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bar·​gain-base·​ment ˈbär-gən-ˈbās-mənt How to pronounce bargain-basement (audio)
: of inferior quality or worth
: markedly inexpensive
bargain-basement rates

bargain basement

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: a section of a store (such as the basement) where merchandise is sold at reduced prices

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web
The plastics are hard and scratchy, but the crucial areas—the dashtop, the door panels, and the upholstery—at least have some interesting textures to keep them from looking too bargain-basement. Joey Capparella, Car and Driver, 2 May 2023 In the 1950’s and 60’s, divorce law was considered the bargain-basement of the legal arena. Malina Saval, Variety, 19 Apr. 2023 Once out of the bargain-basement class, though, new nameplates face an uphill battle. Csaba Csere, Car and Driver, 1 Mar. 2023
The continued development of Dorance Armstrong, the selection of Sam Williams in the second round of the draft and the bargain basement addition of Dante Fowler in free agency more than compensated for the production Dallas lost with Gregory’s departure. David Moore, Dallas News, 11 Mar. 2023 Shop at the bargain basement. Bob Ryan,, 23 Dec. 2022 Some of us are bargain basement tires. Greg Presto, Men's Health, 20 June 2022 The bargain basement prices Ramirez is citing? Katie Palmer, STAT, 23 Feb. 2021 Does any baseball team dare risk alienating their fanbase, and potentially dividing their clubhouse, simply for a few extra victories at the bargain basement price of the minimum $720,000? Bob Nightengale, USA TODAY, 7 Jan. 2023 While many multitools incorporate a knife blade into their toolset, the blade is typically of bargain basement quality and can be complicated to access. Outside Online, 18 Nov. 2022 At the same time, supply shortages could make the oil Russia has been selling at its own bargain basement prices to sympathetic nations like China and India, among others, all the more attractive. David A. Andelman, CNN, 7 Oct. 2022 Many investors have wondered if larger drug companies will take advantage of the bargain basement pricing of biotechs that are down 90 percent or more from recent highs just two years ago. Ryan Cross,, 3 Oct. 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'bargain-basement.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use


1914, in the meaning defined at sense 2


1899, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of bargain-basement was in 1899

Dictionary Entries Near bargain-basement

bargain basement


bargain counter

Cite this Entry

“Bargain-basement.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Jun. 2023.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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