at bottom

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Prepositional phrase[edit]

at bottom

  1. (idiomatic) Really, basically, fundamentally.
    • 1705, Daniel Defoe, The Consolidator: or, Memoirs of Sundry Transactions From the World in the Moon:
      They concerted Matters, and all at once fell to selling off their Stock, giving out daily Reports that they would be no longer concern'd, that it was a losing Trade, that the Fund at bottom was good for nothing.
    • 1883, Robert Louis Stevenson, chapter 16, in Treasure Island:
      I know you are a good man at bottom.
    • 1891, Thomas Hardy, Tess of the d'Urbervilles, volume 1, London: James R. Osgood, McIlvaine and Co., page 45:
      "Tess is queer." "But she's tractable at bottom. Leave her to me."
    • 1907 July 5, Mark Twain, Chapters from My Autobiography, ch. 23:
      At bottom I supposed that he had mistaken another book for mine.
    • 1947 Jan. 6, "The 80th Congress," Time (retrieved 26 June 2015):
      As the New Year opened, the survival of Western democracy rested, at bottom, on the case the U.S. would make for it.
    • 2015 June 20, Michael Lewis, "Harvard Admissions Needs ‘Moneyball for Life’," New York Times (retrieved 26 June 2015):
      At bottom, he does not accept any authority higher than himself.


See also[edit]