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

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.
Recent Examples on the Web Hurricane activity in the Atlantic basin tends to favor La Nina conditions. Marshall Shepherd, Forbes, 2 Aug. 2022 However, another dusty plume of the Saharan Air Layer is migrating from Africa through the Caribbean, drying up the moisture in the air and lowering the odds of tropical development in the Atlantic basin. Joe Mario Pedersen, Orlando Sentinel, 13 July 2022 Jumps in the opposite direction — from the Pacific to the Atlantic basin — are even less common., 2 July 2022 Three tropical systems are churning in the Atlantic basin that could develop into a tropical storm or tropical depression over the next two days. Emily Shapiro, ABC News, 29 June 2022 With temperatures approaching record levels, September 2020 became the most active storm month on record for the Atlantic basin. Washington Post, 12 Apr. 2022 Although recent seasons have seen an increase in hurricane activity in the Atlantic basin, research has shown an overall decreasing trend in hurricanes globally since 1990. Caitlin Kaiser And Jennifer Gray, CNN, 7 Apr. 2022 The upper basin is the natural floodplain that spans from Minnesota through Wisconsin and Iowa to Cairo, Illinois. Madeline Heim, Journal Sentinel, 27 June 2022 The Audubon Society, for example, has said that aridification of the Colorado River basin means there will be fewer available wetlands for birds. Hayley Smith, Los Angeles Times, 30 June 2022 See More

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.

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

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Last Updated

15 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Basin.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for 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


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