Definition of bottom in English:

bottom

noun

  • 1The lowest point or part of something.

    ‘the bottom of the page’
    ‘she paused at the bottom of the stairs’
    • ‘The change effected appears at the bottom of page 186 and the top of 187.’
    • ‘It is correctly aligned, or oriented, showing the south of the river at the bottom.’
    • ‘Music is really represented all over the brain, in the left and the right; in the top and the bottom; in the front and the back.’
    • ‘Bri did not dare to move until she heard his shuffling feet and tired grunts descend to the bottom of the stairs and fade into the kitchen.’
    • ‘They traced the length of her neck, stopping to rest at the bottom of her throat.’
    • ‘She laid on her stomach with her feet resting at the bottom of her bed.’
    • ‘You can get to each section using the Table of Contents at the bottom of this page.’
    • ‘Try to keep it evenly sprinkled from the top to the bottom of the page.’
    • ‘Instead of covering this as if it were the top story, put it on the bottom of the front page.’
    • ‘At the bottom of the front page is a box stating: ‘As always, your feedback is very welcome.’’
    • ‘Contact information is included at the bottom of the page.’
    • ‘He paused at the bottom of the stairs and surveyed all his stuff.’
    • ‘If the Finance Sector proposition set out at the bottom of page 359 is correct, that is sufficient for our purposes.’
    • ‘We found frequent vertical cracks cutting across all 39 sediment layers from the bottom to the top.’
    • ‘When I hover over a link, I expect to be able to see where it leads, simply by looking at my status bar at the bottom of the browser.’
    • ‘From the tip of the blade to the bottom of the hilt it has to be as long as I am tall!’
    • ‘He was standing at the bottom of the stairs, and she stood at the top.’
    • ‘Perhaps more interesting is the part at the bottom of the piece… around fifty languages have only one living speaker.’
    • ‘They've signposted content with clear navigation and put neat section headers at the bottom of the front page.’
    • ‘It was going to be a long trek down to where it rested near the bottom of the mountain.’
    • ‘The other vans, a total of eight more, came to rest at the bottom of the ramp, all in a row, and released their occupants.’
    • ‘The cartoon can be found near the bottom of this page in the ‘cartoons’ section.’
    • ‘Then an electrical wire is run along the rod to the light bulb where it is soldered to the side and the bottom of the base.’
    • ‘In 1997 there was a succession of astonishing Labour gains which could only be briefly noted by a red bar at the bottom of the TV screen.’
    foot, lowest part, lowest point, base, extremity
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 The ground under a sea, river, or lake.
      ‘the liner plunged to the bottom of the sea’
      • ‘Additional studies will determine if the rocks were laid down by minerals formed at the bottom of a salty lake or sea.’
      • ‘Similarly, providing a layer of river sand at the bottom of the well or depositing small bundles of charcoal in the well are beneficial.’
      • ‘Scientists say the city was submerged at the bottom of the lake about 2,000 or 3,000 years ago for unknown reasons.’
      • ‘The first clown I buddied up with spent the entire dive hurtling between the bottom and the surface.’
      • ‘That's because it depends on whether the iceberg is floating or resting on the bottom.’
      • ‘A hero firefighter who pulled a young girl from the bottom of a lake was today awarded the Queen's Commendation for Bravery.’
      • ‘Mostly the water is shallow, merely a couple of hundred meters deep, and you can always see the surface or the bottom or frequently both.’
      • ‘In addition, Thoreau notices circular heaps of stones about six feet in diameter that sit on the pond bottom.’
      • ‘In many areas along the shoreline, the bottom of the lake dropped off quickly to greater depths.’
      • ‘It is encrusted in pink algae and offers a nice contrast to the wreck, which is resting on a sandy bottom.’
      • ‘Their fertile farmland now lay at the bottom of the lake.’
      • ‘As I said, I have come from the bottom to the surface in a hundred-foot deep water.’
      • ‘Many trolleys removed from supermarkets return damaged or end up at the bottom of a local lake or river.’
      • ‘Resting on the bottom or in the sediment are wrecks, such as an oil freighter and a Spanish galleon.’
      • ‘The depth they cruise at varies between the surface and the bottom.’
      • ‘We first started to notice several dead fish on the bottom of the river.’
