- the lowest or deepest part of anything, as distinguished from the top: the bottom of a hill; the bottom of a page.
- the under or lower side; underside: the bottom of a typewriter.
- the ground under any body of water: the bottom of the sea.
- Usually bottoms. Also called bottom land. Physical Geography. low alluvial land next to a river.
- the part of a hull between the bilges, including the keel.
- the part of a hull that is immersed at all times.
- the cargo space in a vessel.
- a cargo vessel.
- the seat of a chair.
- Informal. the buttocks; rump.
- the fundamental part; basic aspect.
- bottoms, (used with a plural verb) the bottom part of a two-piece article of clothing, as a bathing suit or the trousers of a pair of pajamas.
- the working part of a plow, comprising the plowshare, landside, and moldboard.
- the cause; origin; basis: Try getting to the bottom of the problem.
- the second half of an inning.
- the last three players in the batting order.
- lowest limit, especially of dignity, status, or rank: When people sink that low, they’re bound to reach the bottom soon.
- Slang. the submissive partner in a sexual relationship or encounter, especially the person who is penetrated in anal intercourse (opposed to top).
- Usually bottoms. Chemistry. the heaviest, least volatile fraction of petroleum, left behind in distillation after more volatile fractions are driven off.
verb (used with object)
- to furnish with a bottom.
- to base or found (usually followed by on or upon).
- to discover the full meaning of (something); fathom.
- to bring (a submarine) to rest on the ocean floor: They had to bottom the sub until the enemy cruisers had passed by.
verb (used without object)
- to be based; rest.
- to strike against the bottom or end; reach the bottom.
- (of an automotive vehicle) to sink vertically, as when bouncing after passing over a bump, so that the suspension reaches the lower limit of its motion: The car bottomed too easily on the bumpy road.
- of or relating to the bottom or a bottom.
- located on or at the bottom: I want the bottom book in the stack.
- lowest: bottom prices.
- living near or on the bottom: A flounder is a bottom fish.
- fundamental: the bottom cause.
- bottom out, to reach the lowest state or level: The declining securities market finally bottomed out and began to rise.
- at bottom, in reality; fundamentally: They knew at bottom that they were only deceiving themselves.Also at the bottom.
- bet one’s bottom dollar,
- to wager the last of one’s money or resources.
- to be positive or assured: You can bet your bottom dollar that something will prevent us from leaving on time.
- bottoms up, (used as an interjection to announce or urge the downing of one’s drink).
- hit bottom, to fall into the worst of all possible circumstances: After all those years of flying high, she finally hit bottom. When the housing market crashed, it really hit bottom, leaving people with houses worth less than their mortgages.
- the lowest, deepest, or farthest removed part of a thingthe bottom of a hill
- the least important or successful positionthe bottom of a class
- the ground underneath a sea, lake, or river
- touch bottom to run aground
- the inner depths of a person’s true feelings (esp in the phrase from the bottom of one’s heart)
- the underneath part of a thing
- nautical the parts of a vessel’s hull that are under water
- (in literary or commercial contexts) a boat or ship
- billiards snooker a strike in the centre of the cue ball
- a dry valley or hollow
- (often plural) US and Canadian the low land bordering a river
- the lowest level worked in a mine
- (esp of horses) staying power; stamina
- importance, seriousness, or influencehis views all have weight and bottom
- informal the buttocks
- at bottom in reality; basically or despite appearances to the contraryhe’s a kind man at bottom
- be at the bottom of to be the ultimate cause of
- get to the bottom of to discover the real truth about
- knock the bottom out of to destroy or eliminate
- lowest or lastthe bottom price
- bet one’s bottom dollar on or put one’s bottom dollar on to be absolutely sure of (one’s opinion, a person, project, etc)
- of, relating to, or situated at the bottom or a bottomthe bottom shelf
- fundamental; basic
- (tr) to provide (a chair, etc) with a bottom or seat
- (tr) to discover the full facts or truth of; fathom
- (usually foll by on or upon) to base or be founded (on an idea, etc)
- (intr) nautical to strike the ground beneath the water with a vessel’s bottom
- Australian mining
- to mine (a hole, claim, etc) deep enough to reach any gold there is
- (intr foll by on)to reach (gold, mud, etc) on bottoming
- electronics to saturate a transistor so that further increase of input produces no change in output
Old English botm, bodan “ground, soil, foundation, lowest part,” from Proto-Germanic *buthm- (cf. Old Frisian boden “soil,” Old Norse botn, Dutch bodem, Old High German bodam, German Boden “ground, earth, soil”), from PIE root *bhu(n)d(h)- (cf. Sanskrit budhnah, Avestan buna- “bottom,” Greek pythmen “foundation,” Latin fundus “bottom, piece of land, farm,” Old Irish bond “sole of the foot”). Meaning “posterior of a person” is from 1794. Bottom dollar “the last dollar one has” is from 1882. Bottom-feeder, originally of fishes, is from 1866.
1540s, “to put a bottom on,” from bottom (n.). Meaning “to reach the bottom of” is from 1808 (earlier figuratively, 1785). Related: Bottomed; bottoming.
In addition to the idioms beginning with bottom
- bottom drops out, the
- bottom line
- bottom of the barrel
- bottom of the ladder
- bottom out
- at bottom
- from head to toe (top to bottom)
- from the bottom of one’s heart
- get to the bottom
- hit (touch) bottom
- knock the bottom out of
- rock bottom
- touch bottom
- you bet your ass (bottom dollar)