"vessel made of thin strips of wood, or other flexible materials, interwoven in a great variety of forms, and used for many purpose," early 13c., from Anglo-French bascat; a word of obscure origin despite much speculation.
On one theory, it is from Latin bascauda "kettle, table-vessel," said by the Roman poet Martial to be from Celtic British and perhaps cognate with Latin fascis "bundle, faggot," in which case it probably originally meant "wicker basket." But OED frowns on this, and there is no evidence of such a word in Celtic unless later words in Irish and Welsh, sometimes counted as borrowings from English, are original. As "a goal in the game of basketball," 1892; as "a score in basketball," by 1898.
1919, American English, originally a reference to rumors of quadriplegics as a result of catastrophic wounds suffered in World War I (the U.S. military authorities vehemently denied there were any such in its hospitals), from basket (n.) + case (n.2). Probably literal, i.e., stuck in a basket, but basket had colloquial connotations of poverty (begging) and helplessness long before this. The figurative sense of "person emotionally unable to cope" is from 1921.
also basket-ball, "game in which the object is to throw the ball into one of the two baskets placed at opposite ends of the court," 1892, American English, from basket + ball (n.1). The game was invented 1891 by James A. Naismith (1861-1939), physical education instructor in Springfield, Massachusetts, U.S.
"quantity measure for grain, etc.; basket for coal, grain, alms, etc.; grain receptacle," c. 1100, skeppe, from Old Norse skeppa "basket, bushel." Related: Skepful; skepper "basket-weaver, basket-maker," also a surname.
c. 1300, paniere, "large basket for provisions," from Old French panier, paniere "basket," from Latin panarium "bread-basket," noun use of a neuter adjective meaning "pertaining to bread," from panis "bread" (from PIE root *pa- "to feed"). Transferred sense of "frame of whalebone, etc., used to distend the skirt of a woman's dress at the hips" is by 1869.
late 15c., "basket," from Latin canistrum "wicker basket" for bread, fruit, flowers, etc., from Greek kanystron "basket made from reed," from kanna (see cane (n.)). It came to mean "small metal receptacle" (1711) through influence of unrelated can (n.). As short for canister shot, it is attested from 1801, so called for its casing.
1660s, unexplained corruption of baluster (q.v.). As late as 1848 it was identified as a vulgar term, but it is now accepted. Another 17c. corrupted form is barrester. The surname Bannister is unrelated, from Old French banastre "basket," hence, "basket-maker."