Definition of basement in English:



  • 1The floor of a building which is partly or entirely below ground level.

    ‘they went down the stairs into the basement’
    as modifier ‘a basement flat’
    • ‘The fire broke out beside a boiler in the basement of the building in the early hours of Friday morning.’
    • ‘There is also an additional accommodation on the first floor and basement with a rear access.’
    • ‘They felt like the walls found in the basements of old buildings.’
    • ‘He owned the lot - the basement and the first floor, the one above and the two above that.’
    • ‘They all have two storeys - either basement and ground, or first floor and attic space.’
    • ‘The house is divided horizontally so that she has the basement and ground floor and he has the first and second.’
    • ‘Stationary fuel cells can be installed in the basements of buildings to heat, cool and generate electricity for lights and appliances.’
    • ‘He chose to live in the dark and dank bowels and basements of buildings, rejected by family and society.’
    • ‘Right now there may only be 3-4 feet of standing water but, if you think about it, most files are kept in the basements or lower floors of courthouses.’
    • ‘The house itself had a total of four floors, if you counted my basement as a floor.’
    • ‘It was built in the late 1950s, on six floors, with one flat on each floor and a basement.’
    • ‘His militia, the Army of the Mahdi, is running courts and jailing people in the basements of tenement buildings.’
    • ‘Does he walk the townships with bodyguards on all sides, stopping to step inside ruined basements and first floors?’
    • ‘He and Mr. Facey spread kitty litter on the basement floor to absorb the leaked oil.’
    • ‘Those who can't negotiate the grand staircases will be able to enter the building via the basement.’
    • ‘Those forced to evacuate their homes near Great Falls were able to return within a few days and begin shoveling mud from their basements and replacing damaged floors and furniture.’
    • ‘Radon levels are generally highest in basements and ground floor rooms that are in contact with the soil.’
    • ‘In Pernik, the Struma river broke through a dyke and flooded basements of nearby buildings, roads, and the town's central bus station.’
    • ‘There will be some space to hang out and a pool hall is in the basement of the Rumley Building.’
    • ‘Normally she wouldn't be so concerned about blowing something up with such a small charge, but this time if the basements went the whole building would collapse in on itself.’
    cellar, vault, crypt, undercroft, underground room, catacomb
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Geology The oldest formation of rocks underlying a particular area.
      as modifier ‘basement rocks’
      • ‘These folds were interpreted by Seranne as forced folds formed by faulting in the underlying basement.’
      • ‘The best preserved eclogites are found in mafic rocks hosted within the basement sequence.’
      • ‘It was Sederholm's task to try to elucidate the complex rocks of the Finnish Precambrian basement.’
      • ‘The nature of the magnetic basement underlying the east side of the profile is enigmatic.’
      • ‘However, basement rocks can also be inferred from exposures in the uplands that surround the basin.’


Mid 18th century: probably from archaic Dutch basement ‘foundation’, perhaps from Italian basamento ‘column base’.