Definition of bottom in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈbɒtəm/


(usually the bottom)
1The lowest point or part of something: the bottom of the page she paused at the bottom of the stairs
More example sentences
  • They've signposted content with clear navigation and put neat section headers at the bottom of the front page.
  • Instead of covering this as if it were the top story, put it on the bottom of the front page.
  • At the bottom of the front page is a box stating: ‘As always, your feedback is very welcome.’
foot, lowest part, lowest point, base, extremity;
foundation, basis, support, substructure, substratum, groundwork, underpinning
1.1The ground under a sea, river, or lake: the liner plunged to the bottom of the sea
More example sentences
  • Many trolleys removed from supermarkets return damaged or end up at the bottom of a local lake or river.
  • Their fertile farmland now lay at the bottom of the lake.
  • ‘I had my suspicions that there might be relics from the film at the bottom of the river,’ he says.
floor, bed, ground, depths
1.2The lowest surface on the inside of a container: place the fruit on the bottom of the dish
More example sentences
  • So I threw it into the bottom of the bin and covered it with a pile of old Canberra Times.
  • They're too tough, and the husk is still attached, and I always end up leaving them at the bottom of the container.
  • One trick I have learnt is to put some bulbs at the bottom of the container so they flower in spring.
1.3The seat of a chair.
1.4chiefly British The furthest part or point of something: the shed at the bottom of the garden
More example sentences
  • His neighbours report that if he does exhibit any mild eccentricity, it is only his habit of spending hours locked in the shed at the bottom of his Oxford garden.
  • Think of British inventors and you picture lone eccentrics toiling away in a shed at the bottom of the garden, seeking to make discoveries of genius.
  • Mrs God would have been furious if she had found out that, after lunch, he was in the shed at the bottom of the garden tinkering with bits of disused jet aircraft.
the furthest part, the farthest point, the far end, the extremity
1.5The lowest position in a competition or ranking: he started at the bottom and now has his own business
More example sentences
  • I know schools can be transformative - even for those at the bottom of the ladder.
  • The settlement gives more to higher grade officers then it does to those at the bottom of the ladder.
  • In the arena of open competition, the talkers are quickly moved to the bottom of the rankings.
lowest level, lowest position, least important part, least successful part, least honourable part
1.6 (also bottoms) The lower half of a specified two-piece garment: a pair of pyjama bottoms
More example sentences
  • She still had an hour and a half, so she dressed in pajama bottoms and a shirt she stole from Vince's bag.
  • She had changed from her mini skirt into pajama bottoms and a tight-fitting t-shirt that had an unprintable logo on it.
  • Closing the basement door, she quickly changed into a pair of green pajama bottoms and a white tank top.
1.7 (bottoms) another term for bottomland. river bottoms
More example sentences
  • Beesley explains that the frantic mining had huge impacts on rivers and valley bottoms.
  • It is primarily restricted to flat or sloping grasslands, often along valley bottoms or areas adjacent to vernal pools.
1.8The keel or hull of a ship: the double bottoms of the ship
2chiefly British A person’s buttocks: Toby pinched her bottom
More example sentences
  • At birth the newborn emerges into a world suddenly filled with sensations, including possibly a slap on the bottom.
  • As Vernon explains, the slow, rhythmic grinding, bumping and shaking is great for toning bottoms, abdominal muscles, thighs, backs and arms.
  • But, more to the point, do we really want the old blokes of the future to have cheeks as soft as babies' bottoms; to have foreheads as smooth as velvet and, overall, to appear as rugged as a sand dune?
rear, rump, rear end, backside, seat;
buttocks, cheeks, hindquarters, haunches;
French derrière;
German Sitzfleisch
technical nates
informal behind, sit-upon, stern, BTM, tochus, rusty dusty
British informal bum, botty, prat, jacksie
Scottish informal bahookie
North American informal butt, fanny, tush, tushie, tail, duff, buns, booty, caboose, heinie, patootie, keister, tuchis, bazoo, bippy
West Indian informal batty, rass
humorous fundament, posterior
British vulgar slang arse, clunge
North American vulgar slang ass
archaic breech
3 [mass noun] Physics One of six flavours of quark.
Example sentences
  • Each quark can be chosen from any of six flavours: up, down, strange, charm, bottom and top.
  • B-mesons are similar to neutral kaons but consist of an anti-down quark and a heavy bottom quark.
4 [mass noun] archaic Stamina or strength of character: whatever his faults, he possesses that old-fashioned quality—bottom
5 archaic A ship, especially a cargo carrier: the Americans placed an embargo on shipping in American bottoms to British areas


