base·​ment | \ˈbās-mənt \

Definition of basement 

1 : the part of a building that is wholly or partly below ground level

2 : the ground floor facade or interior in Renaissance architecture

3 : the lowest or fundamental part of something specifically : the rocks underlying stratified rocks

4 chiefly New England : a toilet or washroom especially in a school

5a : a low state, rank, or condition With their stock in the basement and red ink all over their balance sheet, many struggling [companies] are finding that fund-raising has become an exceedingly difficult proposition.— Brad Stone

b : the lowest place in the standings : cellar sense 2 Last year, the Phillies finished in the basement of the NL East with 68 wins, tied with the Cubs for the fewest wins in the league.Boston Herald

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Other Words from basement

basementless \ˈbās-​mənt-​ləs \ adjective

Synonyms for basement



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Examples of basement in a Sentence

we store our bicycles in the basement during the winter the basement of the outdoor fountain needs a lot of restoration work

Recent Examples on the Web

The Watch section, at the back of the basement, is where the Netflix (and hopefully none of the Chill) happen. Chavie Lieber, Vox, "Let people hang out in your store and watch TV.," 3 Oct. 2018 Many kids get free reign of the basement for sleepovers. Liz Stinson, Curbed, "Architect’s tiny studio doubles as a hangout for his daughter," 20 July 2018 First responders and the father dug the young child out of the collapsed basement and administered CPR. Kaitlyn Schallhorn, Fox News, "Michigan floods wash away roads, create dozens of sinkholes as residents remain stranded," 19 June 2018 This week, both the state archives and Servpro, a fire and water cleanup and restoration company, have been lugging boxes out of the basement of the armory. Erik Lacitis, The Seattle Times, "Huge Aberdeen fire steals thousands of pieces of town history, including a Kurt Cobain exhibit," 16 June 2018 As my son’s independence moved out of his brain’s basement and into its penthouse, text messages became the standard method of communication. Scott Craven, USA TODAY, "Lessons my son taught me: A Father's Day special," 13 June 2018 Or a sump pump — yours or a neighbor’s — may be pumping water out of the basement and discharging it outdoors. Beth Botts,, "'Plants aren’t sponges': Soil that's too wet, too long can spoil your garden," 6 June 2018 Her body was finally discovered on Sept. 7 in the ceiling of the hotel's basement. CBS News, ""Horrific death": New details on woman's hotel drowning during hurricane," 5 June 2018 While at the home, the suit said, DeBrodie was forced to do manual, unpaid labor and sleep on the floor of the basement without a bed or mattress — all while his health was deteriorating. Kaitlyn Schwers, kansascity, "Caregivers forced him to fight and left him in bathtub to die, lawsuit says," 30 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'basement.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of basement

1730, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for basement

base entry 1 or base entry 2 + -ment, probably after Italian basamento

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Statistics for basement

Last Updated

2 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for basement

The first known use of basement was in 1730

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English Language Learners Definition of basement

: the part of a building that is entirely or partly below the ground


base·​ment | \ˈbā-smənt \

Kids Definition of basement

: the part of a building that is partly or entirely below ground level

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Comments on basement

What made you want to look up basement? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a soft lustrous wool fabric with mohair

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