Definition of bottle in English:



  • 1A glass or plastic container with a narrow neck, used for storing drinks or other liquids.

    ‘he opened the bottle of beer’
    • ‘A field of Glasgow's finest waiters had to make two laps of the square while carrying a tray, two bottles and glasses.’
    • ‘He sits down behind a desk and takes a drink of pink liquid from his plastic bottle.’
    • ‘She did as she was told and trotted off into the kitchen and she looked around for a glass bottle containing a colorless liquid.’
    • ‘However, in recent years more and more shops have started selling drinks in plastic bottles instead of cans.’
    • ‘Do not store poisons in drink bottles, glasses, or jars.’
    • ‘The bag ripped open and glass beer bottles began rolling into the street.’
    • ‘Fans inside the Arena had started pelting each other with plastic beer glasses and bottles, and the concert was temporarily halted.’
    • ‘For the rest of the year, the beach is a disgrace, covered in plastic bottles, broken glass, old tyres and all sorts of unmentionables.’
    • ‘Glass and plastic bottles now speed along conveyor belts as creams and liquids are pumped and squirted before lids are fixed and tightened.’
    • ‘There's been a lot of talk about whether it's safe to drink out of plastic bottles.’
    • ‘Mr Short says Barnfield accepts Christmas trees, cardboard boxes and electrical appliances, along with glass bottles and drink cans.’
    • ‘Councillors are expect to give the green light to increasing the number of properties from which it collects plastic bottles, glass, cans and paper, in a fortnightly collection.’
    • ‘Rinse out drink cans and plastic bottles before putting them in recycling bin instead of burying them under a load of old newspapers.’
    • ‘Now, only my glass and plastic bottles are collected while the other items with the recycling logo are left behind with a yellow sticker telling me these items are not recyclable.’
    • ‘The cleaned sand is stored in labelled glass bottles identifying the location where it was found.’
    • ‘This means that all newspapers, cardboard and plastic drinks bottles can now be easily disposed of, instead of having these items dumped in landfill sites.’
    • ‘Then there's the matter of plastic bottles and glass bottles.’
    • ‘The reason for this change in procedure is that the council is now able to send glass and plastic bottles and aluminium and steel cans to a plant in Darwen where they are mechanically separated.’
    • ‘The ban will make it a criminal offence to drink from bottles and glasses outside licensed premises and will come into force from Thursday, April 17, the day before Good Friday.’
    • ‘The Manchester Evening News launched a campaign three years ago to promote the use of toughened glass and plastic bottles in nightspots.’
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 The contents of a bottle.
      ‘she managed to get through a bottle of wine’
      • ‘You can check this by sampling a bottle of Bollinger's Vieilles Vignes (ungrafted old vines) against a bottle made from their grafted vines.’
      • ‘We chose a bottle of Chablis to accompany, finding its medium texture to work with both the white and red meat.’
      • ‘We got through a bottle of St Emellion, which doesn't really go with Indian food, but fortified us for the drama ahead.’
      • ‘After consuming almost everything there the hall bar's stocks of Bacardi Breezers, Smirnoff Ices and a bottle of Jack Daniels were also raided.’
      • ‘It being the longest day of the year, I suppose I should have been celebrating some arcane shamanic ritual, but I just put my foot up and finished the remains of a bottle of schnapps.’
      • ‘For example, the alcoholic content of a bottle of wine must be indicated and also its origin and where the wine was bottled.’
      • ‘We've got a bottle of 12-year malt just begging to be tested if you'd like to join us.’
      • ‘I just remembered, I've got a bottle of Johnnie Walker Red label to sink tonight.’
      • ‘He made the announcement this morning, saying he made the decision over a bottle of Chardonnay at the weekend after he and wife Helena had decided his time had come to move on.’
      • ‘At the end of my experiment, I sat back and nursed a battered palate with a bottle of Spanish cava in an attempt to drive out the demons which had possessed my mouth a short time ago.’
      • ‘And I did exactly what any teenager would do after several pints of yokel-strength scrumpy and half a bottle of Russian paint-stripper.’
      • ‘For a while we sat on tree stumps next to the grain storage barn, talking with her parents and passing around a bottle of her father's homemade rakia to keep our blood flowing.’
      • ‘She is a self-hating woman who is desperate for the love of her husband, and when it is not returned, she turns to a bottle of whiskey for consolation.’
    2. 1.2the bottleinformal Used in reference to the heavy drinking of alcohol.
      ‘more women are taking to the bottle’
      • ‘Fans and family of Mr Howson should take heart; far from seeking solace in the bottle, the strongest stuff he is currently imbibing is tea.’
      • ‘More Britons than ever are 'turning to the bottle' to relieve stress - and half the nation isn't sleeping or is grumpy due to stress.’
      • ‘The minimum age of boys taking to the bottle in The State has fallen to as low as 13.5 years.’
      • ‘As a result, the villagers turn to the bottle, drinking to forget how dreary their lives are.’
      • ‘Reading the Government's plans to liberalise the licensing laws could be enough to make anybody turn to the bottle.’
    3. 1.3 A bottle fitted with a teat for giving milk or other drinks to babies and very young children.
      • ‘Her theory is that the patient must wear diapers, suck his thumb and drink from a baby bottle to be cured.’
      • ‘But they fed her milk from a baby's bottle and she has blossomed.’
      • ‘Rubbing the bottle's nipple temptingly against his mouth didn't help.’
      • ‘She's putting on weight like a normal baby and taking milk from a bottle.’
      • ‘That's because Manas is only two years old and still drinks milk from a bottle.’
      • ‘The illustration on the formula can depicted one scoop being added to one baby bottle - which is just what the parents did!’
      • ‘It's not harmful, unless you attach a nipple to the bottle of solution and force feed it to your pet.’
      • ‘Spending extra on a bottle and nipples in order to get the correct mouthfeel and traces of rubber would be out of the question.’
      • ‘Sadly, Andre seems to be sick and won't even drink milk from a bottle.’
      • ‘I fumbled in his baby bag for his bottle and formula before asking a flight attendant for a cup of warm water.’
      • ‘Remember to give young children a bottle, a lollipop, or a piece of gum when the plane takes off and lands.’
      • ‘I had only just stopped weaning my baby off bottle milk and this has left us all very shocked.’
      • ‘Babies who go to bed with a bottle of milk, formula or juice are more likely to get tooth decay.’
      • ‘Do not add sugar or put sugary drinks in a baby's bottle.’
      • ‘Chris sat on the leg rest in front of me and watched as I gave Caitlyn the nipple of the bottle.’
      • ‘They will generally signal an interest in solid foods by biting the bottle nipple or showing an interest in licking milk or formula from a finger.’
      • ‘She no longer had to be guided to the bottle's nipple, grabbing it expertly and with gusto.’
      • ‘As you introduce the bottle's nipple to the Shih Tzu puppy's mouth, move your legs slightly, jiggling your lap.’
      • ‘The baby was dressed in a clean shirt and a fresh diaper and there was a bottle of baby's milk nearby.’
      • ‘Who knew drinking out of a baby bottle could be so much fun?’
    4. 1.4 A large metal cylinder holding liquefied gas.
      • ‘We were in a metal box with gas bottles, connected to an electrical hook-up point.’
  • 2British informal mass noun The courage or confidence needed to do something difficult or dangerous.

