1 of 2


: 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
: 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
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

2 of 2


variants or less commonly topline
plural top lines also toplines
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
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

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web
Negotiators reached a tentative agreement on Saturday evening that would raise the debt ceiling for two years, roll back non-defense discretionary spending to Fiscal Year 2022 levels, and cap top-line federal spending to one-percent annual growth over the next six years. Emily Jacobs, Washington Examiner, 28 May 2023 Yzerman chose forward Lucas Raymond, a skilled winger with top-line capabilities. Helene St. James, Detroit Free Press, 9 May 2023 The centerfielder’s top-line stats are brutal: A .192/.257/.333 slash line; negative-0.2 WAR. The Arizona Republic, 9 May 2023 Akili Interactive on Wednesday revealed earlier-than-expected top-line clinical trial results suggesting its video game treatment for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is effective for adults. Mario Aguilar, STAT, 3 May 2023 Analysts from Boston Consulting Group found that by redirecting 25% of promotional budgets to personalized offers, retailers could increase their return on investment (ROI) by 200%, equating to top-line growth of $70 billion in annual revenue. Simon Bird, Forbes, 3 May 2023 The Kings also need production from Danault, top-line winger Quinton Byfield, and their third and fourth lines. Helene Elliott, Los Angeles Times, 16 Apr. 2023 DeBrusk rescinds trade request, and Sweeney’s trades are home runs The 2022-23 season offered a clean slate for DeBrusk, who rescinded his standing trade request following Boston’s coaching reshuffle and rewarded his team with 27 goals over 64 games as a top-line winger. Conor Ryan,, 14 Apr. 2023 Marchand’s goal, which provided the 1-0 lead, was his first since March 9, ending a 16-game drought for the top-line left winger. Kevin Paul Dupont,, 11 Apr. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'top-line.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use


1880, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1869, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Time Traveler
The first known use of top-line was in 1869

Dictionary Entries Near top-line

Cite this Entry

“Top-line.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Jun. 2023.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!