• synonyms

bottom line

See more synonyms for bottom line on Thesaurus.com
  1. the last line of a financial statement, used for showing net profit or loss.
  2. net profit or loss.
  3. the deciding or crucial factor.
  4. the ultimate result; outcome.
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Origin of bottom line

First recorded in 1965–70
Related formsbot·tom-line, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for bottom line

core, profit, essence, reality, crux, income, basis, conclusion, determination, fiber, fundamentals, loss, net, nitty-gritty, point

Examples from the Web for bottom line

Contemporary Examples of bottom line

British Dictionary definitions for bottom line

bottom line

  1. the last line of a financial statement that shows the net profit or loss of a company or organization
  2. the final outcome of a process, discussion, etc
  3. the most important or fundamental aspect of a situation
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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

Word Origin and History for bottom line


figurative sense is attested from 1967, from profit and loss accounting, where the final figure after both are calculated is the bottom line on the page. Also (especially as an adjective) bottomline.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

bottom line in Culture

bottom line

The last line in an audit, which shows profit or loss.

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By extension, “bottom line” refers to the final, determining consideration in a decision.


“Bottom line” also has a derogatory implication when it refers to those people whose attention to the bottom line prevents them from recognizing the value of anything else.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with bottom line

bottom line

The ultimate result, the upshot; also, the main point or crucial factor. For example, The bottom line is that the chairman wants to dictate all of the board's decisions, or Whether or not he obeyed the law is the bottom line. This is an accounting term that refers to the earnings figures that appear on the bottom (last) line of a statement. It began to be transferred to other contexts in the mid-1900s.

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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.