      • ‘A muck of built up sewage and slime sits at the bottom of the deep slow moving polluted water.’
      • ‘However, you failed to mention to the ratepayers all the chemicals that exist at the bottom of the lake.’
      • ‘As there was no wind, it was quite clear from the surface to the bottom so that we could see clearly even at a distance of twenty to thirty yards.’
      • ‘‘I had my suspicions that there might be relics from the film at the bottom of the river,’ he says.’
      floor, bed, ground, depths
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2 The lowest surface on the inside of a container.
      ‘place the fruit on the bottom of the dish’
      • ‘Ensure good drainage by inserting a good layer, three to four inches deep, of gravel or shattered clay pots at the bottom of your container.’
      • ‘Her lazy swimming halted, and her feet found the rough surface of the bottom of the pool.’
      • ‘So I threw it into the bottom of the bin and covered it with a pile of old Canberra Times.’
      • ‘He was devastated and resigned himself to a life without joy or love, choosing instead to look for his heart in the bottom of a bottle.’
      • ‘For the wick, measure out a few more inches of string than is needed to reach the bottom of the container.’
      • ‘Once all the wax in the bottom of the container is melted your candle is finished.’
      • ‘Liquids can only fill the bottom of the container while gases can fill it entirely.’
      • ‘They're too tough, and the husk is still attached, and I always end up leaving them at the bottom of the container.’
      • ‘In the bottom of the container there was a reservoir of water, and above it an apparatus caused electrical arcs to crackle.’
      • ‘Rune poured the steaming tea into the cup, letting the leaves twirl around and finally rest on the bottom.’
      • ‘The coffee has been sinking to the bottom of the container and creating an icy layer.’
      • ‘The wide mouth of the packaging allows consumers to easily dip down to the bottom of the container.’
      • ‘Avoid wetting the foliage, and soak the soil until you see water draining through the bottom of the container.’
      • ‘Stir it all together and then use the mixture to line the bottom of a serving dish.’
      • ‘One trick I have learnt is to put some bulbs at the bottom of the container so they flower in spring.’
      • ‘Lightly butter the inside and line the bottom with baking paper.’
      • ‘Place broken crocks in the bottom of the planting container to ensure good drainage and add the compost mixture to the level of the base of the lowest layer of bulbs.’
      • ‘Spread the vegetables out to cover the bottom of the roasting dish.’
      • ‘Some retailers put bad or rotten fruit in the bottom of the basket.’
    3. 1.3 The seat of a chair.
    4. 1.4British The furthest part or point of something.
      ‘the shed at the bottom of the garden’
      • ‘Mrs God would have been furious if she had found out that, after lunch, he was in the shed at the bottom of the garden tinkering with bits of disused jet aircraft.’
      • ‘Think of British inventors and you picture lone eccentrics toiling away in a shed at the bottom of the garden, seeking to make discoveries of genius.’
      • ‘His neighbours report that if he does exhibit any mild eccentricity, it is only his habit of spending hours locked in the shed at the bottom of his Oxford garden.’
      • ‘The shed was at the bottom of the garden and it is believed whoever started the fire escaped via an alleyway running alongside the house.’
      • ‘So we built an aerial runway for our creations that went from Sean's bedroom down to his dad's shed at the bottom of the garden.’
      • ‘The house I might be buying has a shed at the bottom of the garden that has been used as a sculpture studio.’
      • ‘This morning it appears that the sheds at the bottom of the gardens in this street have been burgled in the night.’
      • ‘What goes on in the shed at the bottom of the garden?’
      • ‘Of course, the smoke did not affect their own houses because the bonfire was at the bottom of their gardens.’
      • ‘Amongst the singing and chit-chat someone was asked to get something from the shed at the bottom of the garden.’
      the furthest part, the farthest point, the far end, the extremity
      View synonyms
    5. 1.5 The lowest position in a competition or ranking.
      ‘he started at the bottom and now has his own business’
      • ‘I know schools can be transformative - even for those at the bottom of the ladder.’
      • ‘However, it may be some consolation that the western visitors are third from the bottom with only four points from four outings.’
      • ‘Last year it tumbled to the bottom of the official rankings when it failed to score a single star in the government rating system.’
