Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search
See also: Bottom


Alternative forms[edit]


From Middle English botme, botom, from Old English botm, bodan (bottom, foundation; ground, abyss), from Proto-Germanic *butmaz, *budmaz, from Proto-Indo-European *bʰudʰmḗn (bottom). Cognate with Dutch bodem, German Boden, Icelandic botn, Danish bund; also Irish bonn (sole (of foot)), Ancient Greek πυθμήν (puthmḗn, bottom of a cup or jar), Sanskrit बुध्न (budhna, bottom), Persian بن(bon, bottom), Latin fundus (bottom) (whence fund, via French). The sense “posterior of a person” is from 1794; the “verb to reach the bottom of” is from 1808. bottom dollar (the last dollar one has) is from 1882.



bottom (countable and uncountable, plural bottoms)

  1. The lowest part of anything.
    Footers appear at the bottoms of pages.
    1. A garment worn to cover below the torso (as opposed to the top)
      There's a hole in her pyjama bottoms.
  2. (uncountable, Britain, slang) Character, reliability, staying power, dignity, integrity or sound judgment.
    lack bottom
  3. The base; the fundamental part; basic aspect.
    • 1887, H. Rider Haggard, She: A History of Adventure[2]:
      Thereupon Billali did a curious thing. Down he went, that venerable-looking old gentleman - for Billali is a gentleman at the bottom - down on to his hands and knees, and in this undignified position, with his long white beard trailing on the ground, he began to creep into the apartment beyond.
  4. (now chiefly US) Low-lying land; a valley or hollow.
    Where shall we go for a walk? How about Ashcombe Bottom?
    • 1751, Tobias Smollett, The Adventures of Peregrine Pickle, vol. II, ch. 71:
      The horses staled in a small brook that runs in a bottom, betwixt two hills.
    • 1812, Amos Stoddard, Sketches of Louisiana
      the bottoms and the high grounds
  5. (usually: bottoms or bottomland) Low-lying land near a river with alluvial soil.
  6. The buttocks or anus.
  7. (often figuratively) The lowest part of a container.
    • 2011 December 21, Helen Pidd, “Europeans migrate south as continent drifts deeper into crisis”, in the Guardian[3]:
      In Ireland, where 14.5% of the population are jobless, emigration has climbed steadily since 2008, when Lehman Brothers collapsed and the bottom fell out of the Irish housing market. In the 12 months to April this year, 40,200 Irish passport-holders left, up from 27,700 the previous year, according to the central statistics office. Irish nationals were by far the largest constituent group among emigrants, at almost 53%.
  8. The bed of a body of water, as of a river, lake, or sea.
  9. An abyss.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Dryden to this entry?)
  10. (nautical) A cargo vessel, a ship.
  11. (nautical) Certain parts of a vessel, particularly the cargo hold or the portion of the ship that is always underwater.
    • c. 1596–1598, William Shakespeare, “The Merchant of Venice”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act I, scene i]:
      My ventures are not in one bottom trusted.
    • November 8, 1773, [first name not given] Bancroft, in Boston Post-Boy
      Not to sell the teas, but to return them to London in the same bottoms in which they were shipped.
  12. (baseball) The second half of an inning, the home team's turn at bat.
  13. (BDSM) A submissive in sadomasochistic sexual activity.
  14. (gay slang) A man who prefers the receptive role in anal sex with men.
    James and Lukas would make a great couple if they weren't both bottoms.
  15. (particle physics) A bottom quark.
    Hypernym: flavor
  16. A ball or skein of thread; a cocoon.
    • 1707, J[ohn] Mortimer, The Whole Art of Husbandry; or, The Way of Managing and Improving of Land. [], 2nd edition, London: [] J[ohn] H[umphreys] for H[enry] Mortlock [], and J[onathan] Robinson [], published 1708, OCLC 13320837:
      the [silk]worms will fasten themselves, and make their bottoms, which in about fourteen days are finished.
  17. (obsolete) Power of endurance.
    a horse of a good bottom
  18. (obsolete) Dregs or grounds; lees; sediment.



  • (lowest part): top
  • (BDSM, gay): top


Hyponyms of bottom (noun)

Derived terms[edit]

Terms derived from bottom (noun)

Related terms[edit]

Terms related to bottom (noun)


  • French: bottom


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.


bottom (third-person singular simple present bottoms, present participle bottoming, simple past and past participle bottomed)

  1. (transitive) To furnish (something) with a bottom. [from 16th c.]
    to bottom a chair
  2. (obsolete) To wind (like a ball of thread etc.). [17th c.]
    • 1623, William Shakespeare, Two Gentlemen of Verona, First Folio, III.2:
      As you vnwinde her loue from him, / Lest it should rauel and be good to none, / You must prouide to bottome it on me.
  3. (transitive) To establish or found (something) on or upon. [from 17th c.]
    • 1790, Edmund Burke, Reflections on the Revolution in France, Oxford 2009, p. 26:
      But an absurd opinion concerning the king's hereditary right to the crown does not prejudice one that is rational, and bottomed upon solid principles of law and policy.
    • 1698, Robert South, Twelve Sermons upon Several Subjects and Occasions:
      those false and deceiving grounds upon which many bottom their eternal state
    • 2001, United States Congress House Committee on the Judiciary, Subcommittee on Commercial and Administrative Law, Executive Orders and Presidential Directives, p.59:
      Moreover, the Supreme Court has held that the President must obey outstanding executive orders, even when bottomed on the Constitution, until they are revoked.
  4. (transitive, chiefly in passive) To lie on the bottom of; to underlie, to lie beneath. [from 18th c.]
    • 1989, B Mukherjee, Jasmine:
      My first night in America was spent in a motel with plywood over its windows, its pool bottomed with garbage sacks.
  5. (obsolete, intransitive) To be based or grounded. [17th–19th c.]
    • 'c. 1703, John Locke, Some Thoughts Concerning Reading and Study for a Gentleman
      Find out upon what foundation any proposition advanced bottoms.
  6. (mechanics, intransitive) To reach or strike against the bottom of something, so as to impede free action. [from 19th c.]
  7. (transitive) To reach the bottom of something.
    • 1902, Barbara Baynton, Sally Krimmer; Alan Lawson, editors, Bush Studies (Portable Australian Authors: Barbara Baynton), St Lucia: University of Queensland Press, published 1980, page 21:
      Squeaker's dog sniffed and barked joyfully around them till his licking efforts to bottom a salmon tin sent him careering in a muzzled frenzy, that caused the younger woman's thick lips to part grinningly till he came too close.
  8. To fall to the lowest point. [from 19th c.]
    • 2004, John J. Murphy, Intermarket Analysis: Profiting from Global Market Relationships, page 119:
      The Dow Jones Industrial Average bottomed on September 24, 2001. The CRB Index bottomed on October 24.
  9. (BDSM, intransitive) To be the submissive partner in a BDSM relationship. [from 20th c.]
  10. (gay slang, intransitive) To be anally penetrated in gay sex. [from 20th c.]
    I've never bottomed in my life.

Derived terms[edit]



bottom (not comparable)

  1. The lowest or last place or position.
    Those files should go on the bottom shelf.


See also[edit]



Borrowed from English bottom.


bottom (plural bottoms)

  1. (LGBT, slang) bottom (passive in role)




bottom m (plural bottons)

  1. button (a badge worn on clothes)
    Synonym: botão