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Difference between Bottom line and Bottom of the line

bottom line—the final determining factor; the essence of the argument:

  • George Murphy and Ronald Reagan certainly qualified because they have gotten elected. I think that’s the bottom line.

Note: The expression does not correlate in meaning with the phrase down line—(Railroad) a single track of rails in a double line of railway (for trains traveling from right to left):

  • Originally the east line was the up line and the west line was the down line, giving conventional left hand running.

bottom of the linesaid of the lowest quality, especially in merchandise:

  • We offer quality products for a price competitive to what our competitors sell their bottom of the line products for.

See also: top line / up line.