      • ‘Jan Molby's men have conceded just three goals and lost just the once on their own turf, but it is a lack of firepower up front which has seen them drop to just two points off the bottom.’
      • ‘It looked as though we went out with the thought it would be easy against the team that is sitting bottom of the league.’
      • ‘The district is beginning to climb away from its position near the bottom of the national league.’
      • ‘They were dark days for the Elephants, who soldiered on with young talent but never climbed up from the bottom of the rankings.’
      • ‘And unsecured creditors are always at the bottom of the totem pole.’
      • ‘I understand that to be bottom after eight matches is not the best situation but I honestly feel there were a lot of reasons for that.’
      • ‘Sheffield have a habit of doing well against the top teams but poorly against sides nearer the bottom.’
      • ‘To take bronze in such a favourable scenario is like tottering at the bottom in any serious competition’
      • ‘The aim is to eventually inculcate the expertise to manage and control the energy sector from the bottom to the top.’
      • ‘In the arena of open competition, the talkers are quickly moved to the bottom of the rankings.’
      • ‘By putting the candidate whom you least want to see elected at the bottom of your ranking, you are helping to defeat him/her.’
      • ‘‘If there is pain it will be shared from the top to the bottom of the organisation’, said the source.’
      • ‘It's an appropriate metaphor for a state mired near the bottom of national rankings in poverty and education.’
      • ‘People who buy stock in these companies under American law wind up at the bottom of the totem pole in the bankruptcy proceeding.’
      • ‘The settlement gives more to higher grade officers then it does to those at the bottom of the ladder.’
      • ‘We are very aware of our position at the bottom of society, and we use this awareness to make sure we do what we must do.’
      • ‘Sitting bottom of the league, the whole team are now in a bit of a hole and now it's a case of seeing if they can dig themselves out.’
      lowest level, lowest position, least important part, least successful part, least honourable part
      View synonyms
    6. 1.6 The lower half of a specified two-piece garment.
      ‘a pair of pyjama bottoms’
      • ‘I'm sitting in my dressing gown and tracksuit bottoms, having spent the whole day in bed.’
      • ‘I cut strips from the bottom of the sarong and sliced slits in the waist of the bikini bottom.’
      • ‘Jade was in a green bikini top with the bottom of her suit covered by a pair of blue jeans.’
      • ‘She had changed from her mini skirt into pajama bottoms and a tight-fitting t-shirt that had an unprintable logo on it.’
      • ‘Tracey approached the pool area, towel draped around her neck and a sarong covering the bottom of her bikini.’
      • ‘It took Emily at least twenty minutes to coax Callie from the bathroom floor, and even longer to get her dressed in a long-sleeve shirt and pajama bottoms.’
      • ‘Do you think there's any correlation between its rise in popularity and its participants wearing bikini bottoms and sports bras?’
      • ‘She had on a two piece dress; the top was tight and cut off right above her navel, the bottom rested on her hips.’
      • ‘She still had an hour and a half, so she dressed in pajama bottoms and a shirt she stole from Vince's bag.’
      • ‘Closing the basement door, she quickly changed into a pair of green pajama bottoms and a white tank top.’
      • ‘It was a black bikini halter with matching bottoms, a pair of swim shorts that had floral Hawaii prints on the side and a red shirt that had the sleeves ripped off with buttons undone.’
      • ‘He is 30 minutes late and hardly cuts an imposing figure, dressed shabbily in an old pair of tracksuit bottoms and trainers, polo shirt and fleece.’
      • ‘The top was tied off around the neck and the bottom was bikini style with a short flowing mini skirt over top.’
    7. 1.7
      ‘river bottoms’
      another term for bottomland
      • ‘It is primarily restricted to flat or sloping grasslands, often along valley bottoms or areas adjacent to vernal pools.’
      • ‘Beesley explains that the frantic mining had huge impacts on rivers and valley bottoms.’
    8. 1.8 The keel or hull of a ship.
      ‘the double bottoms of the ship’
      base, bottom side, underside
      View synonyms
    9. 1.9archaic A ship, especially a cargo carrier.
      ‘the Americans placed an embargo on shipping in American bottoms to British areas’
  • 2British A person's buttocks.

