bottom

noun
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.

bottom

verb
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.

bottom

adjective

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

Noun

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

Verb

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

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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Weave one end of the shoelace into the bottom eyelet closest to your big toe. Alexa Tucker, SELF, "6 Lacing Hacks to Make Your Running Shoes Way More Comfortable," 8 May 2019 Real income for America’s bottom 90% reached an all-time high in 1999, and at the time Pew Research found that 81% of Americans agreed that free enterprise was a major reason for the country’s success in the 20th century. Herman Cain, WSJ, "The Fed and the Professor Standard," 17 Apr. 2019 More designers and homeowners are also starting to mix and match, picking different-colored bottom cabinets than the top and islands packed with personality. Jessica Dailey, Good Housekeeping, "Doors and Drawers," 11 Feb. 2019 And so this French team is following a similar path, focusing without apology on pragmatism and bottom-line results. Brian Straus, SI.com, "Le Bleuprint: France Follows Familiar World Cup Path in Reaching Final," 10 July 2018 Another way to tell is by looking to see if the paint is hard on the bottom or the sides of the can after stirring. Kelly Dawson, House Beautiful, "How to Dispose of Paint In a Safe and Responsible Way," 29 Apr. 2019 The most recent round of comments stemmed from a picture the singer posted of her son with a bare bottom. Abby Gardner, Allure, "Pink Stopped Posting Photos of Her Kids Due to "Disgusting" Comments From Mom-Shamers," 24 Apr. 2019 The most recent round of comments stemmed from a picture the singer posted of her son with a bare bottom. Abby Gardner, Glamour, "Pink Says She Stopped Posting Photos of Her Kids on Social Media Because of Mommy Shaming," 23 Apr. 2019 In soft-edged illustrations, Sue Cornelison depicts one baby palooza after another: toddlers on yoga mats interacting with friendly animals; babies scooting on their bottoms and tottering around upright. Meghan Cox Gurdon, WSJ, "Children’s Books: First Days and First Bites," 19 Apr. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

For instance, a $10,000 investment in a S&P 500 index fund after the stock market bottomed in March 2009 has grown to more than $45,000. Stan Choe, chicagotribune.com, "From hour to hour, stock market swings have been dizzying," 5 Apr. 2018 Crude has more than doubled since bottoming out below $30 a barrel in early 2016, causing U.S. motorists to face the highest gasoline prices since late 2014. Washington Post, "Trump declares oil prices too high, blames OPEC," 14 June 2018 Temperatures in those areas could bottom out anywhere from 29 to 32 degrees overnight, forecasters said. Leigh Morgan, AL.com, "Freeze warnings continue for parts of Alabama through Thursday morning," 14 Mar. 2018 With winter firmly entrenched and temperatures having bottomed out, spending time outside becomes more difficult. Milwaukee, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Try these Southeastern Wisconsin sledding hills for some outside activity this winter," 2 Jan. 2018 Advertising There are signs that the local market has bottomed out, however. Mike Rosenberg, The Seattle Times, "Seattle-area home price cool-down stands out among U.S. cities," 26 Mar. 2019 After slowing for several years, the Manhattan apartment market dropped to a new low in 2018, as co-op and condominium sales fell to the lowest level since the economy last bottomed out in 2009. Josh Barbanel, WSJ, "Manhattan Apartment Sales in 2018 Sink to Low Hit After Financial Crisis," 29 Dec. 2018 Cyclical stocks tend to bottom out before their underlying fundamentals. Jacky Wong, WSJ, "Why the Chip Slump May Not Hurt Chip Investors," 7 Jan. 2019 Home affordability has been worsening since the real-estate market bottomed in 2012. Josh Boak, The Seattle Times, "Analysis: Falling home sales not helping middle-class buyers," 23 Jan. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

The drop-off at the bottom end of the market has been far swifter than at the top. Ben Eisen, WSJ, "Small Mortgages Are Getting Harder to Come By," 9 May 2019 Start lacing your shoe normally, but skip the eyelets that are directly above the bottom eyelets (on both sides). Alexa Tucker, SELF, "6 Lacing Hacks to Make Your Running Shoes Way More Comfortable," 8 May 2019 The air holes on the bottom help feed the fire, while the dual-wall construction leads the rising heated air through the top vents. Paige Szmodis, Popular Mechanics, "The 10 Best Portable Fire Pits to Build a Campfire Anywhere," 6 May 2019 Each creature comes with an attack and defense rating in the bottom right corner, which signals how powerful the creature is, along with additional abilities listed on the card. Darren Orf, Popular Mechanics, "How to Play 'Magic: The Gathering': Everything You Need to Know," 19 Feb. 2019 Fill the container with enough water to submerge the bottom third of the seed, the Missouri Botanical Garden advises. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "How to Grow an Avocado Tree From a Pit," 29 Jan. 2019 They are seen from the waist up and occupy only the bottom third of the frame, thus leaving room behind them for the cobblestone road, the town and a moody sky. William Meyers, WSJ, "‘Louis Stettner: Traveling Light’ Review: A Photographic Tale of Two Cities," 7 Jan. 2019 Just like on Palm's Graffiti system, the bottom-third of the screen is dedicated to letter drawing, with an icon in each corner of the drawing area. Ron Amadeo, Ars Technica, "Palm Phone Review: Fun, endearing, and bad at everything," 1 Dec. 2018 Since the big club is in the bottom third of the league in hits allowed, the help can’t arrive fast enough. Bryce Miller, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Lakers could contend sooner than you think; much work remains for Padres," 6 July 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

Noun

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

Verb

1544, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Adjective

1561, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for bottom

Noun

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"

Verb

derivative of bottom entry 1

Adjective

from attributive use of bottom entry 1

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Statistics for bottom

Last Updated

17 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for bottom

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

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More Definitions for bottom

bottom

noun

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

bottom

adjective

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

: in the lowest position
: living at the lowest level of an ocean or lake

bottom

noun
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

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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

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about bottom

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