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

Other Words from bottom


bottomed \ ˈbä-​təmd How to pronounce bottom (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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Andrew Chafin took the mound in the bottom of the eighth inning Friday night to the sound of the music played for him during his 5 ½ seasons with the Diamondbacks. José M. Romero, The Arizona Republic, 26 June 2022 The Diamondbacks answered with two runs in the bottom of the third inning, as Brieske needed 30 pitches to record three outs. Evan Petzold, Detroit Free Press, 26 June 2022 In the bottom of the 11th, Brusdar Graterol was summoned and converted his first career regular-season save, touching 102.5 mph with his fastball despite pitching against the Braves (42-32) for a third straight day. Jack Harris, Los Angeles Times, 26 June 2022 Gilman product Gavin Sheets, the son of former Oriole Larry Sheets, got the White Sox on the board with a two-run home run in the bottom of the second. Nathan Ruiz, Baltimore Sun, 26 June 2022 After going down 2-1 in the seventh inning, Ole Miss fired back with three runs in the bottom of the eighth inning thanks to an RBI single from shortstop Jacob Gonzalez and two wild pitches from Oklahoma's All-American closer Trevin Michael. Nick Suss, USA TODAY, 26 June 2022 But the Patriots roared back in the bottom of the inning as the first two batters reached base and came home on Breaux’s blast off reliever Riley Pint. Hartford Courant, 24 June 2022 The lull ended when Stanton countered with his drive in the bottom of the inning. Jake Seiner, Chron, 23 June 2022 When Andres Gimenez gave the G’s a 6-5 lead with a single in the 11th and Emmanuel Clase shut things down in the bottom of the inning, Stephan was credited with the win that put the Guards in first place. Paul Hoynes, cleveland, 22 June 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Indiana doesn’t draft in the top 10 often and seemingly doesn’t intend to bottom out next season, so this is a big opportunity to add a foundational player. Scott Horner, The Indianapolis Star, 22 June 2022 Low temperatures bottom out in the 50s throughout the region. A. Camden Walker, Washington Post, 18 June 2022 Now Carroll and general manager John Schneider have to dive into the crevasse in order to bottom out and find the talent to contend again. oregonlive, 9 Mar. 2022 Tom Lee said in a Tuesday note that if the 2022 drawdown follows a similar pattern to a brief crypto decline in 2021, Ether could bottom at $873 over the next week. Will Daniel, Fortune, 14 June 2022 Bear markets average about 289 days in duration, so a two-year reserve is plenty of time to allow the market to bottom out and then potentially start a recovery phase. Jonathan Dash, Forbes, 13 June 2022 Skies should stay mostly clear as low temperatures bottom out in the upper teens to low 20s. Washington Post, 14 Jan. 2022 Low temperatures bottom out in the mid-50s to low 60s (downtown). A. Camden Walker, Washington Post, 3 June 2022 Low temperatures should bottom out in the mid-20s to near 30. Washington Post, 16 Jan. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Freshpet has grown the top line at the expense of the bottom-line, and sales growth has driven more cash burn, which puts the stock in danger of declining to $0 per share. David Trainer, Forbes, 27 June 2022 The types of clouds on Jupiter are highly dependent on the chemical that forms them, with the three main cloud layers coming from ammonia (the top layer), ammonium hydrosulfide (a stinky middle layer), and water (a bottom layer). Tim Newcomb, Popular Mechanics, 27 June 2022 The bottom photo shows an enormous pit mine on a barren landscape. Kate S. Petersen, USA TODAY, 24 June 2022 His outfit from Armani consisted of a blue velvet suit and bowtie, red bottom shoes and an icey silver chain. Mason Young, Detroit Free Press, 24 June 2022 This case was started by two whistleblowers who sued under the False Claims Act and alleged that SuperValu offered rock-bottom prices to customers without insurance, but still charged high rates for Medicare and Medicaid patients. Michael Ronickher, Fortune, 23 June 2022 The bottom deck is home to the beach club, which features fold-out platforms and a TV lounge. Rachel Cormack, Robb Report, 22 June 2022 The top one features two swinging benches, and the bottom one adds an outdoor shower and hot tub overlooking the ocean. Jack Flemming, Los Angeles Times, 21 June 2022 This dishwasher has a flatware basket in the bottom rack, and the third level rack is also ideal for flatware. Carolyn Forté, Good Housekeeping, 21 June 2022 See More

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.

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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Dictionary Entries Near bottom



bottom board

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Last Updated

30 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Bottom.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Jul. 2022.

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More Definitions for bottom


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

More from Merriam-Webster on bottom

Nglish: Translation of bottom for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of bottom for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about bottom


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