Look at this large bowl-shaped container which is very popular in Asia but not in Western countries. It can be used to contain water or you can wash your hands or face using it.

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In the dictionary,

basin: a large round bowl for holding liquids or (in British English) for preparing foods in; the amount of liquid, etc. in a basin

a pudding basin

vessel ​(old use or specialist) a container used for holding liquids, such as a bowl, cup, etc.

a Bronze Age drinking vessel

What is it called? A basin or vessel?

  • I would call it a washing-up bowl. NB I would mean washing up in the British sense of washing the dishes, not the American one of washing oneself. Most British homes have one (the red bowl, not the dipper) in their kitchen sink. Commented Jan 4, 2020 at 9:13
  • Wouldn't you expect the bath tub?
    – user17814
    Commented Jan 4, 2020 at 9:29

1 Answer 1


In British English, a fairly large square or round plastic container that can be placed inside a kitchen sink is commonly referred to as a (washing-up) bowl.

A vessel would be any hollowed out object that either floats on water, e.g. a boat

a small vessel propelled on water by oars, sails, or an engine.

or is used to contain liquids such as wine, juice, milk etc, e.g. a goblet is normally an ancient drinking vessel.

a drinking glass with a foot and a stem.

  • I think "(washing-up) bowl." is the right word because in Asia, people often wash dishes in it.
    – Tom
    Commented Jan 4, 2020 at 11:52

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