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

Other Words from bottom-line


bottom-liner \ ˈbä-​təm-​ˌlī-​nər How to pronounce bottom-line (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.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The bottom line: Away luggage is absolutely worth investing in. Emma Seymour, Good Housekeeping, 9 Aug. 2022 The bottom line is, this is cutting-edge technology—whoever can do it best is going to win. Sophie Bushwick, Scientific American, 8 Aug. 2022 For him, the bottom line is that most facilities have failed to provide adequate staffing levels under decades-old rules. Jayme Fraser, USA TODAY, 5 Aug. 2022 The bottom line is that massive layoffs don’t appear to be on the horizon. Dana Peterson For Cnn Business Perspectives, CNN, 5 Aug. 2022 The bottom line: Crypto is here to stay, but businesses that aren't paying attention could get burned. Ofir Tahor, Forbes, 12 July 2022 The bottom line: Employers cannot legally identify or share information about which employees are claiming which benefits based on information obtained from insurance claims. Karla L. Miller, Washington Post, 30 June 2022 And possibly, a bigger bottom line for a city whose identity still comes from the marquee sporting event. oregonlive, 2 May 2022 The bottom line benefitted from total operating expenses decreasing 8 percent to $907 million. Georg Szalai, The Hollywood Reporter, 26 Apr. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of bottom-line


1968, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1830, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Learn More About bottom-line

Time Traveler for bottom-line

Time Traveler

The first known use of bottom-line was in 1830

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near bottom-line

bottomless pit


bottom line

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for bottom-line

Cite this Entry

“Bottom-line.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Aug. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon


Test Your Vocabulary

Odd Habits and Quirks

  • image1926873504
  • Which of the following best describes an easily irritated person?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!