1. A hollow vessel or dish, to hold water for washing, and for various other uses.

2. The quantity contained in a basin.

3. A hollow vessel, of various forms and materials, used in the arts or manufactures, as that used by glass grinders for forming concave glasses, by hatters for molding a hat into shape, etc.

4. A hollow place containing water, as a pond, a dock for ships, a little bay.

5. <physics> A circular or oval valley, or depression of the surface of the ground, the lowest part of which is generally occupied by a lake, or traversed by a river. The entire tract of country drained by a river, or sloping towards a sea or lake.

6. <geology> An isolated or circumscribed formation, particularly where the strata dip inward, on all sides, toward a center; especially applied to the coal formations, called coal basins or coal fields.

Origin: OF. Bacin, F. Bassin, LL. Bacchinus, fr. Bacca a water vessel, fr. L. Bacca berry, in allusion to the round shape; or perh. Fr. Celtic. Cf. Bac.

(01 Mar 1998)

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