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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from basement

basementless \ˈbās-mənt-ləs \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for basement


base, bottom, foot, nadir, rock bottom


head, top, vertex

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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

Zavino, on the northwest corner, had a flooded basement and a small electrical fire that owner Greg Dodge. Michael Klein,, "Water main break wreaks havoc on Center City restaurants," 3 July 2018 In other news: The teen was in a downstairs basement and heard noises and thought his family had come home. Zachary Hansen, ajc, "Police: Rome man arrested who fatally shot girlfriend in front of her kids," 30 June 2018 The family fled the blaze, but one of the family member's girlfriends was in the basement. Christina Hall, Detroit Free Press, "Grilling in the garage in Warren could soon land you in jail," 18 June 2018 While the bodyguards’s uniforms are kept upstairs, there’s a full store downstairs with off-the-rack items, as well as tailors in the basement working on custom orders. Diana Pearl,, "What Is a Royal Warrant? 6 Brands the Royal Family Loves (That You Can Buy Too!)," 29 May 2018 Sloane Bhatia, who has renters on her property, took shelter with her tenants in the basement. Matthew Ormseth,, "Connecticut Sifts Through Wreckage From Two Tornadoes, Macroburst," 17 May 2018 To avoid this, the NFPA recommends having an alarm in every bedroom, outside of every sleeping area, and on each level of your home (including the basement). Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "Emergency Responders Share 9 of the Biggest Death Traps in Your Home," 14 July 2018 The finished basement holds a guest suite and an entertainment area walking out to the back porch. Emma Austin, The Courier-Journal, "This modern Louisville-area farmhouse was designed with family in mind," 12 July 2018 Police say the 1-year-old girl fell through a hole on the first floor of a home in Detroit on Friday night, plunging into the house's flooded basement and drowning, The Detroit News reported. Scott Berson, miamiherald, "Baby stayed home with sitters. Then she fell through a hole and drowned, police say," 11 July 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about basement

Phrases Related to basement

finished basement/attic

Statistics for basement

Last Updated

7 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for basement

The first known use of basement was in 1730

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for basement



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

Keep scrolling for more

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).


evasion of direct action or statement

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Great Scrabble Words—A Quiz

  • scrabble-tiles-that-read-scrabble-quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!