    ‘I lost my bottle completely and ran’
    • ‘But these figures do seem to seriously undermine the slur that the Spaniards lost their bottle after the bombs.’
    • ‘‘I just think he is a wonderful dog, he's got a lot of bottle,’ said Mr Marsh as he ruffled the ears of his faithful companion.’
    • ‘Keepers in this country aren't given quite as much protection as those on the continent and he will have to show some bottle to come and collect high balls.’
    • ‘Some said he lost his bottle, others said he was bought off.’
    • ‘What impressed me most was his bravery and his bottle.’
    • ‘So he lost his bottle in the end, and postponed the general election before he had even called it.’
    • ‘But time and again, his greatest triumphs were achieved because he simply had more bottle than anyone else.’
    • ‘He can hit the ball, pass, score goals, has tremendous bottle and he's got vision.’
    • ‘We started slowly, but we wore them down and they lost their bottle when we were 8-3 up.’
    • ‘England re-established a bit of credibility over the autumn series, with the performance against the All Blacks showing that they had a bit of bottle.’
    courage, courageousness, bravery, valour, intrepidity, boldness, nerve, confidence, daring, audacity, pluck, pluckiness, spirit, mettle, spine, backbone, steel, fibre, stout-heartedness
    View synonyms


[with object]
  • 1Place (drinks or other liquid) in bottles for storage.

