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2017 Word of the Year

touch bottom

Reach the lowest point, as in During the recession the economists kept saying that we hadn't touched bottom yet. This metaphor for reaching the ground under a body of water has been used since the mid-1800s.
The American HeritageĀ® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright Ā© 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Examples from the Web for touch bottom
Historical Examples
  • Nowhere could I touch bottom or find any hope of solid foothold.

    Micah Clarke Arthur Conan Doyle
  • They had been carried into deep water, where the tallest of them could not touch bottom.

    The Boy Slaves Mayne Reid
  • Over there, on the other curve of the bend, the longest pole will not touch bottom.

    Expository Writing Mervin James Curl
  • I could not touch bottom with my feet, and so could form no idea of the depth of the stream.

  • Longshanks reached down as far as he could but not far enough to touch bottom.

    Czechoslovak Fairy Tales Parker Fillmore
  • Not until he was very close to the shore could he touch bottom.

    Caravans By Night Harry Hervey
  • "But I'm just going to touch bottom," the tall digger expostulated.

    Denis Dent Ernest W. Hornung
  • He could not touch bottom there, or even at the base of the Causeway.

    Quick Action Robert W. Chambers
  • Perhaps we can touch bottom, and you can wade if you can't swim.

    Campmates Kirk Munroe
  • It occurred to me that as I had been able to touch bottom on the other bar, I might do so here.

    The Way of a Man

    Emerson Hough

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Nearby words for touch bottom

Word Value for touch

10
11
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