a circular container with a greater width than depth, becoming smaller toward the bottom, used chiefly to hold water or other liquid, especially for washing.
any container of similar shape, as the pan of a balance.
the quantity held by such a container:
We need another basin of water to dilute the mixture.
a natural or artificial hollow place containing water.
a partially enclosed, sheltered area along a shore, often partly man-made or dredged to a greater depth, where boats may be moored:
a yacht basin.
Geology. an area in which the strata dip from the margins toward a common center.
Physical Geography.

a hollow or depression in the earth’s surface, wholly or partly surrounded by higher land:
river basin.
drainage basin.

Botany. the depression in an apple, pear, or other pome at the end opposite the stem.
Contemporary Examples

Appropriately enough, the basin family crest bears the motto “boldness and inspiration.”
Putin’s Criminal Olympics Michael Weiss January 26, 2014

Libyan is part of the Mediterranean basin and has a rich history and will always be a source of moderation and stability.
Rebel Leader: Give Us a Chance Fadel Lamen March 13, 2011

A pair of magnitude 4-5 earthquakes in the Los Angeles basin.
A Lot of Earthquakes Have Been Reported Lately, but Scientists Aren’t Worried Erik Klemetti April 1, 2014

At the same instant he plunged his hand into the basin and drew out the flower.
Read ‘The King in Yellow,’ the ‘True Detective’ Reference That’s the Key to the Show Robert W. Chambers February 19, 2014

A lake may dry up in one region, but a new one can form when rains fill a basin elsewhere.
A Cloud Forms Over Saturn’s Mysterious Moon Matthew R. Francis August 16, 2014

Historical Examples

“You will hold the basin,” said he, directing me with his calm, benignant eye.
Ernest Linwood Caroline Lee Hentz

This basin was in the center of the atrium, the most important room in the house.
Buried Cities: Pompeii, Olympia, Mycenae Jennie Hall

A bronze hind, through the mouth of which a stream of water flowed, formerly stood in the centre of the basin.
Museum of Antiquity L. W. Yaggy

“They always do,” said Miss Desmond, pouring water into the basin.
The Incomplete Amorist E. Nesbit

Suddenly I had a kind of vision, I know not why, of a basin filled with dirty water in which all that hair had been washed.
Original Short Stories, Volume 5 (of 13) Guy de Maupassant

a round container open and wide at the top with sides sloping inwards towards the bottom or base, esp one in which liquids are mixed or stored
Also called basinful. the amount a basin will hold
a washbasin or sink
any partially enclosed or sheltered area where vessels may be moored or docked
the catchment area of a particular river and its tributaries or of a lake or sea
a depression in the earth’s surface
(geology) a part of the earth’s surface consisting of rock strata that slope down to a common centre

“large shallow vessel or dish,” c.1200, from Old French bacin (11c., Modern French bassin), from Vulgar Latin *baccinum, from *bacca “water vessel,” perhaps originally Gaulish. Meaning “large-scale artificial water-holding landscape feature” is from 1712. Geological sense of “tract of country drained by one river or draining into one sea” is from 1830.

A region drained by a river and its tributaries.

A low-lying area on the Earth’s surface in which thick layers of sediment have accumulated. Some basins are bowl-shaped while others are elongate. Basins form through tectonic processes, especially in fault-bordered intermontane areas or in areas where the Earth’s crust has warped downwards. They are often a source of valuable oil.

An artificially enclosed area of a river or harbor designed so that the water level remains unaffected by tidal changes.

or Bason. (1.) A trough or laver (Heb. aggan’) for washing (Ex. 24:6); rendered also “goblet” (Cant. 7:2) and “cups” (Isa. 22:24). (2.) A covered dish or urn (Heb. k’for) among the vessels of the temple (1 Chr. 28:17; Ezra 1:10; 8:27). (3.) A vase (Heb. mizrak) from which to sprinkle anything. A metallic vessel; sometimes rendered “bowl” (Amos 6:6; Zech. 9:15). The vessels of the tabernacle were of brass (Ex. 27:3), while those of the temple were of gold (2 Chr. 4:8). (4.) A utensil (Heb. saph) for holding the blood of the victims (Ex. 12:22); also a basin for domestic purposes (2 Sam. 17:28). The various vessels spoken of by the names “basin, bowl, charger, cup, and dish,” cannot now be accurately distinguished. The basin in which our Lord washed the disciples’ feet (John 13:5) must have been larger and deeper than the hand-basin.


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