    ‘Toby pinched her bottom’
    • ‘I will also require a velveteen cushion on which to rest my boil-covered bottom.’
    • ‘At the very end of this long table was a rather large chair edged with more gold upon which the king himself sat his royal bottom.’
    • ‘I'm totally sick of all these ads for baby products that have babies' bottoms hanging out all over the place.’
    • ‘As Vernon explains, the slow, rhythmic grinding, bumping and shaking is great for toning bottoms, abdominal muscles, thighs, backs and arms.’
    • ‘What I'm wondering is why monkeys would pay to see monkey bottoms when those bottoms are hanging out naked to see all the time.’
    • ‘At birth the newborn emerges into a world suddenly filled with sensations, including possibly a slap on the bottom.’
    • ‘Dusk extended his right leg forward and Shi rested her bottom on his leg.’
    • ‘‘My bottom was flat from sitting in planes in November and December,’ said Woods.’
    • ‘She shook her head and sat down on her bottom, hair falling over her face.’
    • ‘The service was also superb, with the Royal Cliff's noiseless way of slipping a chair under the waiting bottom almost a trademark.’
    • ‘Theorton removed his bottom from his chair and walked around his old friend.’
    • ‘The next thing she knew, Effie was sitting on her bottom in the snow and the Indian was standing over her, holding her gun.’
    • ‘But, more to the point, do we really want the old blokes of the future to have cheeks as soft as babies' bottoms; to have foreheads as smooth as velvet and, overall, to appear as rugged as a sand dune?’
    • ‘She sat in a very undignified position, with only the dusty ground on which to rest her bottom which condemned her to exceptional discomfort.’
    • ‘Sensors can be fitted to various parts of the operator's anatomy - for example, to the elbows to check interior space, or to bottoms for sensing seating positions.’
    • ‘Many of them had a young baby girl smiling while sitting on her bottom in the tall grass or while teetering across a bridge or on a sidewalk.’
    • ‘The next step is administration of rabies immunoglobulin, with half of it directly into the wound and the rest into your waiting bottom!’
    rear, rump, rear end, backside, seat
    View synonyms
  • 3Physics
    mass noun One of six flavours of quark.

