ba·​sin | \ ˈbā-sᵊn How to pronounce basin (audio) \

Definition of basin

1a : an open usually circular vessel with sloping or curving sides used typically for holding water for washing a new washstand and basin
b chiefly British : a bowl used especially in cooking
c : the quantity contained in a basin spilled a basin of water on the floor
2a : a dock built in a harbor or a river that is noticeably affected by the tide
b : an enclosed or partly enclosed water area
3 geography
a : a large or small depression in the surface of the land or in the ocean floor the relatively shallow basin of the Baltic Sea
b : the entire tract of country drained by a river and its tributaries flooding in the Amazon river basin
c : a great depression in the surface of the lithosphere occupied by an ocean
4 geology : a broad area of the earth beneath which the strata (see stratum sense 2a) dip usually from the sides toward the center

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from basin

basinal \ ˈbā-​sᵊn-​əl How to pronounce basin (audio) \ adjective
basined \ ˈbā-​sᵊnd How to pronounce basin (audio) \ adjective
basinful \ ˈbā-​sᵊn-​ˌfu̇l How to pronounce basin (audio) \ noun

Examples of basin in a Sentence

a basin of cold water the drainage basin of a river the Great Basin of the western U.S.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web When the lake level plummeted earlier this year, federal officials decided to shutter a headgate that has delivered water to communities around the basin since 1907. Rachel Ramirez, Lucy Kafanov And Leslie Perrot, CNN, 10 June 2021 On the latest episode of Beat Check with The Oregonian, reporter Kale Williams breaks down just what is happening in the Klamath basin. oregonlive, 7 June 2021 This year’s drought is part of the new climate regime the basin is shifting into. Anna V. Smith, Wired, 5 June 2021 Over the past 50-years, the Atlantic basin has transitioned from an inactive-era to an active-era exactly in 1995. Paul Douglas, Star Tribune, 3 June 2021 Its nearby environs in the Utopia Planitia basin are rich with scientific opportunity. Asa Stahl, Chron, 25 May 2021 The view several hundred feet below into the Lee Creek basin reminded me of a popular view on the Buffalo River Trail that peers down into the Steel Creek Recreation Area. Bob Robinson, Arkansas Online, 24 May 2021 If the Atlantic basin comes near that mark again the Greek alphabet won’t be used. Chris Perkins,, 21 May 2021 In 2000, when the program should have begun reducing smog, the air basin exceeded healthy smog standards for 145 days. Ed O’neal, WSJ, 21 May 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'basin.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of basin

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for basin

Middle English, borrowed from Anglo-French bacin, going back to Vulgar Latin *baccīnum (whence Hellenized Late Latin bacchinon "disk with two wooden dishes"), derivative from a base *bak- or *bakk- (whence Latin bacar, bacriō "kind of vessel," early Medieval Latin bacarium, baccarium, becario "pitcher, vessel"), of obscure origin

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About basin

Time Traveler for basin

Time Traveler

The first known use of basin was in the 13th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for basin

Last Updated

16 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Basin.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Jun. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for basin



English Language Learners Definition of basin

chiefly British : a kitchen sink
British : a large bowl that is used for mixing, cooking, or serving food
: the amount contained in a basin


ba·​sin | \ ˈbā-sᵊn How to pronounce basin (audio) \

Kids Definition of basin

1 : a wide shallow usually round dish or bowl for holding liquids
2 : the amount that a basin holds a basin of cold water
3 : the land drained by a river and its branches
4 : a partly enclosed area of water for anchoring ships


ba·​sin | \ ˈbās-ᵊn How to pronounce basin (audio) \

Medical Definition of basin

1 : an open usually circular vessel with sloping or curving sides used typically for holding water for washing
2 : the quantity contained in a basin

More from Merriam-Webster on basin

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for basin

Nglish: Translation of basin for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of basin for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Thing: Dog Breeds

Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Anagram puzzles meet word search.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!