    ‘the wine was bottled in 1997’
    • ‘Avis had never seen Jeff drink anything besides bottled domestic beer.’
    • ‘It cannot be detected until the wine has been bottled and the liquid comes into contact with the cork.’
    • ‘In Athy, he traded in tea, groceries, fuel, wine and spirits, as well as bottling his own stout, bonding his own whiskey and manufacturing and bottling mineral water.’
    • ‘People gather to drink both traditional and bottled beer.’
    • ‘Only children living in nonfluoridated areas or children who drink only nonfluoridated bottled water should receive supplements.’
    • ‘Children who drink bottled water may be putting their teeth at risk because they are missing out on fluoride in their tap water, researchers claim.’
    • ‘If circumstances allow, at a party or ceremony, grilled chicken, soft drinks, and bottled beer are served and consumed in liberal amounts.’
    • ‘It seems the 18-to - 30 age group is switching its allegiance to bottled beer and whisky.’
    • ‘Up until that point, the business owners made and bottled their drinks after hours at a friend's restaurant.’
    • ‘I met former farmers bottling mineral water, felling trees, selling cigarettes to Angola and manufacturing cooking oil.’
    • ‘However, the largest producers of those are hotels and bars, because the great majority of drinks are bottled.’
    • ‘Even today many no longer drink tap water; bottled mineral water is the fashion.’
    • ‘He's president of a company that bottles water and cooking oil.’
    • ‘As required by Vietnamese law, the soft drink giants would have to enter into joint ventures in order to bottle soft drinks locally.’
    • ‘If you are a wine drinker looking for a change, try bottled beer rather than canned.’
    • ‘My aunt was not home and just as we were turning to leave, her neighbour helped us out by letting us in and bottling mineral water for us from her home.’
    • ‘In the ice chips lay several types of canned and bottled beverages: water, fruit juice, soda and wine for any adults.’
    • ‘Only water that has been properly treated with chlorine and other disinfectants should be consumed and to be on safer side bottled water is highly recommended.’
    • ‘But the star attraction - cask beer and bottled ale at sensible prices - had never changed.’
    • ‘Put on a pot of spiced cider for drinks and have bottled water in the fridge.’
    1. 1.1British Place (fruit or vegetables) in glass jars with other ingredients in order to preserve them.
      ‘Angela bottled fruit and jam and chutneys’
      • ‘We used to bottle surplus plums, and pears, dry apple rings on baking trays in a very slow oven, and layer runner beans in salt, putting them all up on the shelf to gleam in the autumn and winter lamplight.’
      • ‘Nick Sandler and Johnny Acton are here to promote their very timely new book, Preserved, and to teach me the new and fashionable relevance of pickling, bottling and salting.’
      • ‘His love of life was bubbly and his chirpy, outgoing personality was the very stuff that needs to be bottled and preserved in today's trying world.’
      • ‘Recipes for bottling vegetables and making chutneys bring on the Little House on the Prairie spirit.’
      • ‘But company chiefs reassured its 500-strong workforce that the sauce and pickle bottling factory would re-open and their jobs were safe.’
      • ‘The other she would bottle in a preserving jar and keep as a treat for one of the children's birthdays.’
      • ‘They are sometimes preserved by bottling but lose much of their evanescent flavour.’
      conserve, tin, can, pot, chill, freeze, freeze-dry, quick-freeze, dry, desiccate, dehydrate
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2usually as adjective bottled Store (gas) in a container in liquefied form.
      ‘she set about connecting the bottled gas to the stove’
      • ‘In order to safely move bottled oxygen and other supplies up to high camps, Sherpas put in fixed ropes.’
      • ‘Here the air is so thin that bottled oxygen is at hand in case construction workers faint.’
      • ‘Jackson and three companions plan to climb K2 without bottled oxygen, but it is the descent that is most tricky.’
      • ‘With holds up to 35 feet off the deck, Iowa residents may want to consider bottled oxygen.’
      • ‘At the time, most physicians and climbers accepted that humans could not survive above 8,600m without bottled oxygen.’
      • ‘Energy Minister Fran Logan says the price of bottled gas dropped when an inquiry into pricing in regional areas was taking place.’
      • ‘The company is run from premises on Tennyson Street, where the gas is bottled and distributed.’
      • ‘So, the Leader of the Opposition, V.S. Achutanandan, may have hit the nail on the head when he said that we might even see air being bottled and sold eventually.’
      • ‘And air is not something that can be packaged or bottled.’
      • ‘It contained air bottled on the breezy slopes of Helvellyn.’
  • 2informal Throw a glass bottle at (someone)

