bot·​tom | \ ˈbä-təm How to pronounce bottom (audio) \

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

Other Words from bottom


bottomed \ ˈbä-​təmd How to pronounce bottom (audio) \ adjective


bottomer noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for bottom

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Adjective

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Examples of bottom in a Sentence

Noun 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 Adjective the bottom rung of the ladder Somebody's fingerprints are all along the bottom edge of the photograph. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The team’s first base production has been abysmal, near the bottom of MLB teams in average (.203, 29th), OBP (.278, 27th), and slugging (.349, 28th), with dreadful defense. Alex Speier,, 2 Aug. 2022 But the athletic infrastructure is crumbling and ranks near the bottom of the Mountain West, and the academics lag behind SDSU — 213th in US News with a 90-percent acceptance rate. Mark Zeigler, San Diego Union-Tribune, 30 July 2022 UConn’s offense was near the bottom of the FBS in nearly every statistic in 2021. Joe Arruda, Hartford Courant, 29 July 2022 After opening against at home against Wyoming, a team predicted to finish near the bottom of the Mountain Division of the Mountain West, the Illini open Big Ten play the next week at Indiana. Mark Stewart, Journal Sentinel, 27 July 2022 From your home screen, tap the System Settings icon (which looks like a little sun) and then select Bluetooth Audio down the list (it’s near the bottom). Marc Saltzman, USA TODAY, 23 July 2022 She was found at her New York City apartment unconscious and near the bottom of a staircase. Brooke Singman, Fox News, 20 July 2022 After being stripped of their first- and second-round draft picks in 2020 and 2021, the Astros’ farm system ranks near the bottom ( ranks it 29th out of 30 teams). Matt Young, Chron, 18 July 2022 Like Arkansas, the state ranks near the bottom of the country in coronavirus vaccination rates, with 56% of the state fully vaccinated against the virus. Andrew Marquardt, Fortune, 11 July 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb That’s when temperatures will bottom out in the upper 20s to mid-30s. Washington Post, 21 Feb. 2022 Tonight: Much of the night is in the 80s before predawn low temperatures bottom out in the low to mid-70s. A. Camden Walker, Washington Post, 22 July 2022 Often the bullish % will bottom ahead of the market which was the case in December 2018. Tom Aspray, Forbes, 5 June 2022 Additional showers or lesser thunderstorms are possible later into the night as temperatures bottom out in the upper 60s and lower 70s. A. Camden Walker, Washington Post, 2 July 2022 Keith Lerner, chief market strategist for Truist Advisory Services, believes the S&P 500 will bottom out at around 3,400 -- another 7.5% decline from Friday's close. David Goldman, CNN, 21 June 2022 Indiana doesn’t draft in the top 10 often and seemingly doesn’t intend to bottom out next season, so this is a big opportunity to add a foundational player. Scott Horner, The Indianapolis Star, 22 June 2022 Low temperatures bottom out in the 50s throughout the region. A. Camden Walker, Washington Post, 18 June 2022 Now Carroll and general manager John Schneider have to dive into the crevasse in order to bottom out and find the talent to contend again. oregonlive, 9 Mar. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Alternatively, half of the children of parents in the bottom tier work also work in occupations of similar stature. Adi Gaskell, Forbes, 4 Aug. 2022 The Arizona Wildcats do get the bottom spot on this list thanks to the poor state of the football program. Jeremy Cluff, The Arizona Republic, 3 Aug. 2022 Each of those numbers ranked among the bottom five all-time for a program that’s been around since the 19th century. Nick Moyle, San Antonio Express-News, 3 Aug. 2022 The silicone rubber nubs on the bottom prevent sliding out of your shoe or bunching. Emma Seymour, Good Housekeeping, 1 Aug. 2022 Step 3Add battered cauliflower to basket, using both the bottom and upper racks to avoid overcrowding and working in batches if needed. People Staff,, 31 July 2022 The first three each have three races, and at the end of those rounds, the bottom four playoff drivers are eliminated as the field shrinks. Michelle R. Martinelli, USA TODAY, 29 July 2022 Remove the parchment and weights and bake for 2 to 3 minutes more, or until the bottom crust appears to be set. Andrea Beck, Better Homes & Gardens, 29 July 2022 Just offshore, the sandy bottom slopes off into a channel deep enough to allow heavily laden barges to enter the harbor. Taras Grescoe, Smithsonian Magazine, 28 July 2022 See More

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.

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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Time Traveler for bottom

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near bottom



bottom board

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Statistics for bottom

Last Updated

5 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Bottom.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for bottom


bot·​tom | \ ˈbä-təm How to pronounce bottom (audio) \

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

More from Merriam-Webster on bottom

Nglish: Translation of bottom for Spanish Speakers

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


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