bottom line

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A reference to the literal bottom line of an income statement or other accounting record.


  • (file)


bottom line (countable and uncountable, plural bottom lines)

  1. (accounting) The final balance; the amount of money or profit left after everything has been tallied.
  2. (idiomatic, uncountable) The summary or result; the most important information
    The bottom line is that there simply are not enough hours in the day to finish all there is to do.
    • 2019 September 10, Phil McNulty, “'England horribly fallible in defence' against Kosovo in Euro 2020 qualifying”, in BBC Sport[1]:
      The bottom line is this - England have little or no chance of beating quality international sides if they defend as shoddily and carelessly as this, if they give possession away as cheaply as this and are as easy to get at as Kosovo made it look.
    Synonyms: upshot, net-net

Usage notes[edit]

In accounting, when somebody talks about increasing the bottom line, it means doing things to either increase the revenue or decrease expenses so the net income increases.

Derived terms[edit]