    • ‘Each quark can be chosen from any of six flavours: up, down, strange, charm, bottom and top.’
    • ‘B-mesons are similar to neutral kaons but consist of an anti-down quark and a heavy bottom quark.’
  • 4archaic mass noun Stamina or strength of character.

    ‘whatever his faults, he possesses that old-fashioned quality—bottom’
  • 5vulgar slang A man who takes the passive role in anal intercourse with another man.

adjective

  • 1In the lowest position.

    ‘the books on the bottom shelf’
    • ‘On the bottom layer, start with a very thin layer of jam.’
    • ‘He sat down on the bottom step to the basement and she perched next to him.’
    • ‘So I've just put everything on the bottom shelf in the cupboard.’
    • ‘But don't forget the fine print at the bottom right of the poster.’
    • ‘A sparkling shiny piece of silver metal caught her eye from the bottom shelf of the back wall of the closet.’
    • ‘Defrost it in the fridge in a large bowl on the bottom shelf, so the juices don't drip onto anything else.’
    • ‘The children's books have occupied the bottom shelves where children can easily access them.’
    • ‘He removes the bottom bin, and finds the reservoir is frozen solid.’
    • ‘An unopened toothbrush and tube of toothpaste lay in the bottom shelf.’
    • ‘Danielle cut the top layer of Holly's hair shorter than the bottom layer, so the ends of Holly's hair can now be flipped out.’
    • ‘I think one of my bottom teeth is going to fall out soon.’
    • ‘Then, I sit up, with my hands pressed to a bottom board of the shelf, pushing myself upwards.’
    • ‘Beside the bottom bunk was a small table with two shelves above it.’
    • ‘Cathy knelt in front of the bookcases, pulling things from the bottom shelves.’
    • ‘She grabbed the railing for support and lowered herself on the bottom step.’
    • ‘She goes to the fridge and from a cask on the bottom shelf pours me a glass.’
    • ‘So we decided we'd dig the whole lot out and put the bottom storey underground.’
    • ‘The base of the camera struck me and cut my bottom lip.’
    • ‘One of the best magazines we discovered was not at Frieze but tucked away on the bottom shelf of the bookshop at Tate Modern.’
    • ‘On the bottom shelf was the cardboard carton containing the incense sticks.’
    lowest, last, bottommost, undermost, ground
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 (of a place) in the furthest position away in a downhill direction.
      ‘the bottom field’
      • ‘The top terrace consists of a lawn surrounded by borders, the bottom terrace is a small, mown orchard.’
      • ‘This leads downhill and just before the bottom corner of the field is reached cross the stile on your left and enter the woodland.’
      • ‘We made our way along the bottom road that was closest to the lake.’
      • ‘Divided into top and bottom terraces, both provide an incredible view to the Black Sea.’
      • ‘Has the day come when now you check the computer for your cattle numbers instead of having to go down to the bottom field to do so?’
    2. 1.2 In the lowest or last position in a competition or ranking.
      ‘I was put in the bottom class’
      ‘they came bottom with 17 points’
      • ‘Living wage advocates are stepping up a campaign to ensure the benefits of prosperity extend to those at the bottom end of the income scale.’
      • ‘You might want to temporarily cut rates for the bottom two income brackets.’
      • ‘The poor choice of song even caused her a position in the bottom 3.’
      • ‘Tutoring beyond first grade was made on the basis of performance in the bottom third of class level scores.’
      • ‘The share for middle and bottom income earners suffered declines of about 5 percent.’
      • ‘Caregivers are positioned at the bottom reaches of the health-care system.’
      • ‘It goes to the 70 percent of the taxpayers who are in the bottom brackets.’
      • ‘The top two from each pool will progress to the cup competition, while the bottom two will get a second bite of the cherry in the plate.’
      • ‘All 12 teams make the play-offs with the bottom eight competing in the best of three preliminary round.’
      • ‘Canada is increasingly divided between the few who have much and a growing bottom class that has little.’
      • ‘But the region lagged behind in wages, with most local government areas in the bottom third for average weekly incomes.’
      • ‘Lots of students who have achieved greatness were in the bottom half of their class.’
      • ‘Coming in with 18 points, Jim had no competitors for the bottom spot.’
      • ‘The bottom half of the income distribution is unlikely to save for retirement in illiquid accounts on a voluntary basis.’
      • ‘As a first-grader at another school, she read at the bottom level of her class.’
      • ‘In some cases, pupils who had originally been in the bottom quarter of the class produced work that put them in the middle half of the class.’
      • ‘As of 2000, this top layer had an income 10 times that of the bottom fifth of families.’

verb

  • 1no object (of a ship) reach or touch the ground under the sea.

    ‘nuclear submarines cannot bottom’
    • ‘British Waterways, which has to keep the river navigable, is under pressure to remove the silt after complaints that boats are bottoming on the river bed.’
    • ‘Once bottomed, Dechaineux fired a series of yellow smoke candles every half an hour until found.’
    1. 1.1Australian, NZ with object Excavate (a hole or mine) to the level of a mineral-bearing stratum.
      ‘scores of abandoned claims have never been properly bottomed, according to the old prospectors’
    2. 1.2Australian, NZ no object Find gold or other minerals while mining.
      ‘he's bottomed on opal there’
    3. 1.3archaic with object Find the extent or real nature of.
      ‘he had bottomed the whole inquiry’
  • 2no object (of a situation) reach the lowest point before stabilizing or improving.

