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

Stephen Ross has every liberal crying in their mommas basement for supporting Trump. Christian Simmons,, "Celebrities, sports figures react to Dolphins’ Steve Ross-Donald Trump controversy," 8 Aug. 2019 Stoumen toiled away at her own projects during off-hours while working for Broc Cellars in Berkeley, making wine with a few friends in one of their parents’ basements. Lizzie Noonan, Bon Appétit, "How Natural Winemaker Martha Stoumen Turns Work Into Highly Drinkable Play," 6 Aug. 2019 Ramsey’s story is the same as countless other homeowners who ventured down to their basements to put away Christmas decorations or tinker with the boiler to discover their foundations were failing. Kathleen Mcwilliams,, "As repairs begin on homes with crumbling foundations, homeowners are encouraged by the progress," 2 Aug. 2019 Coach Chris Mack even has a decal of the dunking bird on a wall in his basement. Danielle Lerner, The Courier-Journal, "Louisville basketball: KFC Yum Center court gets a makeover with dunking cardinal," 1 Aug. 2019 Start cleaning out your basement, attic, drawers – whatever – for the Fill the Truck event that returns to the community Aug. 3., "Popular local produce stand returns to Bagley Road: Olmsted Dates and Data," 19 July 2019 The glorious ocean is rendered no more significant than your finished basement. Paul Daugherty,, "Paul Daugherty: The highs and lows of summer vacation," 16 July 2019 These renovations can be costly in other ways: During the housing boom, predatory brokers convinced many homebuyers in Canarsie to rent out their basements in order to afford their mortgage. Sophie Kasakove, The New Republic, "New York’s Invisible Climate Migrants," 11 July 2019 The 103-year-old divides his waking hours between rebuilding steamer train engines in his basement, talking on HAM radio, and watching his beloved Atlanta Braves. Meghan Overdeep, Southern Living, "America's Oldest Living Rocket Scientist Reflects on Breakthrough That Put Us on the Moon," 8 July 2019

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

12 Aug 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).


to shake or wave menacingly

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