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

Prosecutors claimed that Hofeller had given birth while in chains, in the couple’s basement, and that Lizon had buried a stillborn child in their back yard. Charles Bethea, The New Yorker, "A Father, a Daughter, and the Attempt to Change the Census," 13 July 2019 Trade your old volumes for fellow bookworms’ castoffs in the basement from 6 to 9 p.m.; leftovers go to charity., "Five things to do in and around Boston, July 15-21," 12 July 2019 Roads washed away, baseball fields and basements were flooded, and flash floods hit the area. Dana Hedgpeth, Washington Post, "Canal Road in Northwest Washington still closed," 12 July 2019 Solon Flea market opportunity: Clean out your garage, basement and attic and sell the items that no longer give you joy 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 11 on the grounds of the Solon Historical Society. Joan Rusek,, "Shakespeare play comes to life along with ‘Young Frankenstein’ on the stage: Valley Views," 12 July 2019 What appears to be a closet door in a powder room opens to a secret staircase that leads to one of two separate basements. Lauren Beale,, "Vintage SoCal: 1920s estate in La Cañada Flintridge is still the bee’s knees," 12 July 2019 Solomon pushes toy cars across the red carpet in the finished basement. Mark Curnutte,, "4 addresses in 4 months: This is what poverty looks like for this Cincinnati family," 10 July 2019 Water gushed into the press workspace in the basement near the White House's West Wing, creating a large puddle. Fox News, "Washington area hit by flash flooding, stranding drivers and soaking White House basement," 9 July 2019 In season 2, Paul lived in his mom’s basement with his tween son. Nick Romano,, "There's a Queer Eye cameo in Stranger Things season 3 you might have missed," 9 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

15 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for basement

The first known use of basement was in 1730

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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).


food or victuals

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