    ‘he was bottled offstage at a club’
    • ‘The 37-year-old was unable to work after the first assault in July 2003 in which he was bottled, repeatedly kicked and left for dead in the town centre.’
    • ‘But, seriously, there are some huge questions that need to be addressed here - claims of police over-reaction, stewards bottling customers, fears of explosions.’
    • ‘By popular demand, because lots of people are searching for one and I got my pictures back the other day… a picture of Kelly Osbourne before she got bottled at the Dome on Sunday.’
    • ‘A TEENAGER, scarred for life when she was bottled in the face in a nightclub row, is pleading for witnesses to come forward.’
    • ‘The teenager was assaulted at Southend Victoria Station at around 8pm by a gang of male yobs who bottled him in the hand with a smashed glass.’
    • ‘He was bottled during last November's attack and needed eight stitches to repair a head wound.’
  • 3British informal Lose one's nerve and decide not to do (something)

    ‘the leader had completely bottled his confrontation with them’
    ‘one terrified contestant bottles it and scarpers’
    • ‘He got so far up and then he just bottled it.’
    • ‘They had the programme made before the local elections but they bottled out from airing it.’
    • ‘He accused him of bottling a referendum for the same reason that he decided against an early election: because he knows he would lose.’
    • ‘I completely froze when I was handed the microphone and very nearly bottled it, but I managed to get the words out.’
    • ‘This is not the first time, when faced with a difficult decision, he has bottled out.’
    • ‘I do wish we hadn't bottled out and set off the flare we found on the beach.’
    • ‘When I bottled out they called me a "wuss" and said that I've "got no spontaneity".’
    • ‘I eventually decided that they hadn't bottled the biggest decision of the week.’
    • ‘The decision to take only four strikers backfired disastrously, and we bottled the penalty shoot-out.’
    • ‘The coach maintained after the game that some of his players had "bottled it" when it came to taking penalties.’


  • bottle and glass

    • rhyming slang Arse.

  • be full bottle on

    • informal Be very knowledgeable about.

      ‘they are full bottle on the tricks the industry gets up to’
      • ‘We were a full bottle on anything that might cause our respective broadcasters or publishers any embarrassment or worse—legal action.’
      • ‘We go to the man who should be full bottle on these strange products.’
      • ‘No doubt some of us are full bottle on revisionist history since the fall of the wall but not, alas, me.’
      • ‘Want to sound like a full bottle on foreign policy?’
      • ‘It's true I'm not the full bottle on food trends, but for many years I believed that fondues were something we'd all been into long ago but unlikely ever to stage a comeback.’
  • hit the bottle

    • informal Start to drink alcohol heavily.

      ‘his marriage broke up and he hit the bottle’
      • ‘‘It was like an alcoholic hitting the bottle again,’ Raihala said.’
      • ‘And I've been hitting the bottle in the evenings to help me get by.’
      • ‘The star has had a troubled time in the last few months after reportedly hitting the bottle again.’
      • ‘The significant jump in the number of women who are dying from alcohol-related illness proves that more and more women are hitting the bottle.’
      • ‘She suffered from manic depression, and when she died after a long illness, Bellany - always fond of the drink - hit the bottle with venom.’
      • ‘Barton Peveril's students are putting across a message which they hope will make other teenagers sit up and think about the perils of hitting the bottle.’
      • ‘She was also hitting the bottle enthusiastically, believing she had been ‘misdiagnosed’ by the Priory.’
      • ‘Will Jackson lose his chance at regaining the trust of his family, or will he go back to hitting the bottle?’
      • ‘Word had reached me that he was going through a bad patch, hitting the bottle and living in a hostel for the homeless.’
      • ‘Gerald soon finds himself driven back to his old habits, hitting the bottle and using sleazy journalistic tactics in a desperate search for the answers surrounding his ill-fated apartment building.’
      drink, swallow, gulp, gulp down, guzzle, slurp, attack, down, drink down, drink up, force down, get down, finish off, polish off, drain, empty, imbibe, have, take, partake of, ingest, consume, sup, sip, lap
      View synonyms
  • in bottle

    • (of wine) having been aged for a specified number of years in its bottle.

