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basement

[beys-muh nt] /ˈbeɪs mənt/
noun
1.
a story of a building, partly or wholly underground.
2.
(in classical and Renaissance architecture) the portion of a building beneath the principal story, treated as a single compositional unit.
3.
the lowermost portion of a structure.
4.
the substructure of a columnar or arched construction.
Origin
1720-1730
1720-30; base1 + -ment
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for basement

basement

/ˈbeɪsmənt/
noun
1.
  1. a partly or wholly underground storey of a building, esp the one immediately below the main floor Compare cellar
  2. (as modifier) a basement flat
2.
the foundation or substructure of a wall or building
3.
(geology) a part of the earth's crust formed of hard igneous or metamorphic rock that lies beneath the cover of soft sedimentary rock, sediment, and soil
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for basement
n.

"lowest story of a building except the cellar," 1730, from base (n.) + -ment.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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