct.
ie: Another use for basting is in gathering.