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

Reyes hit a lead-off triple in the bottom of the first inning. Anthony Fenech, Detroit Free Press, "Tyler Alexander stars as Detroit Tigers top Orioles, 5-2, in series finale," 16 Sep. 2019 Schwarber's seventh home run of the season against the Reds - off of seven different pitchers - was his first at Wrigley Field vs. Cincinnati since his walk-off dinger in the bottom of the 10th against Raisel Iglesias on July 16. Dave Clark,, "Reds Killer: Middletown's Kyle Schwarber adds another home run against his hometown team," 16 Sep. 2019 Cole tightened the frame, angling his camera so that the first three tanks and the white lines on the road pointed toward the man, small and stark, in the bottom left corner. Washington Post, "Charlie Cole, photographer who captured the Tiananmen ‘Tank Man,’ has died," 15 Sep. 2019 Narvaez hit a ball off the top of the wall in the bottom of the 10th inning that was ruled a home run. Chris Talbott,, "White Sox erase a 5-run deficit, blow a 5-run lead in an 11-10 loss to the Mariners," 15 Sep. 2019 But the lead was wiped away in the bottom of the sixth as Fernando Romero ran into trouble. Betsy Helfand, Twin Cities, "Twins fall to Indians 7-5 in series finale in Cleveland," 15 Sep. 2019 With one down in the bottom of the second, Brewers starter Jordan Lyles fell behind in the count, 3-1, to Tommy Edman, with home plate umpire Todd Tichenor squeezing the strike zone. Tom Haudricourt, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Brewers 5, Cardinals 2: Homers by Moustakas and Grandal help the Brewers hand Flaherty a rare loss," 14 Sep. 2019 The Giants rallied to tie the score at 2-2 in the bottom of the seventh on a two-run triple by Donovan Solano, who was batting for Bumgarner. Mike Lefkow, The Mercury News, "Madison Bumgarner solid, but Marlins pin loss on Giants," 14 Sep. 2019 Story’s homer off Craig Stammen put the Rockies up 9-7 in the bottom of the sixth. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Rockies turn Story on Lucchesi, Padres," 13 Sep. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Housing construction bottomed out in 2011, with just 633,000 new units built in the U.S. Michael Kolomatsky, New York Times, "Not Enough Homes, and the Wrong Kind," 27 June 2019 Twelve of the Rays’ 38 home dates drew crowds of less than 10,000, bottoming out with a franchise-worst draw of 5,786 on May 28 against Toronto. Gabe Lacques, USA TODAY, "Opinion: Rays' Montreal play has huge ripples - and likely means end of MLB in Tampa," 20 June 2019 Navy bottomed out last year at 3-10, coach Ken Niumatalolo’s worst record in 12 seasons. Ralph D. Russo, The Denver Post, "Minnesota, Baylor among college football’s dark horse league contenders," 18 Aug. 2019 Low temperatures should bottom out in the low to mid-60s. Washington Post, "D.C.-area forecast: Heat without the typical August-level steaminess in coming days," 10 Aug. 2019 That year, a barge carrying materials for a new school for Old Kealavik bottomed out in sand and mud on the Ninglick River. Anchorage Daily News, "Relocation of erosion-threatened Alaska village progresses to ‘sprint’ pace this summer," 29 June 2019 But instead of a tiny hole for a screw or a nail, this digs out a perfectly round, perfectly flat-bottomed, perfectly plant-sized hole in the soil, with just the push of a button! Michele Petry, House Beautiful, "This Simple Tool Makes Planting a Garden So Much Easier," 3 May 2019 But the mugginess starts to increase later this evening into the overnight, with lows bottoming around 70 to the mid-70s under mostly clear skies. Dan Stillman, Washington Post, "D.C.-area forecast: Heat wave gradually intensifying through Saturday, becoming more humid as well," 26 June 2019 Trump’s $3 billion fortune doesn’t qualify him for Bloomberg’s list of the world’s 500 richest people, which bottoms out at about $4 billion. Shahien Nasiripour And Caleb Melby,, "Trump’s net worth rises to $3 billion despite setbacks, including reduction in Mar-a-Lago business," 12 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

On a one-year horizon, almost a third of Amundi’s funds were in the bottom two quartiles. Washington Post, "The Perils of Fund Underperformance," 18 Sep. 2019 Kurt Busch, Bowyer and Jones are now the bottom three drivers in the 16-driver field and in danger of being eliminated in two weeks. Jenna Fryer,, "Martin Truex Jr. races into 2nd round with victory in opening NASCAR playoff race," 15 Sep. 2019 Pipe a generous line of brown frosting along bottom edge of second story. Woman's Day Kitchen, Woman's Day, "Haunted Cookie House," 13 Sep. 2019 To use it, open the Notes app and tap the plus button in the bottom center of the display. Kim Komando, USA TODAY, "10 clever things you never knew your iPad could do," 13 Sep. 2019 After the changes that were made, Yang’s campaign got a score of 3.56 out of 4.0; Klobuchar’s campaign held the bottom score of 2.10. Abigail Abrams, Time, "2020 Presidential Candidates Are Making (Some) Progress On Website Accessibility," 12 Sep. 2019 The headphone jack, flash LEDs, and proximity and ambient light sensors are soldered onto the breakout board; the USB-C port and mic are soldered into the bottom module. Jim Salter, Ars Technica, "iFixit tears down the newest Fairphone—how repairable is it?," 11 Sep. 2019 Plates go on the bottom rack, all facing the same direction. Emma Soren, The New Yorker, "How to Properly Load a Dishwasher," 11 Sep. 2019 The onscreen keyboard pops up at the bottom edge of the screen, and can be repositioned wherever it's needed on the screen. David Z. Morris, Fortune, "Apple’s New iPad Is Bigger and More Connected," 10 Sep. 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

20 Sep 2019

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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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miscellaneous remnants or debris

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