A basin is a container that holds water and is used for washing, but you probably just call it your bathroom sink.

You can think of basinas something shaped like a bowl. If you're going for an old-fashioned ring, say "wash basin." If you’re in England, you might use a basin for cooking. The word basin also has various geological senses, particularly a depression in the ground or ocean floor. A basin is also the spot where a river drains — like the famed Mississippi River Basin. That’s one big bowl!

Primary Meanings of basin

a bowl-shaped vessel; usually used for holding food or liquids
a natural depression in the surface of the land often with a lake at the bottom of it
Full Definitions of basin

n a bowl-shaped vessel; usually used for holding food or liquids

“she mixed the dough in a large basin
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the basin or other vessel that holds holy water in Roman Catholic Churches
baptismal font, baptistery, baptistry, font
bowl for baptismal water
a basin for washing genitals and anal area
an ornamental basin (usually in a garden) for birds to bathe in
emesis basin
a basin used by bedridden patients for vomiting
(Old Testament) large basin used by a priest in an ancient Jewish temple to perform ritual ablutions
stoop, stoup
basin for holy water
handbasin, lavabo, wash-hand basin, washbasin, washbowl
a basin for washing the hands (`wash-hand basin' is a British expression)
Type of:
an object used as a container (especially for liquids)

n the quantity that a basin will hold

Type of:
the quantity that a container will hold

n a bathroom sink that is permanently installed and connected to a water supply and drainpipe; where you can wash your hands and face

“he ran some water in the basin and splashed it on his face”
lavatory, washbasin, washbowl, washstand
Type of:
plumbing fixture consisting of a water basin fixed to a wall or floor and having a drainpipe

n a natural depression in the surface of the land often with a lake at the bottom of it

“the basin of the Great Salt Lake”
cirque, corrie, cwm
a steep-walled semicircular basin in a mountain; may contain a lake
a shallow basin in a desert region; contains salt and gypsum that was deposited by an evaporated salt lake
tidal basin
a basin that is full of water at high tide
Type of:
depression, natural depression
a sunken or depressed geological formation

n the entire geographical area drained by a river and its tributaries; an area characterized by all runoff being conveyed to the same outlet

“flood control in the Missouri basin
catchment area, catchment basin, drainage area, drainage basin, river basin, watershed
detention basin
a storage site (such as a small reservoir) that delays the flow of water downstream
retention basin
a storage site similar to a detention basin but the water in storage is permanently obstructed from flowing downstream
Type of:
geographic area, geographic region, geographical area, geographical region
a demarcated area of the Earth