ba·sin | \ ˈbā-sᵊn \

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

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Other words from basin

basinal \ˈbā-sᵊn-əl \ adjective
basined \ˈbā-sᵊnd \ adjective
basinful \ˈbā-sᵊn-ˌfu̇l \ 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.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Critics have also raised questions about a wellfield in the basin. Jenny Staletovich, miamiherald, "Roadblock for Miami-Dade parkway plan? Feds own big chunks of wetlands along the route," 19 June 2018 Within days, the Klamath Irrigation District, one of the largest water agencies in the basin, decided to push back. Ryan Sabalow And Dale Kasler, sacbee, "Can an uneasy truce hold off another water rebellion on California's northern border? | The Sacramento Bee," 11 May 2018 In 2017 Hilcorp spent $3.95 million on 20 tracts over both state and federal acreage in the basin. Author: Elwood Brehmer, Anchorage Daily News, "Hilcorp again the lone bidder in Cook Inlet lease sale," 9 May 2018 Output in the basin is forecast to reach 3.18 million barrels a day in May, according to the Energy Information Administration. Jessica Summers And Sheela Tobben, Houston Chronicle, "Permian could become world's largest oil patch," 25 Apr. 2018 The gas that comes with the oil in the basin is estimated at close to 14 trillion cubic feet. Fox News, "Bahrain's largest oil find estimated at 80 billion barrels," 4 Apr. 2018 Some have estimated there is about 60,000 square miles of terra preta in the basin. Sarah Kaplan,, "Archaeologists discover 81 ancient settlements in the Amazon," 27 Mar. 2018 So when tectonic activity in the region increased around the beginning of the Middle Stone Age, that made life in the basin even more uncertain. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "Unstable climate forced early humans to be more social and creative," 18 Mar. 2018 It was established by Congress in 1948 to control and abate pollution within the basin at a time long before the landmark Clean Water Act of 1972. James Bruggers, The Courier-Journal, "Group wants to abandon its role in controlling Ohio River pollution. What's up with that?," 21 Feb. 2018

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.

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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

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Statistics for basin

Last Updated

20 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for basin

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

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English Language Learners Definition of basin

: a kitchen sink

: a large bowl that is used for mixing, cooking, or serving food

: the amount contained in a basin


ba·sin | \ ˈbā-sᵊn \

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 \

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

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Comments on basin

What made you want to look up basin? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


occurring twice a year or every two years

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