Etymology 1Edit

From Middle English botel (bottle, flask, wineskin), from Old French boteille (Modern French bouteille), from Medieval Latin butticula, ultimately of disputed origin. Probably a diminutive of Late Latin buttis. Compare also Low German Buddel and Old High German būtil (whence German Beutel). Doublet of botija.


bottle (plural bottles)

  1. A container, typically made of glass or plastic and having a tapered neck, used primarily for holding liquids.
    • 1913, Joseph C. Lincoln, chapter 6, in Mr. Pratt's Patients:
      He had one hand on the bounce bottle—and he’d never let go of that since he got back to the table—but he had a handkerchief in the other and was swabbing his deadlights with it.
    Beer is often sold in bottles.
  2. The contents of such a container.
    I only drank a bottle of beer.
  3. A container with a rubber nipple used for giving liquids to infants, a baby bottle.
    The baby wants a bottle.
  4. (Britain, informal) (originally "bottle and glass" as rhyming slang for "arse") Nerve, courage.
    You don’t have the bottle to do that!
    He was going to ask her out, but he lost his bottle when he saw her.
  5. (attributive, of a person with a particular hair color) A container of hair dye, hence with one’s hair color produced by dyeing.
    Did you know he’s a bottle brunette? His natural hair color is strawberry blonde.
  6. (obsolete) A bundle, especially of hay; something tied in a bundle.
  7. (figurative) Intoxicating liquor; alcohol.
    to drown one’s troubles in the bottle
    to hit the bottle
Derived termsEdit
Related termsEdit
  • Bislama: botel
  • Jamaican Creole: bokl, bakl
  • Sranan Tongo: batra
  • Tok Pisin: botol
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.
See alsoEdit


bottle (third-person singular simple present bottles, present participle bottling, simple past and past participle bottled)

  1. (transitive) To seal (a liquid) into a bottle for later consumption. Also fig.
    This plant bottles vast quantities of spring water every day.
    • 2014 May 11, Ivan Hewett, “Piano Man: a Life of John Ogdon by Charles Beauclerk, review: A new biography of the great British pianist whose own genius destroyed him [print version: A colossus off-key, 10 May 2014, p. R27]”, in The Daily Telegraph (Review)[1]:
      The temptation is to regard him [John Ogdon] as an idiot savant, a big talent bottled inside a recalcitrant body and accompanied by a personality that seems not just unremarkable, but almost entirely blank.
  2. (transitive, Britain) To feed (an infant) baby formula.
    Because of complications she can't breast feed her baby and so she bottles him.
  3. (Britain, slang) To refrain from doing (something) at the last moment because of a sudden loss of courage.
    The rider bottled the big jump.
  4. (Britain, slang, sports) To throw away a leading position.
    Liverpool bottled the Premier League.
  5. (Britain, slang) To strike (someone) with a bottle.
    He was bottled at a nightclub and had to have facial surgery.
  6. (Britain, slang) To pelt (a musical act on stage, etc.) with bottles as a sign of disapproval.
    Meat Loaf was once bottled at Reading Festival.
  7. (printing, intransitive) Of pages printed several on a sheet: to rotate slightly when the sheet is folded two or more times.
    • 2002, Against the Clock, QuarkXPress 5: Advanced Electronic Documents (page 58)
      Closely related to creep is the process of bottling. As you may have noticed from your folded sheet of paper, pages don't merely creep when they're folded — they also rotate slightly. This rotation or bottling is caused by the thickness or bulk of the paper.
Derived termsEdit
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.


Etymology 2Edit

From Middle English bottle, botel, buttle, from Old English botl (building, house), from Proto-West Germanic *bōþl, from Proto-Germanic *budlą, *buþlą, *bōþlą (house, dwelling, farm), from Proto-Indo-European *bʰōw- (literally to swell, grow, thrive, be, live, dwell).

Cognate with North Frisian budel, bodel, bol, boel (dwelling, inheritable property), Dutch boedel, boel (inheritance, estate), Danish bol (farm), Icelandic ból (dwelling, abode, farm, lair). Related to Old English bytlan (to build). More at build.


bottle (plural bottles)

  1. (UK, dialectal or obsolete) A dwelling; habitation.
  2. (UK, dialectal) A building; house.