1In the lowest position: the books on the bottom shelf
More example sentences
  • So I've just put everything on the bottom shelf in the cupboard.
  • One of the best magazines we discovered was not at Frieze but tucked away on the bottom shelf of the bookshop at Tate Modern.
  • The children's books have occupied the bottom shelves where children can easily access them.
lowest, last, bottommost, undermost, ground
technical basal
1.1(Of a place) in the furthest position away in a downhill direction: the bottom field
More example sentences
  • The top terrace consists of a lawn surrounded by borders, the bottom terrace is a small, mown orchard.
  • Divided into top and bottom terraces, both provide an incredible view to the Black Sea.
  • Has the day come when now you check the computer for your cattle numbers instead of having to go down to the bottom field to do so?
1.2In the lowest or last position in a competition or ranking: I was put in the bottom class they came bottom with 17 points
More example sentences
  • You might want to temporarily cut rates for the bottom two income brackets.
  • The top two from each pool will progress to the cup competition, while the bottom two will get a second bite of the cherry in the plate.
  • Canada is increasingly divided between the few who have much and a growing bottom class that has little.


1 [no object] (Of a ship) reach or touch the ground under the sea: nuclear submarines cannot bottom
More example sentences
  • British Waterways, which has to keep the river navigable, is under pressure to remove the silt after complaints that boats are bottoming on the river bed.
  • Once bottomed, Dechaineux fired a series of yellow smoke candles every half an hour until found.
1.1 [with object] Australian /NZ Excavate (a hole or mine) to the level of a mineral-bearing stratum: scores of abandoned claims have never been properly bottomed, according to the old prospectors
1.2 [no object] Australian /NZ Find gold or other minerals while mining: he’s bottomed on opal there
1.3 [with object] archaic Find the extent or real nature of: he had bottomed the whole inquiry
2 [no object] (usually bottom out) (Of a situation) reach the lowest point before stabilizing or improving: encouraging signs suggested the recession was bottoming out
More example sentences
  • Although the situation has improved since bottoming out in 1998, the number of people facing the threat of poverty is from 30 percent to 60 percent of the population.
  • ‘While the vacancy rate in Dublin is still relatively high in a European context, there is evidence that the situation is now bottoming out,’ Hunt said.
  • One author predicted that the Dow is likely to fall as much as ninety-eight percent in early 2000s, and the market will probably not bottom out until it reaches a level of ninety-five.



at bottom

Fundamentally: at bottom, science is exploration
More example sentences
  • Likewise, we want Harry Angel to have, at bottom, a pure heart.
  • We rest, at bottom, on the inherent dignity of the individual.
  • This is because corruption is not at bottom simply a matter of law; rather it is fundamentally a matter of morality.

be at the bottom of

Be the basic cause or origin of (something): he knew what was at the bottom of it—Jane wanted them to live together
More example sentences
  • He has quite a tale about trying to get a hotel room and the pathetic computer system that was at the bottom of all his woes.
  • Mrs Dunwiddy believed in economy, and pine-scented hard toilet paper was at the bottom of her economy drive.
  • The information made him suspect that female skulduggery was at the bottom of it.

the bottom falls (or drops) out

Used to refer to the sudden collapse or failure of something: the bottom fell out of the market for classic cars
More example sentences
  • It's not like he signs it and the bottom falls out of the market.
  • Consumer confidence edged lower for the last three months, but the level of confidence remains strong and that's probably going to continue, unless the bottom falls out of the labor market.
  • Without that the bottom falls out of our value system and invites nihilism.

