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

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Other Words from basin

basinal \ ˈbā-​sᵊn-​əl How to pronounce basinal (audio) \ adjective
basined \ ˈbā-​sᵊnd How to pronounce basined (audio) \ adjective
basinful \ ˈbā-​sᵊn-​ˌfu̇l How to pronounce basinful (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.
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Recent Examples on the Web This is not the only system in the Atlantic basin that has the potential to turn into a tropical system this week. Haley Brink, CNN, "Tropical Storm Edouard could form in the Atlantic this week," 5 July 2020 Amid the violence and upheaval of that period, local people began to move more widely, possibly spreading the disease from one river basin to another. Brendan Borrell, The Atlantic, "Australia Has a Flesh-Eating-Bacteria Problem," 3 July 2020 Modic said Petros would add at least one catch basin to the stormwater sewers and build a berm that would direct stormwater away from Dr. Lang’s property. Bob Sandrick, cleveland, "Broadview Heights developer plans 19 townhomes next to Town Centre Village in Broadview Heights," 29 June 2020 ExxonMobil is spending $20bn on chemical and refining facilities along America’s Gulf Coast, near Texas’s Permian basin. The Economist, "The hole in the hedge Oil companies’ diversification into petrochemicals may not go to plan," 27 June 2020 Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok also indicated the impasse between the Nile basin countries had eased, saying the nations had agreed to restart negotiations through a technical committee with the aim of finalizing a deal in two weeks. Washington Post, "Ethiopia says set to begin filling disputed dam in 2 weeks," 27 June 2020 Oil production from the Inlet has averaged roughly 15,000 barrels per day in recent years, but the basin is most known for being the lone supply of natural gas for Anchorage and the rest of Southcentral Alaska. Elwood Brehmer, Anchorage Daily News, "Hilcorp again is lone bidder in Cook Inlet oil and gas lease sale," 24 June 2020 This 260-acre development is nestled within 800 acres of a nature preserve and is convenient to the Galveston Historic District, the Galveston Grand Opera House, the Galveston Yachts basin and the University of Texas Medical Center. Houston Chronicle, "Buyers can enjoy nature, sunrise, sunset views at Beachtown," 20 June 2020 Lake Van basin is home to hundreds of bird species throughout the year, both resident and migratory. Alan Taylor, The Atlantic, "The Birds of Turkey’s Lake Van," 18 June 2020

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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Time Traveler for basin

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for basin

Last Updated

9 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Basin.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for basin


How to pronounce basin (audio)

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on basin

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for basin

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with basin

Spanish Central: Translation of basin

Nglish: Translation of basin for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of basin for Arabic Speakers

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