What Is a Bottle?

A narrow-necked container made of an impermeable material in various shapes and sizes that stores or transports liquids. Its mouth, at the bottling line, can be sealed with an internal stopper or an external bottle cap. The word has several synonyms, including flask and jug. The word’s origin is uncertain, but it may be related to Old English botel, bothl, or botla (“building”).

Unlike many other materials, glass can transition from a liquid to an amorphous solid and back again without breaking apart. Scientists are now trying to figure out how this miraculous process works, and the results could revolutionize our lives.

From fiber optic cables to smartphones, we depend on glass more than any other substance. But there’s so much more to this ancient material than meets the eye—and a lot we don’t even know yet.

In a TV show, a bottle episode is an episode that doesn’t move the plot forward. Instead, it takes place over a relatively short period of time and tells a self-contained story with few set pieces or elaborate stunts. While they’re not the most exciting or entertaining episodes, they often provide vital information about a character’s state of mind or a subplot.

For example, a season finale like Breaking Bad’s “Closet Snuff” is considered a bottle episode because it takes place over a few hours and centers on Walt’s struggle with addiction. Mad Men’s “The Suitcase” is another example, as it features Don and Peggy working into the late hours in their offices divulging secrets.

Bottle episodes aren’t for everyone, but they’re essential to a show’s narrative. They’re a great way for creators to slow down the pace, give characters a chance to reflect on their situation, and allow them to develop in ways they wouldn’t be able to otherwise.

In order to create a new bottle, the preform is clamped into a machine called a blow molder. Compressed air is then used to inflate the preform into its final form, taking on the shape of the bottle’s neck and mouth. This is followed by trimming, sanding, inspection and quality assurance, and embossing. See the Bottle Body & Mold Seams page for more detailed information on bottles.

The lip is the extreme upper surface of a bottle’s finish, though it’s sometimes used to refer to the whole finish – especially on this website – as well as the entire collar. It is not to be confused with the base of the bottle, which refers to the part that rests on the bottom.

The term is also sometimes used to describe a person’s hair color. If a person has strawberry blonde hair, they are said to be a “bottle brunette.” This usage is programmatically compiled from other online sources, and the opinions do not necessarily represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors.