base·​ment | \ ˈbās-mənt How to pronounce basement (audio) \

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 How to pronounce basementless (audio) \ 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

Some of the more physically taxing work that plumbers do can be wrestling with cast-iron pipe and getting a new boiler into a basement and then getting the old one out. Roy Berendsohn, Popular Mechanics, "How to Become a Skilled Tradesperson," 13 Mar. 2019 Anyway, in the end Strode, her daughter, and her granddaughter force Myers into the basement before revealing two more insane details of the house. Alyssa Fiorentino, House Beautiful, "The Custom Basement In 'Halloween' Is The Best Part Of This Sequel," 23 Oct. 2018 Just before Coolidge’s inauguration in 1925, Edmund Starling, Coolidge’s Secret Service Chief, moseyed down into the basement to find his new charge trying to stuff a black cat into a crate with a rooster. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian, "For His Patriotic Birthday, Five Facts About Calvin Coolidge," 2 July 2018 With this amount of flooding, roads routinely close and water seeps into basements. Kurtis Alexander,, "Many coastal properties may be flooded out by 2045, climate report warns," 17 June 2018 In that incident, Portillo alleged Sesmas lured her into the basement of Sesmas’ home with the promise of donating old clothes and a TV as Sesmas prepared to move from Wichita to Dallas, according to an interview Portillo gave to The Wichita Eagle. Jeff Truesdell,, "Texas Woman Who Killed Friend for Her Baby Allegedly Previously Attacked a Pregnant Mom," 7 June 2018 When the Civil War happened, however, Haller moved his family into the basement – the only finished part of the home at the time. Southern Living, "WATCH: The Nation's Largest Octagonal House Is In Mississippi, And It Was Never Finished," 4 June 2018 Water rushes into basements and quickly begins flooding the first floors of Main Street’s shops and restaurants, trapping people in the upper floors. Colin Campbell,, "How Ellicott City flooded: A timeline," 1 June 2018 The building was heated with coal, which was delivered into the basement via an alley. Maria L. La Ganga, idahostatesman, "A film about Boise's "Chinese tunnels" was tantalizing but had no sound. Until now. | Idaho Statesman," 18 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

6 May 2019

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Time Traveler for basement

The first known use of basement was in 1730

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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 How to pronounce basement (audio) \

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).


something valued as if it were money

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