to lie in or be exposed to a pleasant warmth:
to bask in the sunshine.
to enjoy a pleasant situation:
He basked in royal favor.
Obsolete. to expose to warmth or heat.
Contemporary Examples

But the separatists continue to think they are basking in the glory of their accomplishment.
Inside East Ukraine’s Make-Believe Republics Jamie Dettmer May 14, 2014

Nerds, by definition, are supposed to be muttering bitter observations in the background, not basking in the spotlight.
The Nerds’ Last Hurrah Gina Piccalo June 1, 2010

Lewis was enormously pleased with himself, basking in the attention from the New York media.
Banks Really Are Different Five Years After the Financial Crisis Daniel Gross September 16, 2013

Not coincidentally, his weekly is basking in the spotlight—and racking up huge sales—while performing this “service.”
Warsawgate Rocks Poland Andrew Nagorski June 23, 2014

Sarah was basking in a kind of golden haze of glory—and who could blame her?
The Palin Girls Don’t Share Meghan McCain September 16, 2010

Historical Examples

What a balmy serenity hovers around them—basking in the sunlight of undisturbed tranquillity.
Continental Monthly, Vol. III, No IV, April 1863 Various

He was basking in the frankly admiring gaze of Miss Knowles.
Out of the Depths Robert Ames Bennet

They were basking, no doubt; but, for birds so wary, why did they not spring up and take to flight?
The Young Yagers Mayne Reid

We meet them in the shade of the woods, and have to pass them basking on the sea-shore.
The Hour and the Man Harriet Martineau

I frequently surprised them basking on the sand under the shade of a tree.
The Solomon Islands and Their Natives H. B. (Henry Brougham) Guppy

verb (intransitive) usually foll by in
to lie in or be exposed to pleasant warmth, esp that of the sun
to flourish or feel secure under some benevolent influence or favourable condition

1742, present participle adjective from bask (v.). Basking shark is recorded from 1769.

late 14c., basken “to wallow (in blood),” with loss of middle syllable, from Old Norse baðask “to bathe oneself,” reflexive of baða “bathe” (see bathe). Modern meaning “soak up a flood of warmth” is apparently due to Shakespeare’s use of the word in reference to sunshine in “As You Like It” (1600). Related: Basked; basking.


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