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 basement (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 In November, Liliac vacated their Los Angeles-area apartment, packed up the team and drove across the country to Douglasville, where relatives and a new house with a 1,600-square-foot basement awaited them. Melissa Ruggieri, ajc, "Mic Check: Family band Liliac transports their polished hard rock from L.A. to Atlanta," 24 Feb. 2021 The house was gutted in 2006 and rebuilt with a finished basement and attic. Mary Carole Mccauley,, "Hot property: Annapolis charmer with view of the Naval Academy dome," 22 Feb. 2021 Alabama, at 12-1, is moving closer to its first regular-season conference title since 2002, while Vanderbilt, at 2-9, once again finds itself in the league’s basement. Mike Rodak |, al, "Alabama to honor seniors after Saturday’s game against Vanderbilt," 19 Feb. 2021 In parts of the country that typically get freezing temperatures, walls are built thicker and with more insulation, and pipes may be several feet underground or run up through a basement to protect them, Abrams said. Ryan W. Miller, USA TODAY, "Water pipes cracked by ice will flood buildings across Texas, and experts fear the damage will be as bad as a hurricane," 19 Feb. 2021 Investigators believe the fire began in the basement or first floor of the three-story home and traveled next door to 11 Jaques Ave. Abigail Feldman,, "Worcester honors three family members lost in fire Friday night," 14 Feb. 2021 The basement is not the Louvre’s only refuge for unseen artworks. New York Times, "A New, Safe Home for the Louvre’s Unseen Treasures," 12 Feb. 2021 The basement was one of the first areas the designer tackled. Lauren Jones, House Beautiful, "A Traditional Virginia Home Gets a Youthful, Relevant Update," 11 Feb. 2021 In 1918, the last Russian czar, Nicholas II, was shot down, along with his family, in a palace basement and then stabbed for good measure. Nicholas Clairmont, Washington Examiner, "Word of the Week: 'Czar'," 4 Feb. 2021

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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Time Traveler for basement

Time Traveler

The first known use of basement was in 1730

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Statistics for basement

Last Updated

27 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Basement.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
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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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