    ‘encouraging signs suggested the recession was bottoming out’
    • ‘After bottoming out three years ago, unemployment now stands at 6.4 percent, and the economic recovery is sluggish.’
    • ‘Higher tuition fees means an increase in international student enrolment, an increase in the number of rich Canadians at universities and colleges, and the bottoming out in attendance of poor Canadians.’
    • ‘After more than a decade firmly ensconced among golf's elite, the seven-time European No.1 bottomed out at No.83 in the world.’
    • ‘On the positive side, there is now emerging consensus in the trade that the price crash is close to bottoming out.’
    • ‘We are currently going through the worst industry recession I have ever known, but there are signs that it's bottoming out.’
    • ‘The consensus was that things were bottoming out, but in recent months the picture has got even grimmer.’
    • ‘Although the situation has improved since bottoming out in 1998, the number of people facing the threat of poverty is from 30 percent to 60 percent of the population.’
    • ‘We used to be able to make the budget on half a year's worth (of decent attendance), but now the lack of interest seems to be the trend for baseball in Canada and I hope that it bottoms out soon.’
    • ‘One author predicted that the Dow is likely to fall as much as ninety-eight percent in early 2000s, and the market will probably not bottom out until it reaches a level of ninety-five.’
    • ‘In the afternoon, the tide bottomed out which pushed the bowl out of reach of any paddle surfer.’
    • ‘But circulation plummeted in the Boston years, bottoming out at 25,000, with subscribers receiving fundraising pleas as often as renewal notices.’
    • ‘Newsprint prices have risen steadily since bottoming out at $435 per metric ton in 2002.’
    • ‘My clubhead has bottomed out well before it has reached the tee and will be on the way back up by the time it strikes the ball.’
    • ‘People's lives have improved, unemployment is bottoming out at about 4%, and there are no grievances severe enough to make people resort to arms.’
    • ‘‘When I say that markets have bottomed out, I'm not implying that a rally is likely to follow in the months ahead,’ he said.’
    • ‘Until the equity markets bottom out and values stabilise, it is unlikely that the overhang of office space will be fully absorbed.’
    • ‘There is only so much the construction industry can achieve before it bottoms out.’
    • ‘Under age cattle are beginning to become scarce and price is now bottoming out.’
    • ‘‘While the vacancy rate in Dublin is still relatively high in a European context, there is evidence that the situation is now bottoming out,’ Hunt said.’
    • ‘Office markets across Europe will begin to bottom out this year, and the improving economic climate will begin to have a greater impact on offices in the middle of next year, Axford predicted.’

Phrases

  • at bottom

    • Fundamentally.

      ‘at bottom, science is exploration’
      • ‘But one thing that has disturbed me has been the number of people who, at bottom, don't seem to really believe in grace or mercy.’
      • ‘Her approach on economic issues is, at bottom, quite similar.’
      • ‘We rest, at bottom, on the inherent dignity of the individual.’
      • ‘This is because corruption is not at bottom simply a matter of law; rather it is fundamentally a matter of morality.’
      • ‘Once the novel language is stripped away, it is apparent that most of these supposed new challenges are, at bottom, techniques.’
      • ‘One need not trivialize the fears of religious parents to recognize that this is at bottom a complaint against democracy itself.’
      • ‘At bottom, Greenberg's theology rests on the conviction that the Holocaust was a revelatory event.’
      • ‘After all, Manning states, agriculture is culture, and, at bottom, is about the integrity of individual lives.’
      • ‘Likewise, we want Harry Angel to have, at bottom, a pure heart.’
      • ‘Reading it, one might be tempted to think that at bottom García Márquez has remained as unpolitical as when he started out.’
      fundamentally, primarily, principally, chiefly, essentially, elementally, firstly, predominantly
      View synonyms
  • be at the bottom of

    • Be the basic cause or origin of (something)

