bot·​tom | \ˈbä-təm \

Definition of bottom 

(Entry 1 of 3)

1a : the underside of something at the bottom of the box a cut on the bottom of her foot The vase is signed on the bottom.

b : a surface (such as the seat of a chair) designed to support something resting on it used figuratively in phrases like the bottom dropped out to describe a sudden collapse or downturn lost millions when the bottom dropped out of the stock market

c : buttocks, rump a baby with a rash on his bottom

2 : the surface on which a body of water lies sank to the bottom of the ocean

3 nautical

a : the part of a ship's hull lying below the water

b : boat, ship cargo … carried by foreign bottoms— Virginia A. Oakes

4a : the lowest part or place the bottom of the page stood at the bottom of the stairs

b : the remotest or inmost point sail to the bottom of the bay

c : the lowest or last place in rank or position The CEO started at the bottom and worked her way up. graduated at the bottom of the class the bottom of the pay scale

d clothing : the part of a garment worn on the lower part of the body white tops and navy blue bottoms a bikini bottom especially : the pants of pajamas usually used in plural

e baseball : the last half of an inning the bottom of the ninth

f music : the bass or baritone instruments of a band

5 geography : bottomland usually used in plural the Mississippi river bottoms

6 : basis, source trying to get to the bottom of these rumors

7 : capacity (as of a horse) to endure strain a breed of dogs outstanding for bottom

8 textiles : a foundation color applied to fibers before dyeing

9 physics : a fundamental quark that accounts for the existence and lifetime of upsilon particles and has an electric charge of −¹/₃ and a measured energy of approximately 5 GeV also : the flavor (see flavor entry 1 sense 4b) characterizing this particle

at bottom

: really, basically It is, at bottom, a love song.


bottomed; bottoming; bottoms

Definition of bottom (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

1 : to furnish (something, such as a chair) with a bottom

2 : to provide a foundation for men who wanted to bottom the dreams of the Romantics— Bonamy Dobrée

3 : to bring to the bottom bottomed the submarine on the ocean floor

4 : to find the basis or source of (something, such as a rumor) : to get to the bottom (see bottom entry 1 sense 6) of The mystery hasn't been bottomed.

intransitive verb

1 : to become based or grounded find on what foundation any proposition bottoms— John Locke

2 : to reach the bottom bottoming on the sea floor

3 : to reach a point where a decline is halted or reversed usually used with out The team bottomed out in last place.



Definition of bottom (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : of, relating to, or situated at the bottom (see bottom entry 1) bottom rock

2 : frequenting the lowest part or place : frequenting the bottom bottom fish

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Other Words from bottom


bottomed \ˈbä-​təmd \ adjective


bottomer noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for bottom

Synonyms: Noun

underbelly, underbody, underpart, underside, undersurface

Synonyms: Adjective

bottommost, low, lowermost, nethermost, rock-bottom, undermost

Antonyms: Noun

face, top

Antonyms: Adjective

highest, loftiest, top, topmost, upmost, uppermost

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Examples of bottom in a Sentence


We sailed to the bottom of the bay. the bottom of the garden The poor baby has a rash all over his little bottom. The company's new CEO started at the bottom and worked her way up. Why do I always find myself rooting for the team at the bottom of the league? at the bottom of the pay scale


the bottom rung of the ladder Somebody's fingerprints are all along the bottom edge of the photograph.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Dallas began the season without an answer in the passing game and ranked near the bottom of the league in passing offense as a result. Andrew Beaton, WSJ, "The Dallas Cowboys Emerge in the Middling NFC East," 23 Nov. 2018 The results were very surprising, given that the couple sent home earned an impressive 27 out of 30 – nowhere near the bottom of the leaderboard. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "‘Dancing with the Stars’ Fans Are Livid at Bobby Bones and Joe Amabile After Last Night," 16 Oct. 2018 Any combustion-air opening near the bottom should also be left clear. Henry Gifford, Popular Mechanics, "Your House Is Bleeding You Dry. Here Are 9 Steps To Save You Money.," 8 Aug. 2018 For a full list of prices and routes, check the terms and conditions section near the bottom of the page, which shows you the regular price of the trip and the comparative savings. Bridget Hallinan, Condé Nast Traveler, "Eurostar’s Offering 30 Percent Off Standard Premier Class Train Tickets," 12 July 2018 Study: Idaho teacher salaries rank lowest in nation Originally posted on on July 11, 2018 From pre-K through college, Idaho educator salaries rank at or near the bottom nationally, according to a new study. Kevin Richert, idahostatesman, "Think teacher salaries are low in Idaho? This study confirms it.," 12 July 2018 Less than a month ago, Franco was near the bottom of the league in hitting, his job in jeopardy if not lost entirely. David Murphy,, "The Phillies need another starter. Could he be pitching tonight? | David Murphy," 10 July 2018 The Dash are near the bottom of the NWSL table, but in a nine-team league, that doesn’t mean there’s much separation between them and the Pride. Plus, Houston beat Orlando 2-1 at home last week. Jordan Culver, Pro Soccer USA, "Orlando Pride upbeat entering final third of 2018 season," 9 July 2018 That puts the United States near the bottom of the five countries for which the researchers provided recent data. Andrew Van Dam,, "Limited unionization and government aid hold back US workers, study says," 4 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The Case-Shiller data shows home values have doubled since bottoming out in 2012, and are up 35 percent over the old bubble peak in 2007. Mike Rosenberg, The Seattle Times, "Seattle dethroned as nation’s hottest housing market after nearly two years," 28 Aug. 2018 The outfit was a bit more boho chic than her bell bottomed appearance, but the outfit still came with plenty of color. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "Bella Thorne Rocked Armpit Hair and Green Eye Makeup," 3 Oct. 2018 That’s up 73 percent from when the market bottomed out six years ago, and 20 percent higher than the old bubble peak from a decade ago, according to the Runstad Department of Real Estate at the University of Washington. Mike Rosenberg, The Seattle Times, "Washington state no longer has the nation’s fastest-climbing home prices," 13 Aug. 2018 After bottoming out in 2012, the rate of out-migration has picked up in recent years as housing costs once again surged. Andrew Khouri,, "High housing costs are driving out lower-income Californians, reports say," 3 May 2018 Bitcoin has bottomed out, according to one crypto hedge fund., "Five Things You Need to Know to Start Your Day," 12 Apr. 2018 That contrasts with the projection of the U.S. Energy Information Administration, which sees inventories having bottomed out in the first quarter at 2.812 billion barrels. Spencer Jakab, WSJ, "Small Outages Have Big Impact on Oil Prices," 21 May 2018 The Boston series was also the first time that FanGraphs pinned Washington’s odds of winning the division at less than 50 percent, bottoming out at 44%. Emma Baccellieri,, "What Is Wrong With the Washington Nationals?," 6 July 2018 Low temperatures by just before dawn may bottom out in the mid-60s outside of the Beltway, to around 70 degrees downtown. A. Camden Walker, Washington Post, "D.C.-area forecast: Un-muggy heat through tomorrow, but then we turn steamy and wetter into next week," 13 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

