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 For instance, shoplifters aren’t just hurting the bottom lines of businesses. Washington Post, "Your colleague is cheating on their taxes. Here’s how to tell the IRS.," 15 Jan. 2020 The bottom line is that Visa is now poised to throw its weight around like never before, thanks to owning a critical new piece of banking technology, Plaid, and its longtime relationship with banks. David Z. Morris, Fortune, "Visa’s New Monopoly," 15 Jan. 2020 Anyway, the bottom line is, double the bathrooms mean double the space. Hadley Keller, House Beautiful, "Please Stop with the His and Hers Bathrooms," 15 Jan. 2020 The bottom line is that the primary is shaping up as a battle between Rodriguez and state Rep. Roland Gutierrez. Gilbert Garcia,, "Garcia: Texas Senate candidate wants opponent kicked off the ballot," 10 Jan. 2020 Why look for a better deal when this benefits the bottom line of the developer? The Denver Post Editorial Board, The Denver Post, "Editorial: Rein in the unlimited taxing powers of developers," 11 Dec. 2019 They’re purchased as a capital investment by someone with a trucking fleet, to improve the bottom line of their operation. Rachel Swan,, "Heavy trucks are among California’s biggest polluters. Can the state make them go electric?," 6 Dec. 2019 But the bottom line is that, historically, even after Highway 94 was built, enough clean water flowed through South Florida to cover 2 million acres to a depth of 12 inches. T. Edward Nickens, Field & Stream, "The Conservation Fight for Florida Water is Finally Seeing Progress," 6 Dec. 2019 Westlake Chemical saw its profits plunge nearly 50 percent as the ongoing trade war with China continues to hit the bottom line of the petrochemical sector. Jordan Blum, Houston Chronicle, "Westlake Chemical profits fall on Chinese trade war woes," 5 Nov. 2019

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.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 25 January 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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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with bottom-line

Comments on bottom-line

What made you want to look up bottom-line? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


dull or mediocre

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