bot·tom-line | \ˈbä-təm-ˌlīn \

Definition of bottom-line 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : concerned only with cost or profits

bottom line


Definition of bottom line (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : the essential or salient point : crux

b : the primary or most important consideration

2a : the line at the bottom of a financial report that shows the net profit or loss

b : financial considerations (such as cost or profit or loss)

c : the final result

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Other Words from bottom-line


bottom-liner \ˈbä-təm-ˌlī-nər \ noun chiefly US, often disparaging

Examples of bottom-line in a Sentence


If our flight is late, we will miss our connection. That's the bottom line. A student with special needs can stress a school's budget, but the bottom line is that the state must provide for the child's education. How will these changes affect our bottom line? He's always got his eye on the bottom line. He says his bottom line is $120,000.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The bottom line, Brusky said, is that doctors now have a test to determine which early-stage patients — and that’s most of them — can skip chemotherapy. Linda Carroll /, NBC News, "Many women with early breast cancer may not need chemo, study finds," 3 June 2018 Here’s the bottom line: Kevin Durant is a fantastic basketball player. Al Saracevic, San Francisco Chronicle, "Warriors fans criticizing Kevin Durant? C’mon people," 27 May 2018 The bottom line, though, is that all these sources have dismaying limitations., "No luck finding the right nursing home? Maybe Yelp can help," 15 May 2018 The bottom line, however, is an accident -- and a related head injury -- has the potential to be a lot worse without a helmet. Jennifer Larino,, "A Jazz Fest guide for bicyclists (and drivers, too!)," 26 Apr. 2018 The bottom line, then, is that Israel likely attacked Syria for its own reasons. Zack Beauchamp, Vox, "The past 48 hours of big Syria news, explained," 9 Apr. 2018 Buoyant results, bolstered by strong demand in China, have not only boosted bottom lines but contributed to a cash buildup waiting to be deployed. Elizabeth Paton, New York Times, "Luxury’s Chess Masters Prepare for a New Game," 30 June 2018 Also still unclear is how Facebook’s planned increase in security spending this year, as well as new privacy rules enacted in Europe and under development in California, will affect the company’s relatively fat bottom line. Dan Gallagher, WSJ, "Facebook Investors May Be Too Quick to Forgive," 28 June 2018 MoviePass, which works by buying out blocks of tickets at full price from participating theater chains like Mark Cuban's Landmark, is not turning a profit—hurting Helios's bottom line. Rob Wile, miamiherald, "A trail of lawsuits and a failed psychic hotline. Meet the Miami man running MoviePass," 28 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'bottom-line.' 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-line


1968, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1830, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Last Updated

21 Aug 2018

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Time Traveler for bottom-line

The first known use of bottom-line was in 1830

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More Definitions for bottom-line

bottom line


English Language Learners Definition of bottom line

the bottom line : the most important part of something : the most important thing to consider

: the final result or outcome

: a company's profits or losses

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