base·​ment ˈbās-mənt How to pronounce basement (audio)
: the part of a building that is wholly or partly below ground level
: the ground floor facade or interior in Renaissance architecture
: the lowest or fundamental part of something
specifically : the rocks underlying stratified rocks
chiefly New England : a toilet or washroom especially in a school
: 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
: 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
basementless adjective

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 There’s also a finished basement with a media room, a guest or staff bedroom, and a rec room that can be used as a gym (the current owners used it as a hockey area for their young children). Emma Reynolds, Robb Report, 29 Nov. 2023 My neighbor had hidden him in a basement to protect him from the bombings. Ruby Mellen, Washington Post, 28 Nov. 2023 On a cool Saturday morning, in a hotel basement in Beijing, throngs of young Chinese gathered to do what millions had done before them: dream of an American education. Vivian Wang, New York Times, 28 Nov. 2023 The magnificent basement kitchen of the Elms is also a frequent setting on the show, but not in the Newport scenes. Mackenzie Schmidt, Peoplemag, 19 Nov. 2023 It was created by 18- and 19-year-olds in their college dorm basement. Jane Thier, Fortune, 19 Nov. 2023 The Ukrainians are hunkered down in basements and trenches and heavily outnumbered. Matthew Luxmoore, WSJ, 15 Nov. 2023 From gutter cleaning and preparing your fireplace for winter, to what to do if your basement floods. Contact us: Looking to buy your first home? Jandra Sutton, Washington Post, 16 Nov. 2023 In busy homes, a basement music room can provide a secluded spot away from noise from the street and household activities. Jessica Bennett, Better Homes & Gardens, 15 Nov. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word '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


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

First Known Use

1730, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of basement was in 1730

Dictionary Entries Near basement

Cite this Entry

“Basement.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


base·​ment ˈbās-mənt How to pronounce basement (audio)
: the part of a building that is entirely or partly below ground level

More from Merriam-Webster on basement

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