1. The deepest or lowest part: the bottom of a well; the bottom of the page.
2. The part closest to a reference point: was positioned at the bottom of the key for a rebound.
3. The underside: scraped the bottom of the car on a rock.
4. The supporting part; the base.
5. The far end or part: at the bottom of the bed.
a. The last place, as on a list.
b. The lowest or least favorable position: started at the bottom of the corporate hierarchy.
7. The basic underlying quality; the source: Let's get to the bottom of the problem.
8. The solid surface under a body of water.
9. often bottoms Low-lying alluvial land adjacent to a river. Also called bottomland.
a. Nautical The part of a ship's hull below the water line.
b. A ship; a boat: "English merchants did much of their overseas trade in foreign bottoms" (G.M. Trevelyan).
11. often bottoms The trousers or short pants of pajamas.
12. Informal The buttocks.
13. The seat of a chair.
14. Baseball The second or last half of an inning.
15. Staying power; stamina. Used of a horse.
16. Slang One who is penetrated by another person or is the submissive partner in a sexual encounter or relationship.
1. Situated at the bottom: the bottom rung of the ladder.
2. Of the lowest degree, quality, rank, or amount: the bottom three teams in the league.
v. bot·tomed, bot·tom·ing, bot·toms
1. To provide with an underside.
2. To provide with a foundation; base: jurisprudence that is bottomed on democratic principles.
To have or strike the underside against something: The car bottomed on the gravel.
To reach the lowest point possible, after which only a rise may occur: Sales of personal computers have bottomed out.
[Middle English botme, from Old English botm.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.