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 downturnlost 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 pluralthe 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 outThe 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

Synonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Adjective

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Examples of bottom in a Sentence

Noun 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 Adjective 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 In 2016, a Texas poll worker sliced their hand after moving a Trump sign that was also lined with razors on the bottom. Slone Terranella, Detroit Free Press, "Commerce Township inspector cut by razor-bordered Trump sign," 9 Oct. 2020 Carefully oil grates and place dough, oil side down, onto the grill, close lid and cook 3-4 minutes or until grill marks just appear on the bottom. Anita L. Arambula, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Grilled eggplant pizza gets a Moroccan touch," 7 Oct. 2020 How can the crust be so crisp on the bottom, yet so pillowy within? Nick Kindelsperger,, "The 25 best pizzas in Chicago — from scrappy newcomers to beloved classics," 7 Oct. 2020 To protect you from slipping, the soles on the bottom have a multi-directional tread for particularly wet or icy surfaces. Popsci Commerce Team, Popular Science, "Clothing and accessories that make great gifts," 6 Oct. 2020 Rounding out the design is a volume rocker and power button on the right hand side, a USB-C port and speaker on the bottom, along with a microSD card and SIM card slot on the top. Jacob Krol, CNN Underscored, "The Galaxy S20 FE strikes a harmonious chord with only a few bad notes," 5 Oct. 2020 Transfer the tortilla stacks to the baking sheet, and bake for about 25 minutes, or until the mushrooms collapse and are tender and the tortillas are lightly browned and crisp on the bottom. Washington Post, "Barbecue Sweet Potato Tortizzas," 4 Oct. 2020 Choose from a classic New York thin crust or a thicker Sicilian style that takes on a speckled char on the bottom and holds firm, yet is tender in the middle. Chuck Blount,, "52 Weeks of Pizza: San Antonio classic Little Italy Restaurant & Pizzeria serves a righteous Sicilian style pizza with a mountain of toppings," 2 Oct. 2020 There’s a foot pocket on the bottom, so your feet can be completely cozied up – a blanket and foot warmer in one. Emma Seymour, Good Housekeeping, "7 Best Electric Blankets to Keep You Warm and Cozy All Night Long," 1 Oct. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Miami didn’t have to tank and bottom out to reach the Finals. Omari Sankofa Ii, Detroit Free Press, "How Miami Heat's 2020 NBA Finals run gives Detroit Pistons rebuild a blueprint," 7 Oct. 2020 Temperatures should bottom out near 40 degrees to perhaps mid-40s downtown. Washington Post, "D.C.-area forecast: Brightening skies today with a refreshing breeze as fall weather settles into the region," 2 Oct. 2020 Weiss said the demand for recyclables is now low and will bottom out before coming back again. cleveland, "University Heights council debates whether it should spend $16,000 to continue city’s recycling program," 10 Sep. 2020 Low temperatures may bottom out only around 60 degrees in the cool spots, perhaps mid-60s around the Beltway. Washington Post, "D.C.-area forecast: Comfortable warmth ahead. Tomorrow’s the gem of the weekend.," 4 Sep. 2020 Low temperatures again bottom out in a familiar range of upper 60s to mid-70s. A. Camden Walker, Washington Post, "D.C.-area forecast: Not bad today, but heat and humidity build through the weekend," 21 Aug. 2020 Low temperatures bottom out in the upper 60s to mid-70s. A. Camden Walker, Washington Post, "D.C.-area forecast: After some more showers and storms today, sunshine builds as heat increases this weekend," 7 Aug. 2020 From there, the narrative spirals downward through fringes of sanity into darkness and does not bottom out with understanding. Dennis Wagner, USA TODAY, "'Lunatic hiding in plain sight': The bitter tale of a woman-hating lawyer who killed a rival and a judge's son," 1 Aug. 2020 Low temperatures bottom out in the upper 60s to mid-70s. Washington Post, "D.C.-area forecast: Muggy mid-summer heat on repeat. Rain chances today are best to the east.," 10 July 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Given the nature of her work in the management of the hospital itself, Moshirpur spends much of her time in meetings, coordinating supplies for her departments, securing funding, or discussing hiring and bottom lines. Mattie Kahn, Glamour, "The Guardians of Elmhurst," 13 Oct. 2020 Morgan slotted the shot to the bottom-right corner of the Dynamo’s net, with Houston goalkeeper Marko Maric diving to his left to give Inter Miami the 1-0 lead. Khobi Price,, "Morgan goal helps Inter Miami win consecutive games for first time," 10 Oct. 2020 The Chargers' pass defense is in the bottom eight of the league so far this season, allowing opposing quarterbacks an average of 263.0 yards per game. Amie Just | Staff Writer,, "The Edge: Assessing how New Orleans Saints, Los Angeles Chargers stack up for Week 5," 9 Oct. 2020 This is thanks to its silicon construction and watertight bottom panel, which protects the removable LED light and charging port. Benjamin Levin, CNN Underscored, "Light things up with the inflatable, waterproof Coconut Light," 8 Oct. 2020 Place large baking sheet in bottom third of oven and heat oven to 375°F. Kate Merker, Woman's Day, "Gingery Pumpkin Pie," 7 Oct. 2020 Ultimately Aldama and Chmerkovskiy were declared totally safe from elimination this week while the other couple in the bottom two, Anne Heche and her dance partner Keo Motsepe, were sent home. Lisa Respers France, CNN, "Tyra Banks angers 'Dancing With the Stars' audience with error," 7 Oct. 2020 But with a new bottom rate only 0.2 percentage point below the current one, taxpayers in that range can expect savings barely enough for an order of deep-dish pizza. Andrew Stuttaford, National Review, "The Capital Note: Tax Hikes & the Treasury Hedge," 6 Oct. 2020 With financial flexibility at his disposal, this was a way for Yzerman to make the team more competitive by opening a spot among the bottom six forwards. Helene St. James, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Red Wings' costly decision to cut Justin Abdelkader: Who will take his place?," 6 Oct. 2020

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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Time Traveler for bottom

Time Traveler

The first known use of bottom was before the 12th century

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Statistics for bottom

Last Updated

15 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Bottom.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for bottom


How to pronounce bottom (audio)

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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