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At bottom

the lowest or deepest part of anything, as distinguished from the top:
the bottom of a hill; the bottom of a page.
Synonyms: base, foot, pedestal.
the under or lower side; underside:
the bottom of a typewriter.
the ground under any body of water:
the bottom of the sea.
Usually, bottoms. Also called bottom land. Physical Geography. low alluvial land next to a river.

the part of a hull between the bilges, including the keel.
the part of a hull that is immersed at all times.
the cargo space in a vessel.
a cargo vessel.

the seat of a chair.
Informal. the buttocks; rump.
the fundamental part; basic aspect.
Synonyms: foundation, groundwork, underlying principle.
bottoms, (used with a plural verb) the bottom part of a two-piece article of clothing, as a bathing suit or the trousers of a pair of pajamas.
the working part of a plow, comprising the plowshare, landside, and moldboard.
the cause; origin; basis:
Try getting to the bottom of the problem.
Synonyms: base, root, heart; ground, cause, beginning, wellspring.

the second half of an inning.
the last three players in the batting order.

lowest limit, especially of dignity, status, or rank:
When people sink that low, they’re bound to reach the bottom soon.
Slang. the submissive partner in a sexual relationship or encounter, especially the person who is penetrated in anal intercourse (opposed to ).
Usually, bottoms. Chemistry. the heaviest, least volatile fraction of petroleum, left behind in distillation after more volatile fractions are driven off.
to furnish with a bottom.
to base or found (usually followed by on or upon).
to discover the full meaning of (something); fathom.
to bring (a submarine) to rest on the ocean floor:
They had to bottom the sub until the enemy cruisers had passed by.
to be based; rest.
to strike against the bottom or end; reach the bottom.
(of an automotive vehicle) to sink vertically, as when bouncing after passing over a bump, so that the suspension reaches the lower limit of its motion:
The car bottomed too easily on the bumpy road.
of or relating to the bottom or a bottom.
located on or at the bottom:
I want the bottom book in the stack.
bottom prices.
living near or on the bottom:
A flounder is a bottom fish.
the bottom cause.
bottom out, to reach the lowest state or level:
The declining securities market finally bottomed out and began to rise.
at bottom, in reality; fundamentally:
They knew at bottom that they were only deceiving themselves.
Also, at the bottom.
bet one’s bottom dollar,

to wager the last of one’s money or resources.
to be positive or assured:
You can bet your bottom dollar that something will prevent us from leaving on time.

bottoms up, (used as an interjection to announce or urge the downing of one’s drink).
hit bottom, to fall into the worst of all possible circumstances: After all those years of flying high, she finally hit bottom.
When the housing market crashed, it really hit bottom, leaving people with houses worth less than their mortgages.
the lowest, deepest, or farthest removed part of a thing: the bottom of a hill
the least important or successful position: the bottom of a class
the ground underneath a sea, lake, or river
touch bottom, to run aground
the inner depths of a person’s true feelings (esp in the phrase from the bottom of one’s heart)
the underneath part of a thing
(nautical) the parts of a vessel’s hull that are under water
(in literary or commercial contexts) a boat or ship
(billiards, snooker) a strike in the centre of the cue ball
a dry valley or hollow
(often pl) (US & Canadian) the low land bordering a river
the lowest level worked in a mine
(esp of horses) staying power; stamina
importance, seriousness, or influence: his views all have weight and bottom
(informal) the buttocks
at bottom, in reality; basically or despite appearances to the contrary: he’s a kind man at bottom
be at the bottom of, to be the ultimate cause of
get to the bottom of, to discover the real truth about
knock the bottom out of, to destroy or eliminate
adjective (prenominal)
lowest or last: the bottom price
bet one’s bottom dollar on, put one’s bottom dollar on, to be absolutely sure of (one’s opinion, a person, project, etc)
of, relating to, or situated at the bottom or a bottom: the bottom shelf
fundamental; basic
(transitive) to provide (a chair, etc) with a bottom or seat
(transitive) to discover the full facts or truth of; fathom
usually foll by on or upon. to base or be founded (on an idea, etc)
(intransitive) (nautical) to strike the ground beneath the water with a vessel’s bottom
(Austral, mining)

to mine (a hole, claim, etc) deep enough to reach any gold there is
(intransitive) foll by on. to reach (gold, mud, etc) on bottoming

(electronics) to saturate a transistor so that further increase of input produces no change in output

Old English botm, bodan “ground, soil, foundation, lowest part,” from Proto-Germanic *buthm- (cf. Old Frisian boden “soil,” Old Norse botn, Dutch bodem, Old High German bodam, German Boden “ground, earth, soil”), from PIE root *bhu(n)d(h)- (cf. Sanskrit budhnah, Avestan buna- “bottom,” Greek pythmen “foundation,” Latin fundus “bottom, piece of land, farm,” Old Irish bond “sole of the foot”). Meaning “posterior of a person” is from 1794. Bottom dollar “the last dollar one has” is from 1882. Bottom-feeder, originally of fishes, is from 1866.

1540s, “to put a bottom on,” from bottom (n.). Meaning “to reach the bottom of” is from 1808 (earlier figuratively, 1785). Related: Bottomed; bottoming.


The buttocks; ass (1790s+)

Related Terms

foggy bottom
Fundamentally, basically; also, in reality. For example, He may speak somewhat bluntly, but at bottom he’s always honest. Charles Dickens used this idiom in Nicholas Nickleby (1838): “He’s a good pony at bottom.” [ Early 1700s ]

bottom drops out, the
bottom line
bottom of the barrel
bottom of the ladder
bottom out

also see:

at bottom
from head to toe (top to bottom)
from the bottom of one’s heart
get to the bottom
hit (touch) bottom
knock the bottom out of
rock bottom
touch bottom
you bet your ass (bottom dollar)


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