Definition of basin in English:



  • 1British A bowl for washing, typically attached to a wall and having taps connected to a water supply; a washbasin.

    • ‘Cindy stood up from her seat and went over to the basin and continued her washing up.’
    • ‘Alex dropped the plate she was washing into the basin and spluttered as the soapy water splashed in her face, stinging her eyes.’
    • ‘He noticed that she had been sitting with the Caucasian man who was now standing up and washing his hands in a basin located on the wall of the restaurant.’
    • ‘I lay the clothes out on a chair then poured some fresh water into the basin on the side table and wet a cloth.’
    • ‘Pearl slowly poured water into the basin and then dipped the towel into the bowl.’
    • ‘During his four-month stay in the hospital, Mrs Gearon-Simm claimed cleaners failed to mop floors and clean basins and furniture.’
    • ‘There was a night table with a basin of water, and that was all of the accommodations.’
    • ‘She made her way to her dresser, using the basin of water left there to wash her face and hands, drying them with a towel.’
    • ‘After finishing breakfast she washed the plates in the water basin, along with the bowl that Checkers had licked clean, and returned them to their proper places.’
    • ‘The young woman stood and walked to the porcelain basin on her bedside table.’
    • ‘‘I liked the traditional idea of washing with a basin and ewer,’ he reflects.’
    • ‘She set the candle on the dressing-table, flung off her bonnet and slung it loosely across her arm; she went to the wash-hand-stand and filled the basin with water.’
    • ‘A pump stood in the corner, and a basin with unwashed dishes waiting for washing was beneath the spigot.’
    • ‘It was spacious and had a large bed, a dresser and a water basin.’
    • ‘And the rooms' en-suites boast anti-mist mirrors and vanity basins the size of horse troughs.’
    • ‘As Ashley washed her face, Katrina placed her yellow medicine bag on the chair next to the basin.’
    • ‘There was a jug of water and a basin on the table next to the bed, and I quickly washed my face and hands.’
    • ‘I took Jenny's mallet and watched as she and Nicole went up to where one of the maids was had set a washing basin.’
    • ‘To the right of the fireplace was a washing basin, filled to the brim with crisp water form the well for the workers.’
    • ‘Of course, there are other drawbacks to being tall, like having to stoop to wash the dishes, rinse her hands in the bathroom basin or write at a desk.’
    bowl, dish, pan, pot
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  • 2A wide open container used for preparing food or for holding liquid.

    ‘she poured water from the jug into the basin’
    • ‘Then he pours a basin of chestnuts, about 8 kilograms, into the pot and stirs vigorously.’
    • ‘The water tinkled as it flowed down into the silver-lined basins at the bottom of the fountains.’
    • ‘These were the old florally decorated type to match their basin and jug sets.’
    • ‘In the middle is an enormous table with a big basin, like a wine cooler.’
    • ‘The list is substantial, totalling more than 15,500 ounces and including many decorated ewers and basins, livery pots, cups and salts, as well as large quantities of plain utilitarian plate.’
    • ‘Then one evening a neighbour came in to the place where they were churning and he looked at all the milk in the baths, pails and basins and asked them what they were doing.’
    • ‘People saw them turn over her basins of food and all the tofu products, eggs and all, splashed on the ground.’
    • ‘Some of his flagons, tankards, plates, saucers, salts, basins, and chamber pots, although unspecified as to material, were undoubtedly also made of pewter.’
    • ‘Put the cream cheese, mascarpone, caster sugar, eggs and the extra yolk in the basin of a food mixer (you will need the beater attachment).’
    • ‘Several butter dishes and basins in which milk was stored while the cream separated were ordered and delivered, but later removed from the final service.’
    • ‘I plugged the fridge out on Saturday night, packing the depleted food supplies into a basin.’
    • ‘There were also four round, usually open, sugar bowls resembling water basins and four large low bowls on brazierlike stands, two for each side of the rotunda.’
    • ‘To serve, dip the basin briefly into hot water and invert on to a serving dish.’
    • ‘A portable boiler for 50 basins of soup, basins and spoons are being lent by Mr Etheridge, a member of the education committee.’
    • ‘She walked over to her cooking area and got a basin of sanitized water out, and a cloth, and began cleaning his wounds.’
    • ‘Cook slowly in a basin over hot water until thickened.’
    • ‘However, if you wanted to stock up on discounted Pyrex or Tupperware dishes, plastic basins or buckets and scented and non-scented candles, it offered good value.’
    • ‘On the table, was a basin of water, and circle stone and a lit candle.’
    • ‘As a small boy of five or six years, I often watched as she carefully cleared her stone of eggs from the big basin, and placed them carefully in this basket.’
    • ‘If you don't have a suitable mixing container, such as a plastic basin or a wheelbarrow, prepare the mix on a piece of scrap plywood.’
  • 3A circular or oval valley or natural depression on the earth's surface, especially one containing water.