      ‘he knew what was at the bottom of it—Jane wanted them to live together’
      • ‘Either consciously or subconsciously, large numbers of people have so much of a problem that they are inventing a disease - and fear has to be at the bottom of that.’
      • ‘Ambition, a determination to scale some height, seems to have been at the bottom of Disraeli's character.’
      • ‘The Daily Telegraph suggests personal animosity is at the bottom of the tug of war.’
      • ‘The information made him suspect that female skulduggery was at the bottom of it.’
      • ‘Greed is at the bottom of all the problems of the world.’
      • ‘As with most things that are currently popular, money is at the bottom of it all - breweries and advertisers being the real winners here.’
      • ‘I think we all share a vision of wonder that is at the bottom of all this.’
      • ‘The truth is that at the bottom, or the core, or heart - call it what you will - is nothingness.’
      • ‘He has quite a tale about trying to get a hotel room and the pathetic computer system that was at the bottom of all his woes.’
      • ‘Mrs Dunwiddy believed in economy, and pine-scented hard toilet paper was at the bottom of her economy drive.’
  • the bottom falls (or drops) out

    • Used to refer to the sudden collapse or failure of something.

      ‘the bottom fell out of the market for classic cars’
      • ‘Otherwise you become overwhelmed and the bottom drops out.’
      • ‘Consumer confidence edged lower for the last three months, but the level of confidence remains strong and that's probably going to continue, unless the bottom falls out of the labor market.’
      • ‘That's because historically, the bottom falls out of the new car market after it has had two record sales years.’
      • ‘It's not like he signs it and the bottom falls out of the market.’
      • ‘That doesn't much prepare you for when the bottom drops out, though, and it does with a mighty yawn.’
      • ‘In the modern professionalized situation, the bottom drops out of small-group reciprocal altruism.’
      • ‘You settle into a routine, and you go along like that for years, but then, suddenly, the bottom drops out from under you?’
      • ‘Without that the bottom falls out of our value system and invites nihilism.’
      • ‘I guess the bottom drops out when her perfect life doesn't come out exactly like she wants it.’
      • ‘Then, predictably, the bottom drops out of Jamal's career.’
  • bottom of the harbour

    • historical Used to refer to a tax evasion scheme involving asset stripping and the apparent loss of company records.

      ‘in many cases, the company is just wound up, and it all goes to the bottom of the harbour’
      ‘the bottom of the harbour schemes will continue unchecked’
      • ‘For years there were the "bottom of the harbour" tax evasion schemes whereby companies manipulated their accounts to avoid taxation.’
      • ‘Faith in Australia's tax system was recovering from the all-time low of the bottom of the harbour scams of the 1970s and early 1980s.’
      • ‘When the bottom of the harbour schemes were uncovered, the government of the day changed laws and even backdated changes to get back the tax revenue that had been lost.’
      • ‘Those decisions had led to the infamous "Bottom of the Harbour" tax avoidance schemes and consequent massive losses to revenue.’
      • ‘This week's events hark back to the 1980s, to the days of the notorious "bottom of the harbour" tax schemes.’
      • ‘The blitz on tax havens and money laundering is already bigger than the bottom of the harbour investigations that shook the government.’
      • ‘The moniker was awarded to him because he fought the attempts to promote dodgy Bottom of the Harbour tax evasion schemes.’
      • ‘It uncovered large-scale white collar fraud, including companies being consigned to the bottom of the harbour to avoid their tax liabilities.’
      • ‘A former senior accountant argues that "Tax avoidance as bad as bottom of the harbour schemes".’
      • ‘The whole basis of the legendary "bottom of the harbour schemes" was the conversion of income to a capital gain which was tax free at the time.’
  • bottoms up!

    • informal Used to express friendly feelings towards one's companions before drinking.

      • ‘After largely ignoring the typed speech, he came to the end of his comments by saying: ‘I am declaring this plant officially open, so it's bottoms up!’’
      • ‘From the looks of you, it seems to me that you might be a big drinker. Bottoms up?’
      here's to you, good health, your health, here's health, skol, good luck
      View synonyms
  • from the bottom of one's heart

  • from the bottom up

    • Starting at the lower end or beginning of a hierarchy or process and proceeding to the top.

      ‘we began to study history from the bottom up’
      • ‘Partnership encourages good communication from the bottom up so all are involved in the process.’
      • ‘They are wrong in assuming either approach could offer a stable alternative to the long process of building democracy from the bottom up.’
      • ‘Many of the volumes draw inspiration from the so-called subaltern approach, which generally focuses on history from the bottom up.’
      • ‘You can tell he's a beginner because he canvasses council flats from the bottom up.’
      • ‘‘Some of the ideas put forward by the original consultants were ridiculous, and they tried to do it from the top down rather than from the bottom up and take into account the views of people on the ground,’ he said.’
      • ‘The historical process has unfolded from the bottom up.’
      • ‘But, in a process described as working from the bottom up, three codes were drawn up by the relevant industries.’
      • ‘Repeat this process, working from the bottom up, until all the damaged boards are removed.’
      • ‘Change needs to come from the bottom up and it's only real people that make a difference.’
      • ‘Second, adaptation processes that are built from the bottom up and are based on social capital can alter the perceptions of climate change from a global to a local problem.’
  • get to the bottom of

    • Find an explanation for (a mystery)

      ‘the health authority was determined to get to the bottom of what went wrong’
      • ‘They're not quite able to do all these things, but you can be sure that Tom gets to the bottom of the Claire mystery.’
      • ‘Anyway, with the hopes of getting to the bottom of the house buzzing mystery, I typed up a letter to the residents of the building and dropped it in their mail slot.’
      • ‘In all the time that he was here I never really felt that I got to the bottom of what made him tick.’
      • ‘Two days later, investigators were still trying to get to the bottom of what actually sparked the blaze.’
      • ‘The most important thing that the family did ask was to ensure that we got to the bottom of what exactly happened at the plant.’
      • ‘Like Larry Tate in Bewitched, which ran on ABC at the same time, the senior man in I Dream Of Jeannie never quite got to the bottom of all the mysteries surrounding his underling.’
      • ‘We're going to do a real investigation here, spend some substantial, significant time with him getting to the bottom of what happened and how he escaped.’
      • ‘I decided to do my own mini-analysis to get to the bottom of the hotel ranking mystery.’
      • ‘I'm going to try to understand the various important issues, and try to get to the bottom of what's true and what's not.’
      • ‘Unfortunately whether or not John McLaurin got to the bottom of the mystery of Volusia County is something the memos cannot tell us.’
      origin, cause, root, source, starting point, core, centre, heart, kernel, base, basis, foundation
      View synonyms
  • knock the bottom out of

    • Cause (something) to collapse or fail suddenly.

      ‘a shortfall in supplies would knock the bottom out of the engineering industry’
      • ‘This year they had all seen how vulnerable they were when it knocked the bottom out of the tourist season.’
      • ‘Last week's profit warning knocked the bottom out of the share price.’
  • you (can) bet your bottom dollar

    • informal Used to state one's conviction that a particular thing is going to happen.

      ‘you can bet your bottom dollar it'll end in tears’
      • ‘I may work my new ritual alone, physically, but you can bet your bottom dollar that I've talked that ritual over with my fellow travelers, and their insights and energies are with me when I work it.’
      • ‘He's leaving some time next year and he will be replaced by a board which you can bet your bottom dollar will be more amenable to the government.’
      • ‘And on top of that you can bet your bottom dollar that we won't be rushing to get your car ready after this outburst.’
      • ‘So when it comes to the crunch next weekend, you can bet your bottom dollar that they'll deliver the goods… and that they'll do it in style.’
      • ‘Maybe there won't be the obligatory made-for-TV movies in the next few months but you can bet your bottom dollar that some ‘documentary’ directors will be banging on his front door.’
      • ‘But you can bet your bottom dollar that the guy who owns this personal site is going to get a high bandwidth bill this month.’
      • ‘If this is perceived by some people as a success in England, then you can bet your bottom dollar that it will be introduced in Scotland soon enough as well.’
      • ‘Having said that, you can bet your bottom dollar that I'll be back.’
      • ‘The report said nothing that these guys didn't already know, and you can bet your bottom dollar that this audit report will not be the end of the matter.’
      • ‘Because however worthy the cause, you can bet your bottom dollar that the person sporting it is feeling worthier - it's akin to giving yourself a very public pat on the back.’

Origin

Old English botm, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch bodem ‘bottom, ground’ and German Boden ‘ground, earth’.

Pronunciation

bottom

/ˈbɒtəm/