Definition of bottomry in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈbädəmrē/


A system of merchant insurance in which a ship is used as security against a loan to finance a voyage, the lender losing the investment if the ship sinks.
Example sentences
  • Some of the more technical errors, like confusing ‘bottomry’ loans (on ships) with ‘respondentia’ loans (on cargo), would perhaps be partially understandable were not the author a legal scholar.
  • They had the authority to use bottomry bonds and respondentia bonds to clear off charges against the ship.
  • This general rule of construction should especially guide a court of admiralty in interpreting a contract of bottomry and respondentia.


Late 16th century: from bottom (in the sense 'ship') + -ry, influenced by Dutch bodemerij.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: bot·tom·ry

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.