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 Despite attacks on federal land-use and drilling permits, the total number of active U.S. oil rigs has nearly doubled from last year across every major domestic production basin, more than offsetting minor supply cuts by the OPEC+ cartel. Steven Tian, Fortune, 28 Sep. 2022 The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago will compare the quality of the water and the amount that drains from each basin to determine the impact of the native plantings. Kimberly Fornek, Chicago Tribune, 27 Sep. 2022 One easy way to water tradescantia is to set it in your sink and tub, and fill the basin with a few inches of water. Jenny Krane, Better Homes & Gardens, 27 Sep. 2022 Researchers studied more than 1,000 fossilized dinosaur eggs recovered from the Shanyang basin in central China. Ashley Strickland, CNN, 24 Sep. 2022 But as the Atlantic basin has remained in an active cycle for tropical cyclones, that has meant more threats for Canada as well, with a hurricane hitting land every other year since 2000. Scott Dance, Washington Post, 23 Sep. 2022 The wave basin would have stretched across 16.6 acres and required 18 million gallons to fill. Ian James, Los Angeles Times, 22 Sep. 2022 Regions along the Atlantic basin likely won't see relief once Hurricane Fiona passes, as four more systems follow in the Category 4 hurricane's wake. Daniel Amarante, ABC News, 21 Sep. 2022 The level of water stored in Colorado basin reservoirs has plunged precipitously during the past 20 years, and even more dramatically in the past two. Stephanie Mencimer, WIRED, 17 Sep. 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

2 Oct 2022

Cite this Entry

“Basin.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Oct. 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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