- 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 . 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 ).
- 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 Bottomed; bottoming.(n.). Meaning “to reach the bottom of” is from 1808 (earlier figuratively, 1785). Related:
Also, touch bottom. Reach the worst or lowest point. For example, When he lost his job again they knew they had hit bottom, or When wheat prices touch bottom, the farmers will be up in arms. [Second half of 1800s]
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)