See also: Bottom


Alternative formsEdit


PIE word

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 the body below the torso.
      Coordinate term: top
      There's a hole in her pyjama bottoms.
    2. Spirits poured into a glass before adding soda water.
      a soda and a bottom of brandy
  2. The far end of somewhere.
    There’s a fairy at the bottom of my garden.
    I walked to the bottom of the street.
  3. (uncountable, Britain, slang) Character, reliability, staying power, dignity, integrity or sound judgment.
    lack bottom
  4. (dated, uncountable) Power of endurance.
    • 2017, Les Savage, The Teton Bunch: A Western Trio
      This was why Dee had always ridden a buckskin; a man following his kind of trails needed a horse with bottom, and a line-back like this one never wore out.
  5. The base; the fundamental part; basic aspect.
    • 1886 October – 1887 January, H[enry] Rider Haggard, She: A History of Adventure, London: Longmans, Green, and Co., published 1887, OCLC 1167497017:
      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.
  6. (now chiefly US) Low-lying land; a valley or hollow.
    Where shall we go for a walk? How about Ashcombe Bottom?
  7. (usually: bottoms or bottomland) Low-lying land near a river with alluvial soil.
  8. The buttocks or anus.
    Synonyms: see Thesaurus:buttocks
  9. (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[1]:
      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%.
  10. The bed of a body of water, as of a river, lake, or sea.
  11. An abyss.
    • 1697, Virgil, “The Fourth Book of the Georgics”, in John Dryden, transl., The Works of Virgil: Containing His Pastorals, Georgics, and Æneis. [], London: [] Jacob Tonson, [], OCLC 403869432:
      In the Carpathian Bottom makes abode
      The Shepherd of the Seas, a Prophet and a God
  12. (nautical) A cargo vessel, a ship.
  13. (nautical) Certain parts of a vessel, particularly the cargo hold or the portion of the ship that is always underwater.
    • c. 1596–1598 (date written), William Shakespeare, “The Merchant of Venice”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies [] (First Folio), London: [] 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.
  14. (baseball) The second half of an inning, the home team's turn at bat.
  15. (BDSM) A submissive in sadomasochistic sexual activity.
  16. (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.
  17. (particle physics) Ellipsis of bottom quark.
    Hypernym: flavor
  18. 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.
  19. (obsolete) Dregs or grounds; lees; sediment.




Hyponyms of bottom (noun)

Derived termsEdit

Terms derived from bottom (noun)

Related termsEdit

Terms related to bottom (noun)


  • French: bottom


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. 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. (transitive) To pour spirits into (a glass to be topped up with soda water).
    • Dirge of the Drinker, in 1866, The Eclectic Magazine of Foreign Literature, Science, and Art (page 645)
      We shall bid that thoughtful waiter place beside him, near and handy, / Large supplies of soda water, tumblers bottomed well with brandy, []
  3. (obsolete) To wind (like a ball of thread etc.). [17th c.]
  4. (transitive) To establish or found (something) on or upon. [from 17th c.]
    • 1790 November, Edmund Burke, Reflections on the Revolution in France, and on the Proceedings in Certain Societies in London Relative to that Event. [], London: [] J[ames] Dodsley, [], OCLC 946162345:
      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.
    • 1692–1717, Robert South, Twelve Sermons Preached upon Several Occasions, volume (please specify |volume=I to VI), 6th edition, London: [] J[ames] Bettenham, for Jonah Bowyer, [], published 1727, OCLC 21766567:
      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.
  5. (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.
  6. (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.
  7. (mechanics, intransitive) To reach or strike against the bottom of something, so as to impede free action. [from 19th c.]
  8. (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.
  9. 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.
  10. (BDSM, intransitive) To be the submissive partner in a BDSM relationship. [from 20th c.]
  11. (gay slang, intransitive) To be anally penetrated in gay sex. [from 20th c.]
    The only time I ever bottomed in my life, my sphincter was pierced.

Derived termsEdit



bottom (not comparable)

  1. The lowest or last place or position.
    Those files should go on the bottom shelf.
  2. (transgender) Relating to the genitals.
    bottom dysphoria


See alsoEdit



Borrowed from English bottom.



bottom (plural bottoms)

  1. (LGBT, slang) bottom (passive in role)
    Synonym: passif



Unadapted borrowing from English bottom.


bottom (invariable, not comparable)

  1. Only used in quark bottom


bottom m (plural bottons)

  1. bottom quark (quark)




  1. The thread wound into balls.


  • Kathleen A. Browne (1927) The Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland Sixth Series, Vol.17 No.2, Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland, page 135