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.


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.



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


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


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


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


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

Two more for the road: stealth cowboys, angry aliens And rounding out the event's reveals were Desperados III, a brand-new sequel, and Destroy All Humans!, a top-to-bottom remaster of the PS2 original. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "After 8Chan-gate, THQN unveils stirring anti-Nazi game set in 1930s Germany," 11 June 2019 The bottom fell out quickly Gibson: Grunge came in, and pop was out. Allison Stewart,, "Debbie Gibson and Tiffany really like each other. Seriously.," 11 June 2019 Her forearms are covered in black bracelets, her ears, nose and bottom lip adorned with golden jewelry. Michael Slenske,, "Lauren Halsey brings the funk to the L.A. art scene," 10 June 2019 Kentucky, Michigan, Georgia, Alabama, Florida, and West Virginia collectively accounted for more than 50 percent of those bottom-ranking counties, in terms of senior labor participation. Andrew Soergel,, "Seniors are more likely to work past 65 in big metro areas like Boston, data show," 10 June 2019 Speaking of major 60s hair and makeup, model Imaan Hammam showed off curls for days along with drawn-on-bottom-lashes, falsies, and a lid-hugging liner. Vogue, "The Best Beauty Instagrams of the Week: Beyoncé, Jorja Smith, Rina Sawayama, and More," 9 June 2019 Drier air starts to move in toward dawn as winds pick up from the northwest and lows bottom in the 60s. Brian Jackson, Washington Post, "D.C.-area forecast: Cooler today as scattered showers threaten through tomorrow; warmer and drier midweek," 9 June 2019 At the plate, the top of Louisville’s lineup didn’t have its best game, but the bottom rose to the occasion. Cameron Teague Robinson, The Courier-Journal, "Louisville baseball sweeps East Carolina, clinches fifth College World series berth," 8 June 2019 While the driver enjoys an eight-way power adjustable seat, with seat-bottom tilt, the passenger gets just two-way manual adjustment. (james Halfacre), San Diego Union-Tribune, "2019 Mazda3: elevated design, distinct character," 8 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Even after a couple of stumbles brought on by instability in China and a confluence of factors at the end of 2018, the S&P 500 has still more than quadrupled in value since bottoming out in February 2009. Lydia Depillis, CNN, "The US economy is about to break a record. These 11 charts show why," 7 June 2019 Shares of the four largest self-storage owners have each quadrupled or better since bottoming out in early 2009. Ryan Dezember, WSJ, "Got Junk? Self-Storage Investors Hope So," 21 Dec. 2018 These are low-frequency sound waves just below the range of human hearing, bottoming out around 20 Hz. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Scientists look to music of volcanos to better monitor eruptions," 24 Aug. 2018 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,, "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,, "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

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

The full bottom deck of I-405 northbound on the Fremont Bridge and the ramp from U.S. 30 east to I-405 north will close nightly from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. Thursday-Sunday, June 13 to 16., "Portland metro Wednesday traffic: High heat still affects some MAX lines," 12 June 2019 Frames typically go right to the very bottom of the letters, and so the computer figures that the bottom part of the F is actually an E. The state should outlaw license plate frames. Gary Richards, The Mercury News, "California gas tax to jump nearly 6 cents a gallon on July 1: Roadshow," 12 June 2019 While the Cardinals’ first five hitters contributed only three hits in 23 at bats Saturday against East Carolina, the bottom four spots in the order went 11-for-18 with eight runs batted in. Tim Sullivan, The Courier-Journal, "What it lacks in star power, Louisville baseball makes up for in offensive firepower," 11 June 2019 According to the company’s website, the pool will by 660-liters (around 174 gallons) and will feature a see-through bottom floor, which will allow hotel visitors to see the people swimming and the sky above. Madison Roberts,, "The World's First 360-Degree Rooftop Infinity Pool Is Coming to London in 2020," 11 June 2019 Twix isn’t salty enough but is still one of the better candy bars due to the crunch of its bottom cookie layer. Lucas Kwan Peterson,, "The official candy bar power rankings," 11 June 2019 Both delivered strong bottom-six support on the cheap, precisely what contending teams require in a cap system. Kevin Paul Dupont,, "D-Day anniversary truly puts hockey, life in perspective," 8 June 2019 Mike Albert Fleet Solutions offers top to bottom fleet management services including leasing and financing, maintenance management, fuel management, telematics data and vehicle equipment and branding. Mike Albert,, "Mike Albert associates keep their hands on the wheel and eyes on the future," 7 June 2019 When the bottom tortilla is nicely mottled with golden-brown spots, flip the whole thing and cook until the cheese is melted. Daniel Neman, Twin Cities, "Make dinner in a snap with these rotisserie chicken recipes," 6 June 2019

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


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


1544, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1


1561, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for bottom


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"


derivative of bottom entry 1


from attributive use of bottom entry 1

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Statistics for bottom

Last Updated

14 Jun 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



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



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

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


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 Encyclopedia article about bottom

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showing courage and determination

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