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 The Illinois Domestic Violence Hotline is still operating in the basement of a building in downtown Chicago. Julie Bosman, New York Times, "Domestic Violence Calls Mount as Restrictions Linger: ‘No One Can Leave’," 15 May 2020 Reade alleges Biden assaulted her in the basement of a Capitol Hill office building in the 1990s. Tim Darnell, ajc, "More than a dozen being vetted for Joe Biden’s running mate," 4 May 2020 Troopers found Kathy Erbelding dead in the basement of the home, according to the arrest citation. Billy Kobin, The Courier-Journal, "Kentucky State Police: 2 accused of murdering a woman found inside an Elizabethtown home," 1 May 2020 The first Burlington Bees baseball player who bunked in the basement of Sharon and Jon Graham's farmhouse in southern Illinois was a pitcher named Elliott Morse, who arrived in 2014. NBC News, "Coronavirus may be strike three for the Burlington Bees," 27 Apr. 2020 For now, the technology exists in the basements of Escobar and her neighbors at Basalt Vista. Daniel Oberhaus, Wired, "The Power Plant of the Future Is Right in Your Home," 7 Apr. 2020 But despite the closures, Godwin said the network still has two or three people coming in — on a rotation — in a master control room in the basement of one of the New York buildings. Jeremy Barr, The Hollywood Reporter, "Broadcast News May Be More Low-Tech Now, but It's Staying on the Story," 27 Mar. 2020 There is something akin to wartime in this huddle-and-wait moment, but during the blitz of London, hundreds of Britons lined up every day to see the pianist Myra Hess play in the basement of the National Gallery. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, "Pop Music’s Version of Life Doesn’t Exist Anymore," 19 Mar. 2020 Built in 1860, the eaves were falling off, the windows busted, not to mention the family of raccoons living in the basement. cleveland, "1860 farmhouse with extensive reno in Portage Co. asks half a million: House of the Week," 1 May 2020

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

19 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Basement.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for basement


How to pronounce basement (audio)

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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