In addition, there's a bottom navigation drawer, which (rather than sliding in from the left and sticking menu items at the top of the screen) slides in from the bottom. Ron Amadeo, Ars Technica, "Android 9 Pie, thoroughly reviewed," 13 Sep. 2018 How to Plant 1. If your container doesn't already have them, drill ¼- to ½-inch holes every few inches around the bottom edge, plus another few in the center bottom so excess water can drain. 2. Jean Nick, Good Housekeeping, "Cherry Tomatoes Are the Easiest Plant You'll Ever Grow," 10 July 2018 The top three universities with the most points get bonuses and the bottom three walk away with nothing. Colleen Wright, miamiherald, "FIU's new No. 2 ranking means more scholarships, advisers and mental health counselors," 28 June 2018 Bring the bottom corner of the nori to the middle of the nori sheet, so that the midpoint of the bottom of the nori becomes the point of the cone. Chronicle Staff, San Francisco Chronicle, "4 recipes from now-closed Terra in St. Helena," 11 June 2018 With three blue emoji hearts, the series of pics revealed that on the bottom of Nazmayde’s sheer-effect dress was a bottom made of matching cobalt rosettes that cascaded down the bottom half, reaching the floor. Avery Matera, Teen Vogue, "Teenager Makes a Prom Gown Out of a Fashion Nova Dress," 8 May 2018 On Tuesday, Nonoo posted a picture of the desert gang on her Instagram Stories, showing Princess Beatrice in the bottom right corner. Megan Decker, Harper's BAZAAR, "Princess Beatrice Was Spotted Vacationing with Karlie Kloss and Ellie Goulding," 27 Apr. 2018 The car's rear license plate wasn't illuminated, and the registration sticker was on the bottom left corner of the plate, instead of the bottom right corner as required by law. Bob Sandrick,, "Garfield Heights man leads police on high-speed chase; resident calls police after hearing gunshots: Berea police blotter," 26 Apr. 2018 Maryland moved out of the bottom five in Leapfrog’s bi-annual state rankings of the country’s safest hospitals. Andrea K. Mcdaniels,, "Maryland hospitals rise in safety grading system," 24 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'bottom.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of bottom


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1544, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1


1561, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for bottom


Middle English botme, botom, bothom, going back to Old English botm, *boðm, going back to Germanic *butma- (whence, with varying dental consonants, Old Saxon bođom "ground, bottom," Old High German bodam, Old Norse botn), going back to Indo-European *bhudh-mḗn, *bhudh-mn-ós, whence also Greek pythmḗn "bottom, ground, base," Sanskrit budhná- and (with metathesis of stop and nasal) Latin fundus "bottom, base," Middle Irish bonn "sole of the foot"


derivative of bottom entry 1


from attributive use of bottom entry 1

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Statistics for bottom

Last Updated

29 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for bottom

The first known use of bottom was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for bottom



English Language Learners Definition of bottom

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the lowest part, point, or level of something

: the part of something that is below or under the other parts

: the lowest point or surface inside something : the part of something hollow that is furthest from the top



English Language Learners Definition of bottom (Entry 2 of 2)

: in the lowest position

: living at the lowest level of an ocean or lake


bot·​tom | \ˈbä-təm \

Kids Definition of bottom

1 : the lowest part of something the bottom of the stairs the bottom of the bowl

2 : the under surface of something There's gum on the bottom of my shoe.

3 : a supporting surface or part : base chair bottoms

4 : the lowest or worst level or position She graduated at the bottom of her class.

5 : clothing that covers the lower part of the body pajama bottoms

6 : the bed of a body of water the lake bottom

7 : low land along a river Mississippi River bottoms

8 : the most basic part Let's get to the bottom of the problem.

9 : the second half of an inning of baseball

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More from Merriam-Webster on bottom

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with bottom

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for bottom

Spanish Central: Translation of bottom

Nglish: Translation of bottom for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of bottom for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about bottom

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