    ‘the loch is cupped in a shallow basin among low hills’
    • ‘The basins are connected, forming a system of natural waterways that link the Baltic and Black Seas.’
    • ‘For those unfamiliar with the area, the station overlooks the Grand Canal basin, a wide deep area of water.’
    • ‘Frothy geysers and hissing fumaroles vent into icy air, huge herds of elk and bison gather in low basins for food and warmth, the forest glitters with ice, and a blanket of snow brings a rare silence.’
    • ‘The Montrose basin, with its wide expanse of sandflats, offers a perfect environment for the sea trout and, as luck would have it, is too shallow for fish farming.’
    • ‘The central mountains consist of wide plateaus and basins.’
    • ‘In September 1909 he had prepared his expedition with intentions to explore the polar basin, when the news about Peary's success arrived.’
    • ‘At the beginning of the nineteenth century the population stood at a mere 5000, contained entirely within the Sydney basin.’
    • ‘Out ahead lay a wide cultivated basin - ponds near its center, small clumps of trees, many acres of barley and beans and hay and grazing pastures.’
    • ‘Between them basins have opened and filled with erosional debris.’
    • ‘The cold, dry conditions produce weathering products similar to those observed on Mars, and waters contained within the closed basins are mostly saline.’
    • ‘Now, two rivers of molten lava poured continually in, making the basin wider.’
    • ‘The lock is a popular angling pitch, as it provides a natural basin and is usually rich in salmon and trout.’
    • ‘The kingdom of France had originated, and first expanded, in the rolling, open country of the Paris basin where communications were easy.’
    • ‘Jutting mountains and low basins form a range of habitats suitable for a broad spectrum of terrestrial and freshwater species.’
    • ‘Nablus, in the north of the West Bank, is surrounded by steep hillsides forming a basin, containing the main town area.’
    • ‘The lower basin needed that water to ship a few barges of grain and other commodities along the channelized river.’
    • ‘Ahead of you the landscape drops away, a basin walled on three sides by hills, and open ahead into valleys, trees, fields, the world.’
    • ‘Although it is no longer used for drinking, the basin did supply the town's potable water until the 1960s.’
    • ‘Valley-like basins, plains, and plateaus stretch between the mountains.’
    • ‘It is located in a wide basin on the road linking India with Central Asia.’
    valley, hollow, gully, gorge, ravine, bed, channel, dip, depression, concavity, trough
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    1. 3.1The tract of country drained by a river and its tributaries, or which drains into a lake or sea.
      before noun ‘the Amazon basin’
      • ‘In the Amazon basin it is one of the most popular articles of food, a position fully justified by its nutritional qualities.’
      • ‘But that's what those marshlands are designed to do, to act as natural water basins, to trap some of this water and protect these areas.’
      • ‘Filling with water, the basin became a shallow mountain lake; streams ran down into the lake, and plants colonized its shores.’
      • ‘A total of 145 countries have territory in shared river basins, and in the past 50 years 200 treaties have been signed about international water courses.’
      • ‘Well, the lagoons are shallow basins of water planted up with aquatic plant species that naturally occur in low-lying wetland areas.’
      • ‘Then, as heavy spring rains flood the region, these shallow basins fill with water, creating vernal pools.’
      • ‘The Nile rises far to the south of Egypt, in Ethiopia and in the drainage basin of Lake Victoria.’
      • ‘The drainage basin of Lake Oloidien is hydrologically closed so that water losses are due almost entirely to evaporation.’
      • ‘Over the years, human settlement along the river basin has increased as the population has expanded.’
      • ‘Assistance to the Land Forces in defensive and offensive operations in coastal sectors, as well as in areas of lake and river basins adjacent to the front.’
      • ‘Both species are distributed widely across eastern North America, including the Great Lakes and Ohio River drainage basins.’
      • ‘Water and sediment control basins generally are used where gully erosion is a problem and a grassed waterway cannot be installed or maintained because of large volumes of runoff water.’
      • ‘Other regions of the lake basin have experienced much more extensive sedimentation impacts related to deforestation.’
      • ‘In addition, there's likely to be heavy snowfall accumulations in the mountains of Colorado and Wyoming that feed that Platte River drainage basins.’
      • ‘He proposed connecting the water supply across different river basins, built new canals with many sluices to control the water level, and achieved great success with the improvements which he was able to make.’