      ‘the wine can be drunk after eight years in bottle’
      • ‘Hard, tannic and even stern in youth, these reds need many years in bottle to show their best.’
      • ‘This wine spends two or three years in barrel after which it is then cellared in bottle for ten to 50 years.’
      • ‘Whilst tasty, these wines are rarely subtle or sufficiently well balanced for ageing and further development in bottle.’
      • ‘It is also fairly tannic, and right now the wine is a bit disjointed, indicating it could use another one to three years in bottle.’
      • ‘The final feature of our old pal acid is helping fine wines in the process of aging - without sufficient acidity wines are unable to make the long journey in bottle.’
      • ‘Despite this perception, experience shows many wines which age in bottle with substantial ullage exhibit no signs of oxidation.’
      • ‘Maybe this is an age thing, too - maybe that slight herbaceousness will factor out after the wine rests a few months in bottle.’

Phrasal Verbs

  • bottle out

    • Lose one's nerve and decide not to do something.

      ‘I bottled out and was homesick and I came home’
      ‘the Minister has bottled out of real reforms’
  • bottle something up

    • Repress or conceal feelings over time.

      ‘his anger and frustration had been bottled up for years’
      • ‘Venting feelings is better than bottling them up.’
      • ‘You can't hide your true feelings, because if you bottle them up then they will get out somehow.’
      • ‘He had been a normal, healthy, happy young man, but afterwards he did not seek help for his mental problems and bottled things up.’
      • ‘When he was irritated, he swallowed it down and bottled it up, and even when he had little reason to be so, he would still always be polite to those who didn't deserve it.’
      • ‘It's often a huge relief to children to have this silence broken and able to share their thoughts and feelings instead of bottling them up.’
      • ‘You know how self-criticism and bottling things up affects your well-being, so be kind and gentle to yourself this week.’
      • ‘I wanted him to tell me when he was upset and talk about it, instead of bottling it up and getting withdrawn and treating me like a distant relative or seriously platonic friend.’
      • ‘You can't bottle them up inside, because they explode like a volcano.’
      • ‘She said of her husband: ‘He would sometimes discuss problems and sometimes bottle them up.’’
      • ‘I mean, venting is better than bottling it up, right?’
      suppress, repress, restrain, withhold, keep back, keep in check, keep in, hold in, rein in, bite back, choke back, swallow, fight back, curb, inhibit, smother, stifle, contain, shut in, conceal, hide
      View synonyms
  • bottle someone/something up

    • Keep someone or something trapped or contained.

      ‘he had to stay bottled up in New York’
      • ‘Alongside him, Denis Glennon drifted outfield but Dublin bottled him up wherever he went, limiting him to just a point.’
      • ‘David Brennan was bottled up in the right corner but managed to get the ball back across the goal.’
      • ‘Not only did the injury keep him out of five games, it also forced him to take on too many offensive linemen when making plays, and he was bottled up in the process.’
      • ‘Your friendly neighborhood multilateralist thinks it can be bottled up, buried in bureaucracy, bogged down in red tape.’
      • ‘Labour-hungry commercial farmers would benefit, as workers would be bottled up in the rural areas.’
      • ‘But Mnguni is not taking chances with the wayward fighter and has bottled him up at his home in Vincent to monitor him.’
      • ‘They've bottled us up so that when the forces of the walled city arrive, we'll have no escape.’
      • ‘What about those little regional department stores that have been bought up and bottled up?’
      • ‘I do not recall how many of Clinton's nominees were bottled up in committee or blue slipped, but I am quite confident that none of them were filibustered.’
      • ‘Instead, let's actually spend some money (rather than bottling it up in committee) on research, because you never know what you'll find.’


Late Middle English: from Old French boteille, from medieval Latin butticula, diminutive of late Latin buttis ‘cask, wineskin’ (see butt).