• (British, America) enPR: bā'sĭn, IPA: /ˈbeɪsɪn/

basin (plural basins)

  1. a wide bowl for washing, sometimes affixed to a wall
    • c. 1593, William Shakespeare, The Taming of the Shrew, Act II, Scene 1,
      First, as you know, my house within the city
      Is richly furnished with plate and gold,
      Basins and ewers to lave her dainty hands;
    • 1611, King James Version of the Bible, John 13:5,
      After that he poureth water into a bason, and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded.
    • 1766, Tobias Smollett, Travels Through France and Italy, Letter V,
      What then, you will say, must a man sit with his chops and fingers up to the ears and knuckles in grease? No; let those who cannot eat without defiling themselves, step into another room, provided with basons and towels: but I think it would be better to institute schools, where youth may learn to eat their victuals, without daubing themselves, or giving offence to the eyes of one another.
    • 1923, Willa Cather, One of Ours, Book One, Chapter 1,
      Everybody had washed before going to bed, apparently, and the bowls were ringed with a dark sediment which the hard, alkaline water had not dissolved. Shutting the door on this disorder, he turned back to the kitchen, took Mahailey’s tin basin, doused his face and head in cold water, and began to plaster down his wet hair.
    Synonyms: sink
  2. (obsolete) a shallow bowl used for a single serving of a drink or liquidy food
    • 1815, Jane Austen, Emma, Chapter 15,
      […] Mr. John Knightley, ashamed of his ill-humour, was now all kindness and attention; and so particularly solicitous for the comfort of her father, as to seem—if not quite ready to join him in a basin of gruel—perfectly sensible of its being exceedingly wholesome […]
    • 1826, George Wood, The Subaltern Officer: A Narrative, London: Longman, Rees, Orme, Brown & Green, Chapter 7, p. 109,
      They have a good basin of coffee or cocoa for breakfast […]
    • 1838, Charles Dickens, Oliver Twist, Chapter 2,
      He rose from the table; and advancing to the master, basin and spoon in hand, said: somewhat alarmed at his own temerity: ¶ ‘Please, sir, I want some more.’
    • 1893, Gilbert Parker, “The March of the White Guard,” in Tavistock Tales, New York: Tait Sons & Co., p. 27,
      Gaspé Toujours is drinking a basin of tea, and Jeff Hyde is fitfully dozing by the fire.
    • 1915, Sarah Broom Macnaughtan, A Woman’s Diary of the War, New York: Dutton, 1916, Chapter 7, p. 99,
      A steaming basin of coffee or soup revived them greatly, and even having to decide which of these refreshments they would have, and helping themselves to bread, pulled them together a little.
  3. a depression, natural or artificial, containing water
    • 1876, Mark Twain, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Chapter 31,
      This shortly brought them to a bewitching spring, whose basin was incrusted with a frostwork of glittering crystals […]
    • 1891, Frederic Farrar, Darkness at Dawn, Chapter 6,
      The fountains were plashing musically into marble and alabaster basins.
    • 1926, D. H. Lawrence, The Plumed Serpent, Chapter 2,
      There was a stone basin of clear but motionless water, and the heavy reddish-and-yellow arches went round the courtyard with warrior-like fatality, their bases in dark shadow.
  4. (geography) an area of land from which water drains into a common outlet; drainage basin
  5. (geography) a rock formation scooped out by water erosion
Translations Translations Translations Translations Verb

basin (basins, present participle basining; past and past participle basined)

  1. To create a concavity or depression in.
  2. To serve as or become a basin.
  3. To shelter or enclose in a basin.

Proper noun
  1. A census-designated place in Montana
  2. A town/county seat in Big Horn County, Wyoming.

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