      • ‘The Environment Agency said that two flood basins had been opened this morning to try to avert flooding problems.’
      • ‘The team was on the 17 April flight to seed clouds in the Walker and Carson river basins south of Lake Tahoe.’
      • ‘Contained within the wetland basin are 264 species of freshwater fish.’
      • ‘A lovely feature of the garden is the showing of the River Shannon and its basin and estuary by flowing water, symbolic of peace and tranquillity.’
      • ‘The area to be irrigated in the basin of the Khabur River, a major tributary of the Euphrates in the Syrian territory, is 137,000 ha.’
      cove, inlet, estuary, indentation, natural harbour, gulf, fjord, ria, sound, arm, bight, firth, anchorage
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    2. 3.2An enclosed area of water where boats can be moored.
      ‘the gravel pit is to be used as a yacht basin’
      • ‘The basin fills up with colourful narrowboats from far and wide, and the banks are packed out with canalfolk, localfolk and the usual kebabvanfolk who congregate at events such as this.’
      • ‘The yacht basin will form the focal point of the development and will comprise berthing for small craft, a timeshare hotel, a yacht club, shops and kiosks.’
      • ‘Some had ventured beyond the yacht basin, but few had gone further than Port of Spain.’
      • ‘Best fish of the week, a superb rainbow weighing 7lb 8oz, was taken by Phil Hall from Maidenhead while boat fishing the main basin.’
      • ‘The granite sea wall, which is being constructed on the northern side of the port's main breakwater, will be built to contain basin sediments dredged from the harbour.’
      • ‘In addition, the company will market six residential lots, each with a private boat slip, fronting on the Intracoastal and the marina basin.’
      • ‘The marine development proposed by Smith & Son Investments will consist of an ocean marina with a yacht basin.’
      • ‘Stroll the paved waterfront walk along Marine Drive and explore the east and west mooring basins.’
      • ‘The art of sailing is defined, except on the open basins, by the skipper's ability to estimate from the water's surface patterns what the surrounding hills are doing to the wind.’
      • ‘After two-and-a-half hours of being stuck, the tide turned, releasing the pressure on the boat and allowing it to be towed by the water rescue unit back to the canal basin.’
      • ‘As for those six waterfront home sites, three would front the Intracoastal and the other three would be on the marina basin, all with private docks.’
      • ‘Australian business people are looking into building a yacht basin in the town of Nessebar, an Attraction Park in Shabla, a golf course, and a hotel at the Albena resort.’
      • ‘The second priority is the removal of the old boatyard slipway which, Mr. Farrell said, is a constant threat to vessels using the east basin and should be demolished.’
      • ‘He returned to his boat at the yacht basin and fell into the water after feeling ill as he boarded the boat.’
      • ‘We love Camachee Cove Marina here, with its enclosed basin, two lounges, Internet access, two loaner cars and yacht yard.’
      • ‘Some of them, indeed, may have spent their formative years bobbing in America's yacht basins.’
      • ‘During this interval, the sea was restricted to a narrow passage of not more than 100 km wide adjacent to the eastern margin of the basin.’
      • ‘The scale and topography of the district, with its alternation of finger-like islands and wide dock basins, influenced many aspects of the project.’
      • ‘On Rarotonga, ongoing development work includes a new check in area at the international airport and construction of a harbour basin for small fishing boats.’
      • ‘He said a large amount of water would be needed to fill the marina basin and any increase in boat traffic on the canal would take more water.’
    3. 3.3Geology A circumscribed rock formation where the strata dip towards the centre.
      • ‘These basins were interpreted to contain thick Old Red Sandstone sediments and to have resulted from the extensional collapse of thickened Caledonian crust.’
      • ‘On the margins of the basin the Upper Balder contains a high proportion of tuffs, tuffaceous muds and tuffaceous sands.’
      • ‘In other parts of the Selendi and Usak-Gure basins, the group contains only tilted sedimentary units due to the extensional tectonics in the region.’
      • ‘These polygonal basins contain up to 6 km of sediment overlying a salt layer several kilometres thick.’
      • ‘An alternative mechanism to open the rift basins is subduction rollback of the Indian plate to the west of Thailand.’


Middle English: from Old French bacin, from medieval Latin bacinus, from bacca water container, perhaps of Gaulish origin.