one of a people of unknown origin inhabiting the western Pyrenees regions in France and Spain.
their language, not known to be related to any other language.
(lowercase) a close-fitting bodice, sometimes having an extension that covers the hips.
(lowercase) the extension of this bodice or of a doublet.


of or relating to the Basques or their language. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for basque

Contemporary Examples of basque

Historical Examples of basque

  • The obvious thing was to question the Basque as to long-ago events.

    Louisiana Lou

    William West Winter

  • She was talking low to herself, but she spoke in Basque which he did not understand.

    Louisiana Lou

    William West Winter

  • It is said that, in Basque, "you spell Solomon, and pronounce it Nebuchadnezzar."

    A Short History of Spain

    Mary Platt Parmele

  • Whenever a man talks indifferent Spanish, he says he is from the Basque.

    Confessions Of Con Cregan

    Charles James Lever

  • The girl was the wilful daughter of a Basque rancher over on the Porcupine.

British Dictionary definitions for basque



a short extension below the waist to the bodice of a woman's jacket, etc
a tight-fitting bodice for women

Word Origin for basque

C19: perhaps from Basque



a member of a people of unknown origin living around the W Pyrenees in France and Spain
the language of this people, of no known relationship with any other language


relating to, denoting, or characteristic of this people or their language

Word Origin for Basque

C19: from French, from Latin Vascō a Basque
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

Word Origin and History for basque


1817 (adj.), 1835 (n.), from French, from Spanish vasco (adj.), from vascon (n.), from Latin Vascones (Vasconia was the Roman name for the up-country of the western Pyrenees), said by von Humboldt to originally mean "foresters" but more likely a Latinized version of the people's name for themselves, euskara or eskuara.

This contains a basic element -sk- which is believed to relate to maritime people or sailors, and which is also found in the name of the Etruscans .... [Room, "Placenames of the World," 2006]

Earlier in English was Basquish (1610s, noun and adjective); Baskles (plural noun, late 14c.); Baskon (mid-15c.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper