Definition of bottom in English:



  • 1archaic A ship, especially considered as a unit of transport capacity.

    1. 1.1informal The buttocks.
      ‘he climbs the side of the gorge, scratching his bottom unselfconsciously’
      • ‘The service was also superb, with the Royal Cliff's noiseless way of slipping a chair under the waiting bottom almost a trademark.’
      • ‘The next step is administration of rabies immunoglobulin, with half of it directly into the wound and the rest into your waiting bottom!’
      • ‘I will also require a velveteen cushion on which to rest my boil-covered bottom.’
      • ‘Dusk extended his right leg forward and Shi rested her bottom on his leg.’
      • ‘She sat in a very undignified position, with only the dusty ground on which to rest her bottom which condemned her to exceptional discomfort.’
      • ‘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?’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Theorton removed his bottom from his chair and walked around his old friend.’
      • ‘As Vernon explains, the slow, rhythmic grinding, bumping and shaking is great for toning bottoms, abdominal muscles, thighs, backs and arms.’
      • ‘The next thing she knew, Effie was sitting on her bottom in the snow and the Indian was standing over her, holding her gun.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘At birth the newborn emerges into a world suddenly filled with sensations, including possibly a slap on the bottom.’
      • ‘She shook her head and sat down on her bottom, hair falling over her face.’
      • ‘‘My bottom was flat from sitting in planes in November and December,’ said Woods.’
      rear, rump, rear end, backside, seat
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2Baseball The second half of an inning.
      ‘the bottom of the ninth’
      • ‘Anything can happen in baseball, but only after there are two out in the bottom of the ninth inning.’
      • ‘With the score tied in the bottom of the ninth inning and a runner on second base, the batter hits a ball over the right-field fence.’
      • ‘Imagine you're a baseball pitcher and you're walking back out onto the mound to pitch in the bottom of the ninth inning.’
      • ‘Taiwan scored its first run in the bottom of the second inning with two consecutive hits.’
      • ‘Say a reliever comes in to pitch in the bottom of the ninth inning with two outs and the tying run on base.’
    3. 1.3Physics One of six flavors of quark.
      • ‘B-mesons are similar to neutral kaons but consist of an anti-down quark and a heavy bottom quark.’
      • ‘Each quark can be chosen from any of six flavours: up, down, strange, charm, bottom and top.’
    4. 1.4Stamina or strength of character, especially of a horse.
    5. 1.5vulgar slang A man who takes the passive role in anal intercourse with another man.
  • 2The lowest point or part.

    ‘the bottom of the page’
    ‘she paused at the bottom of the stairs’
    • ‘The cartoon can be found near the bottom of this page in the ‘cartoons’ section.’
    • ‘You can get to each section using the Table of Contents at the bottom of this page.’
    • ‘It was going to be a long trek down to where it rested near the bottom of the mountain.’
    • ‘Try to keep it evenly sprinkled from the top to the bottom of the page.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘We found frequent vertical cracks cutting across all 39 sediment layers from the bottom to the top.’
    • ‘He was standing at the bottom of the stairs, and she stood at the top.’
    • ‘Contact information is included at the bottom of the page.’
    • ‘They traced the length of her neck, stopping to rest at the bottom of her throat.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He paused at the bottom of the stairs and surveyed all his stuff.’
    • ‘They've signposted content with clear navigation and put neat section headers at the bottom of the front page.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Instead of covering this as if it were the top story, put it on the bottom of the front page.’
    • ‘The change effected appears at the bottom of page 186 and the top of 187.’
    • ‘Perhaps more interesting is the part at the bottom of the piece… around fifty languages have only one living speaker.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘It is correctly aligned, or oriented, showing the south of the river at the bottom.’
    • ‘At the bottom of the front page is a box stating: ‘As always, your feedback is very welcome.’’
    • ‘If the Finance Sector proposition set out at the bottom of page 359 is correct, that is sufficient for our purposes.’
    • ‘From the tip of the blade to the bottom of the hilt it has to be as long as I am tall!’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘She laid on her stomach with her feet resting at the bottom of her bed.’
    foot, lowest part, lowest point, base, extremity
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1The lowest surface on the inside of a container.
      ‘place the fruit on the bottom of the dish’
      • ‘The wide mouth of the packaging allows consumers to easily dip down to the bottom of the container.’
      • ‘The coffee has been sinking to the bottom of the container and creating an icy layer.’
      • ‘They're too tough, and the husk is still attached, and I always end up leaving them at the bottom of the container.’
      • ‘Once all the wax in the bottom of the container is melted your candle is finished.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Lightly butter the inside and line the bottom with baking paper.’
      • ‘Avoid wetting the foliage, and soak the soil until you see water draining through 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.’
      • ‘So I threw it into the bottom of the bin and covered it with a pile of old Canberra Times.’
      • ‘Liquids can only fill the bottom of the container while gases can fill it entirely.’
      • ‘One trick I have learnt is to put some bulbs at the bottom of the container so they flower in spring.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Stir it all together and then use the mixture to line the bottom of a serving dish.’
      • ‘Spread the vegetables out to cover the bottom of the roasting dish.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Some retailers put bad or rotten fruit in the bottom of the basket.’
      • ‘Her lazy swimming halted, and her feet found the rough surface of the bottom of the pool.’
      • ‘For the wick, measure out a few more inches of string than is needed to reach the bottom of the container.’
      • ‘Rune poured the steaming tea into the cup, letting the leaves twirl around and finally rest on the bottom.’
    2. 2.2The part on which a thing rests; the underside.
      ‘he sat on the bottom of an upturned bucket’
      • ‘It does flare out again below the side bars, but that is most likely to give it a solid square bottom to rest on.’
      • ‘From the top of my head to the bottom of my feet, I was covered with diesel oil sludge.’
      • ‘Then when Andrew went to check out Michelle's room, he found a tightly sealed container stuck to the bottom of her bed.’
      • ‘I froze when I noticed the nose gear tie-down chain still firmly attached to the bottom of the aircraft.’
      • ‘However when he pressed down on the seat, several screws fell out of the bottom of the vehicle and one of the lights in the back popped out.’
      • ‘The bottom of the pedestal rested upon the square four-inch-high base, of which one side apparently gave way under pressure.’
      • ‘Because they are protruding, there is no longer a smooth surface on the bottom of the shuttle.’
      • ‘The bottom of your heart sits just above the diaphragm and your lungs surround the heart on the sides.’
      • ‘To prevent container from rolling, use a file to create a flat surface on the bottom of the exterior.’
      • ‘Dance from the top of your head to the bottom of your feet.’
    3. 2.3The ground under a sea, river, or lake.
      ‘the liner plunged to the bottom of the sea’
      • ‘Many trolleys removed from supermarkets return damaged or end up at the bottom of a local lake or river.’
      • ‘As I said, I have come from the bottom to the surface in a hundred-foot deep water.’
      • ‘Their fertile farmland now lay at the bottom of the lake.’
      • ‘Resting on the bottom or in the sediment are wrecks, such as an oil freighter and a Spanish galleon.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It is encrusted in pink algae and offers a nice contrast to the wreck, which is resting on a sandy bottom.’
      • ‘‘I had my suspicions that there might be relics from the film at the bottom of the river,’ he says.’
      • ‘The depth they cruise at varies between the surface and the bottom.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘In addition, Thoreau notices circular heaps of stones about six feet in diameter that sit on the pond bottom.’
      • ‘We first started to notice several dead fish on the bottom of the river.’
      • ‘However, you failed to mention to the ratepayers all the chemicals that exist at the bottom of the lake.’
      • ‘In many areas along the shoreline, the bottom of the lake dropped off quickly to greater depths.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Additional studies will determine if the rocks were laid down by minerals formed at the bottom of a salty lake or sea.’
      • ‘A hero firefighter who pulled a young girl from the bottom of a lake was today awarded the Queen's Commendation for Bravery.’
      • ‘A muck of built up sewage and slime sits at the bottom of the deep slow moving polluted water.’
      floor, bed, ground, depths
      View synonyms
    4. 2.4
      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.’
    5. 2.5The seat of a chair.
    6. 2.6The lowest position in a competition or ranking.
      ‘he started at the bottom and now has his own business’
      • ‘It's an appropriate metaphor for a state mired near the bottom of national rankings in poverty and education.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Last year it tumbled to the bottom of the official rankings when it failed to score a single star in the government rating system.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘And unsecured creditors are always at the bottom of the totem pole.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘However, it may be some consolation that the western visitors are third from the bottom with only four points from four outings.’
      • ‘In the arena of open competition, the talkers are quickly moved to the bottom of the rankings.’
      • ‘‘If there is pain it will be shared from the top to the bottom of the organisation’, said the source.’
      • ‘The aim is to eventually inculcate the expertise to manage and control the energy sector from the bottom to the top.’
      • ‘It looked as though we went out with the thought it would be easy against the team that is sitting bottom of the league.’
      • ‘I know schools can be transformative - even for those at the bottom of the ladder.’
      • ‘To take bronze in such a favourable scenario is like tottering at the bottom in any serious competition’
      • ‘The district is beginning to climb away from its position near the bottom of the national league.’
      • ‘Sheffield have a habit of doing well against the top teams but poorly against sides nearer the bottom.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘By putting the candidate whom you least want to see elected at the bottom of your ranking, you are helping to defeat him/her.’
      • ‘They were dark days for the Elephants, who soldiered on with young talent but never climbed up from the bottom of the rankings.’
      lowest level, lowest position, least important part, least successful part, least honourable part
      View synonyms
    7. 2.7The basis or origin.
      ‘there's a mad scientist at the bottom of it all’
      • ‘But hypnosis wouldn't cast a spell if people didn't believe there was real magic at the bottom of it.’
      • ‘Heresy and a whiff of black magic are at the bottom of it.’
      • ‘There was some form of emotional distress at the bottom of it all.’
      • ‘that we lose sight of the fact that, at the bottom of it all, Chardin is a painter's painter.’
      • ‘But at the bottom of it all, there is a very different view about what should be done in this country.’
      • ‘It wasn't long before he realised what was really at the bottom of it.’
      • ‘And there is something going on with him, but I'm not sure any of us are at the bottom of it yet.’
      • ‘Is a freelance criminal operation at the bottom of it all?’
      • ‘What's so interesting is there's money at the bottom of it, and if your mom will give you a quarter you can make a wish.’
      • ‘At the bottom of it, there is an idea that unless you can locate it, there is not a trust, I think.’
    8. 2.8The lower half of a two-piece garment.
      ‘pajama bottoms’
      ‘a skimpy bikini bottom’
      • ‘She still had an hour and a half, so she dressed in pajama bottoms and a shirt she stole from Vince's bag.’
      • ‘She had on a two piece dress; the top was tight and cut off right above her navel, the bottom rested on her hips.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Jade was in a green bikini top with the bottom of her suit covered by a pair of blue jeans.’
      • ‘The top was tied off around the neck and the bottom was bikini style with a short flowing mini skirt over top.’
      • ‘Closing the basement door, she quickly changed into a pair of green pajama bottoms and a white tank top.’
      • ‘I cut strips from the bottom of the sarong and sliced slits in the waist of the bikini bottom.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I'm sitting in my dressing gown and tracksuit bottoms, having spent the whole day in bed.’
      • ‘Tracey approached the pool area, towel draped around her neck and a sarong covering the bottom of her bikini.’
      • ‘Do you think there's any correlation between its rise in popularity and its participants wearing bikini bottoms and sports bras?’
      • ‘She had changed from her mini skirt into pajama bottoms and a tight-fitting t-shirt that had an unprintable logo on it.’
      • ‘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.’
    9. 2.9The lowest part of the hull of a ship, especially the relatively flat portion on either side of the keel.


  • 1In the lowest position.

    ‘the books on the bottom shelf’
    • ‘Beside the bottom bunk was a small table with two shelves above it.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘A sparkling shiny piece of silver metal caught her eye from the bottom shelf of the back wall of the closet.’
    • ‘So we decided we'd dig the whole lot out and put the bottom storey underground.’
    • ‘Then, I sit up, with my hands pressed to a bottom board of the shelf, pushing myself upwards.’
    • ‘An unopened toothbrush and tube of toothpaste lay in the bottom shelf.’
    • ‘He sat down on the bottom step to the basement and she perched next to him.’
    • ‘He removes the bottom bin, and finds the reservoir is frozen solid.’
    • ‘But don't forget the fine print at the bottom right of the poster.’
    • ‘She goes to the fridge and from a cask on the bottom shelf pours me a glass.’
    • ‘On the bottom shelf was the cardboard carton containing the incense sticks.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The children's books have occupied the bottom shelves where children can easily access them.’
    • ‘She grabbed the railing for support and lowered herself on the bottom step.’
    • ‘Cathy knelt in front of the bookcases, pulling things from the bottom shelves.’
    • ‘Defrost it in the fridge in a large bowl on the bottom shelf, so the juices don't drip onto anything else.’
    • ‘On the bottom layer, start with a very thin layer of jam.’
    • ‘So I've just put everything on the bottom shelf in the cupboard.’
    lowest, last, bottommost, undermost, ground
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1In the lowest or last position in a competition or ranking.
      ‘households in the bottom income bracket’
      • ‘But the region lagged behind in wages, with most local government areas in the bottom third for average weekly incomes.’
      • ‘You might want to temporarily cut rates for the bottom two income brackets.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The share for middle and bottom income earners suffered declines of about 5 percent.’
      • ‘It goes to the 70 percent of the taxpayers who are in the bottom brackets.’
      • ‘Caregivers are positioned at the bottom reaches of the health-care system.’
      • ‘As of 2000, this top layer had an income 10 times that of the bottom fifth of families.’
      • ‘Canada is increasingly divided between the few who have much and a growing bottom class that has little.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The poor choice of song even caused her a position in the bottom 3.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The bottom half of the income distribution is unlikely to save for retirement in illiquid accounts on a voluntary basis.’
      • ‘Tutoring beyond first grade was made on the basis of performance in the bottom third of class level scores.’
      • ‘Coming in with 18 points, Jim had no competitors for the bottom spot.’
      • ‘Lots of students who have achieved greatness were in the bottom half of their class.’


  • (of a performance or situation) reach the lowest point before stabilizing or improving.

    ‘interest rates have bottomed out’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘There is only so much the construction industry can achieve before it bottoms out.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘After bottoming out three years ago, unemployment now stands at 6.4 percent, and the economic recovery is sluggish.’
    • ‘But circulation plummeted in the Boston years, bottoming out at 25,000, with subscribers receiving fundraising pleas as often as renewal notices.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘In the afternoon, the tide bottomed out which pushed the bowl out of reach of any paddle surfer.’
    • ‘‘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.’
    • ‘Under age cattle are beginning to become scarce and price is now bottoming out.’
    • ‘Newsprint prices have risen steadily since bottoming out at $435 per metric ton in 2002.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The consensus was that things were bottoming out, but in recent months the picture has got even grimmer.’
    • ‘Until the equity markets bottom out and values stabilise, it is unlikely that the overhang of office space will be fully absorbed.’
    • ‘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.’


  • at bottom

    • Basically; fundamentally.

      ‘at bottom, science is exploration’
      • ‘Her approach on economic issues is, at bottom, quite similar.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘We rest, at bottom, on the inherent dignity of the individual.’
      • ‘At bottom, Greenberg's theology rests on the conviction that the Holocaust was a revelatory event.’
      • ‘One need not trivialize the fears of religious parents to recognize that this is at bottom a complaint against democracy itself.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘After all, Manning states, agriculture is culture, and, at bottom, is about the integrity of individual lives.’
      fundamentally, primarily, principally, chiefly, essentially, elementally, firstly, predominantly
      View synonyms
  • bet your bottom dollar

    • informal Stake everything.

      ‘you can bet your bottom dollar it'll end in tears’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Having said that, you can bet your bottom dollar that I'll be back.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
  • the bottom falls (or drops) out

    • Collapse or failure occurs.

      ‘the bottom fell out of the market for classic cars’
      • ‘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 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.’
      • ‘Otherwise you become overwhelmed and the bottom drops out.’
      • ‘That's because historically, the bottom falls out of the new car market after it has had two record sales years.’
      • ‘Then, predictably, the bottom drops out of Jamal's career.’
      • ‘I guess the bottom drops out when her perfect life doesn't come out exactly like she wants it.’
      • ‘It's not like he signs it and the bottom falls out of the market.’
  • bottoms up!

    • informal A call to finish one's drink.

      • ‘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 or to completion.

      ‘we began to study history from the bottom up’
      • ‘They are wrong in assuming either approach could offer a stable alternative to the long process of building democracy from the bottom up.’
      • ‘But, in a process described as working from the bottom up, three codes were drawn up by the relevant industries.’
      • ‘Partnership encourages good communication from the bottom up so all are involved in the process.’
      • ‘The historical process has unfolded from the bottom up.’
      • ‘Repeat this process, working from the bottom up, until all the damaged boards are removed.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘‘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.’
      • ‘You can tell he's a beginner because he canvasses council flats from the bottom up.’
      • ‘Change needs to come from the bottom up and it's only real people that make a difference.’
      • ‘Many of the volumes draw inspiration from the so-called subaltern approach, which generally focuses on history from the bottom up.’
  • get to the bottom of

    • Find an explanation for (a mystery)

      ‘he hopes to get to the bottom of the scam’
      • ‘I decided to do my own mini-analysis to get to the bottom of the hotel ranking mystery.’
      • ‘Two days later, investigators were still trying to get to the bottom of what actually sparked the blaze.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘In all the time that he was here I never really felt that I got to the bottom of what made him tick.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Unfortunately whether or not John McLaurin got to the bottom of the mystery of Volusia County is something the memos cannot tell us.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      origin, cause, root, source, starting point, core, centre, heart, kernel, base, basis, foundation
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Old English botm, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch bodem bottom, ground and German Boden ground, earth.