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

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 How to pronounce bottom-liner (audio) \ noun, chiefly US, often disparaging

Examples of bottom-line in a Sentence

Noun 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 But the bottom line is that favorable background atmospheric conditions are aligning for what should be a noticeable uptick in tropical activity in the Atlantic over the next few weeks. Greg Porter, Washington Post, "PM Update: It’s hot and will stay that way Sunday and beyond," 11 July 2020 But the bottom line is that Facebook earns the vast majority of its revenue from ads. Jessica Guynn, USA TODAY, "Facebook boycott: Civil rights leaders condemn Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook for fueling racial hatred and violence," 7 July 2020 The bottom line: Right now is a period of chaotic crisis. NBC News, "The she-cession has begun: What to do if you're worried about getting laid off," 7 July 2020 The bottom line: the Cowboys’ current offer gives Prescott the league’s top guarantee and the second-highest average. Calvin Watkins, Dallas News, "Cowboys QB Dak Prescott signs exclusive franchise tag for $31.4 million," 22 June 2020 For Gilbert, a fifth-generation tree farmer, this has been a season of loss and compromise as a raging coronavirus outbreak threatens his workers and his bottom line. Gregory Scruggs, Washington Post, "Coronavirus forces economic reckoning in central Washington’s cherry country," 9 July 2020 But the rest are new, energized, and aware of the potential revenue stream that the Pac-12 can add to their bottom line. oregonlive, "Canzano: Oregon Ducks president Michael Schill slides into the big chair in the Pac-12 Conference," 8 July 2020 The bottom line is this: Body cameras aren't an easy fix. Harmeet Kaur, CNN, "There's a renewed call for police body cameras. Here's why that may not be the right solution," 30 June 2020 With Buruli, the bottom line is that a single ulcer has never been definitively tied to a mosquito bite. Brendan Borrell, The Atlantic, "Australia Has a Flesh-Eating-Bacteria Problem," 3 July 2020

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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Time Traveler for bottom-line

Time Traveler

The first known use of bottom-line was in 1830

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Cite this Entry

“Bottom-line.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for bottom-line

bottom line


English Language Learners Definition of 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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Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for bottom-line

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