[ bot-l ]
/ ˈbɒt l /


verb (used with object), bot·tled, bot·tling.

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.

Nearby words

  1. botte,
  2. bottega,
  3. botticelli,
  4. botticelli, sandro,
  5. bottine,
  6. bottle baby,
  7. bottle bank,
  8. bottle bill,
  9. bottle cap,
  10. bottle club


    hit the bottle, Slang. to drink alcohol to excess often or habitually.

Origin of bottle

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 formsbot·tle·like, adjectivewell-bot·tled, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for hit the bottle


/ (ˈbɒtəl) /


verb (tr)

Word Origin for bottle

C14: from Old French botaille, from Medieval Latin butticula literally: a little cask, from Late Latin buttis cask, butt 4


/ (ˈbɒtəl) /


dialect a bundle, esp of hay

Word Origin for bottle

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

Word Origin and History for hit the bottle
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with hit the bottle

hit the bottle

Also, hit the booze or sauce. Drink alcoholic beverages, especially a great deal, as in I don't know if it will be a problem, but he hits the bottle every weekend, or She hardly ever hits the booze, but when she does, watch out, or It doesn't show in her work, but she hits the sauce every night. These slangy expressions date from the late 1800s and early 1900s.


In addition to the idiom beginning with bottle

  • bottle up

also see:

  • crack a bottle
  • hit the bottle
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.