bottom of the harbour

Australian historical Used to refer to a tax evasion scheme involving asset stripping and the apparent loss of company records: in many cases, the company is just wound up, and it all goes to the bottom of the harbour the bottom of the harbour schemes will continue unchecked
More example sentences
  • Those decisions had led to the infamous "Bottom of the Harbour" tax avoidance schemes and consequent massive losses to revenue.
  • For years there were the "bottom of the harbour" tax evasion schemes whereby companies manipulated their accounts to avoid taxation.
  • This week's events hark back to the 1980s, to the days of the notorious "bottom of the harbour" tax schemes.

bottoms up!

informal Used to express friendly feelings towards one’s companions before drinking.
Example sentences
  • After largely ignoring the typed speech, he came to the end of his comments by saying: ‘I am declaring this plant officially open, so it's bottoms up!’
  • From the looks of you, it seems to me that you might be a big drinker. Bottoms up?

from the bottom of one's heart

see heart.

from the bottom up

Starting at the lower end or beginning of a hierarchy or process and proceeding to the top: we began to study history from the bottom up
More example sentences
  • The historical process has unfolded from the bottom up.
  • But, in a process described as working from the bottom up, three codes were drawn up by the relevant industries.
  • They are wrong in assuming either approach could offer a stable alternative to the long process of building democracy from the bottom up.

get to the bottom of

Find an explanation for (a mystery): the health authority was determined to get to the bottom of what went wrong
More example sentences
  • Anyway, with the hopes of getting to the bottom of the house buzzing mystery, I typed up a letter to the residents of the building and dropped it in their mail slot.
  • Like Larry Tate in Bewitched, which ran on ABC at the same time, the senior man in I Dream Of Jeannie never quite got to the bottom of all the mysteries surrounding his underling.
  • Unfortunately whether or not John McLaurin got to the bottom of the mystery of Volusia County is something the memos cannot tell us.
origin, cause, root, source, starting point, core, centre, heart, kernel, base, basis, foundation;
reality, essence, nitty-gritty, substance;

knock the bottom out of

Cause (something) to collapse or fail suddenly: a shortfall in supplies would knock the bottom out of the engineering industry
More example sentences
  • Last week's profit warning knocked the bottom out of the share price.
  • This year they had all seen how vulnerable they were when it knocked the bottom out of the tourist season.

you (can) bet your bottom dollar

informal Used to state one’s conviction that a particular thing is going to happen: you can bet your bottom dollar it’ll end in tears
More example sentences
  • Maybe there won't be the obligatory made-for-TV movies in the next few months but you can bet your bottom dollar that some ‘documentary’ directors will be banging on his front door.
  • If this is perceived by some people as a success in England, then you can bet your bottom dollar that it will be introduced in Scotland soon enough as well.
  • And on top of that you can bet your bottom dollar that we won't be rushing to get your car ready after this outburst.



Pronunciation: /ˈbɒtəmˌməʊst/
Example sentences
  • It is common in geology to regard the age of the bottommost organic sediments in wetlands as minimal estimates for the time of deglaciation or withdrawal of proglacial water bodies.
  • Lastly, about the bottommost right portion of a web page, many people are actually having a hard time figuring out how to include the keywords in this section.
  • You just pour melted chocolate into the bottommost bowl.


Old English botm, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch bodem 'bottom, ground' and German Boden 'ground, earth'.

  • booty from Late Middle English:

    The original core meaning of booty was ‘to distribute’. Victors in war divided the booty stolen from an enemy among themselves. The modern American word meaning ‘a person's bottom or buttocks’ is unconnected. It is probably an alteration of botty (late 19th century) in the same sense, itself an alteration of bottom, an Old English word used for the buttocks since the late 18th century. If someone urges you to shake your booty, they want you to dance energetically. A sexy woman has been bootylicious since 1994, although the word was popularized by the single of the same name by Destiny's Child in 2001.

Words that rhyme with bottom


For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: bot¦tom

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