Difference Between Crawlspace and Basement?

Usually, I’d have no problem identifying the difference between a crawlspace and basement. However, I was looking at a house the other day which was listed as being 1/2 basement which I thought was odd since the lines of the house seemed to suggest a full basement. Once inside and downstairs, there is a door in the 1/2 basement that leads to the “crawlspace”. Going through this door you find yourself in a very large space whose only difference from the 1/2 basement is that it has no light fixtures, it is not framed, it has no windows, and the floor is dirt. I would think that it is not a major undertaking to convert this into usable space.

My question is: is there some engineering consideration that makes this area a crawlspace or is this simply a very, very unfinished basement?

I would have thought the difference between a basement and a crawlspace was just that, whether you could stand up or had to crawl.

I prefer to bury the bodies in the basement. John Wayne Gacy pretty much put his personal stamp on burying bodies in the crawlspace. No one wants to perpetrate a horrific crime and hear nothing but, “Oooh, just like Gacy!”

We have both under our house, at least by my definition. To me, a basement is a tall enough area that with some effort, could be usable space. A crawlspace is lower and serves only as access for the underside of the house. We have a basement workshop under the back of the house where the slope was steep enough that excavation was not required. There’s a crawlspace under the front of the house - actually it’s tall enough for me to stand, but I’m only 5’5" - it could never be used as anything but maybe storage, if you don’t worry about termites and dampness…