\ ˈtäp-ˌlīn How to pronounce top-line (audio) \

Definition of top-line

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : most featured or prominently advertised : leading … its oldest top-line act, the Rolling Stones, has long been taken as a symbol of the excesses of rock's nightmare side.— Ethan Mordden
b : of the highest quality, level, or degree : top-of-the-line The lauded ladies received top-line Southern hospitality …— Tim Allis The new chips may well make moderately priced workhorse computers—the type many people buy—perform more like today's top-line models.Consumer Reports
2 business : relating to or concerned with gross sales or revenue For real value creation, the merged company has to produce top-line growth and better margins through superior offerings to customers.— Geoffrey Colvin

top line

variants: or less commonly topline \ ˈtäp-​ˌlīn How to pronounce top line (audio) \
plural top lines also toplines

Definition of top line (Entry 2 of 2)

1 business : the line at the top of a financial report that shows gross sales or revenue before the deduction of expenses or losses The top line is weak, with a meager 0.3% sales gain last year, to $669 million, which doesn't even keep up with inflation.— Jack Gage When I first started writing about business, earnings stories focused on two numbers: sales (the top line on a company's income statement) and net income (the bottom line, after deducting all expenses including taxes).— Kathleen Pender — compare bottom line sense 2a
2 usually topline : the outline of the top of the body of an animal (such as a dog or horse) A long-legged, long-moving individual with long topline is considered the optimum type for the horse show.— Linda Connors

First Known Use of top-line


1894, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1877, in the meaning defined at sense 2

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The first known use of top-line was in 1877

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Cite this Entry

“Top-line.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Jan. 2022.

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