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[bot-l] /ˈbɒt l/
a portable container for holding liquids, characteristically having a neck and mouth and made of glass or plastic.
the contents of such a container; as much as such a container contains:
a bottle of wine.
bottled cow's milk, milk formulas, or substitute mixtures given to infants instead of mother's milk:
raised on the bottle.
the bottle, intoxicating beverages; liquor:
He became addicted to the bottle.
verb (used with object), bottled, bottling.
to put into or seal in a bottle:
to bottle grape juice.
British. to preserve (fruit or vegetables) by heating to a sufficient temperature and then sealing in a jar.
Verb phrases
bottle up,
  1. to repress, control, or restrain:
    He kept all of his anger bottled up inside him.
  2. to enclose or entrap:
    Traffic was bottled up in the tunnel.
hit the bottle, Slang. to drink alcohol to excess often or habitually.
Origin of bottle1
1325-75; Middle English botel < Anglo-French; Old French bo(u)teille < Medieval Latin butticula, equivalent to Late Latin butti(s) butt4 + -cula -cule1
Related forms
bottlelike, adjective
well-bottled, adjective


[bot-l] /ˈbɒt l/
noun, Architecture.
boltel (def 2). Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for bottle
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Robin looked and listened till the pie was all gone and the bottle empty.

    Stories of Robin Hood Bertha E. Bush
  • The colonel smiled again and lifted a bottle towards the other.

    Jack O' Judgment Edgar Wallace
  • It was something to swagger about when they were together after their second bottle of claret.

    Coningsby Benjamin Disraeli
  • He softened, and said make it a bottle of champagne and he was agreeable.

    Life On The Mississippi, Complete Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)
  • He grinned foolishly, and drank the remaining liquor from the bottle.

    Snowdrift James B. Hendryx
British Dictionary definitions for bottle


  1. a vessel, often of glass and typically cylindrical with a narrow neck that can be closed with a cap or cork, for containing liquids
  2. (as modifier): a bottle rack
Also called bottleful. the amount such a vessel will hold
  1. a container equipped with a teat that holds a baby's milk or other liquid; nursing bottle
  2. the contents of such a container: the baby drank his bottle
short for magnetic bottle
(Brit, slang) nerve; courage (esp in the phrase lose one's bottle)
(Brit, slang) money collected by street entertainers or buskers
(Austral, slang) full bottle, well-informed and enthusiastic about something
(informal) the bottle, drinking of alcohol, esp to excess
verb (transitive)
to put or place (wine, beer, jam, etc) in a bottle or bottles
to store (gas) in a portable container under pressure
(slang) to injure by thrusting a broken bottle into (a person)
(Brit, slang) (of a busker) to collect money from the bystanders
See also bottle out, bottle up
Word Origin
C14: from Old French botaille, from Medieval Latin butticula literally: a little cask, from Late Latin buttis cask, butt4


(dialect) a bundle, esp of hay
Word Origin
C14: from Old French botel, from botte bundle, of Germanic origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for bottle

mid-14c., originally of leather, from Old French boteille (12c., Modern French bouteille), from Vulgar Latin butticula, diminutive of Late Latin buttis "a cask," which is perhaps from Greek. The bottle, figurative for "liquor," is from 17c.


1640s, from bottle (n.). Related: Bottled; bottling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for bottle



  1. A bottle or bottle's amount of liquor; jug: He had a bottle on him (late 1600s+)
  2. A glass insulator for electric or communications lines (1900s+ Line repairers)
  3. A vacuum tube (1920s+ Radio operators)

Related Terms

fight a bottle, hit the bottle

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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bottle in the Bible

a vessel made of skins for holding wine (Josh. 9:4. 13; 1 Sam. 16:20; Matt. 9:17; Mark 2:22; Luke 5:37, 38), or milk (Judg. 4:19), or water (Gen. 21:14, 15, 19), or strong drink (Hab. 2:15). Earthenware vessels were also similarly used (Jer. 19:1-10; 1 Kings 14:3; Isa. 30:14). In Job 32:19 (comp. Matt. 9:17; Luke 5:37, 38; Mark 2:22) the reference is to a wine-skin ready to burst through the fermentation of the wine. "Bottles of wine" in the Authorized Version of Hos. 7:5 is properly rendered in the Revised Version by "the heat of wine," i.e., the fever of wine, its intoxicating strength. The clouds are figuratively called the "bottles of heaven" (Job 38:37). A bottle blackened or shrivelled by smoke is referred to in Ps. 119:83 as an image to which the psalmist likens himself.

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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Idioms and Phrases with bottle


In addition to the idiom beginning with
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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