I understand both низ and дно mean bottom, but what is the difference between them in terms of usage? Is it simply that дно additionally or exclusively carries the meaning of bottom surface?

  • 2
    When you have a question like this, don't just use a Russian-English dictionary, try an explanatory one.
    – jwalker
    Apr 21, 2016 at 20:43
  • Maybe someone could comment on the usage of донце and днище as well. Apr 21, 2016 at 23:16
  • 1
    @ghostarbeiter, "донце" and "днище" both mean "bottom part" of some vessel. Usually it is not just an abstract "lower surface", but a material structural part of the object. For example, "There is some water left at the bottom of the barrell." -- "На дне (not "днище") бочки осталось немного воды". But "The bottom of the barrell is made of wood." -- "Днище бочки изготовлено из дерева" (but "дно" can be used here, as well). "Донце" is used for smaller vessels, such as a glass or a bottle, and "днище" -- for larger ones, like a ship, a car or a bath.
    – Lara
    Apr 23, 2016 at 9:31
  • 1
    Also "днище" and "дно" (but not "донце") in gamers and teenager slang have a meaning "loser", "noob", when referred to people.
    – Lara
    Apr 23, 2016 at 9:35

4 Answers 4


You're right. Низ is a bottom, or the lower part of an object. Дно is a bottom, a surface. You can say низ дома, (the lower part of the house), but дно тарелки, бутылки, стакана, моря, океана (the bottom of the plate, bottle, glass, sea, ocean). Вверх дном means upside-down.


I'd say "низ" (3d) is the lower part of an object, and "дно" (2d) the lower surface of an object.


"Дно" is the bottom of a pan, for example, the bottom of the sea - the lowest part of the relief, object. Also, there's a figurative meaning - "the bottom of life," "the bottom of society", etc. (social bottoms)

The word "низ" is absolutely identical to the word "bottom".

  • 3
    I'm not sure about "absolutely identical", implying it isn't in the other case. The English bottom is just as much of a дно as a низ, including a metaphorical дно. Apr 21, 2016 at 21:01

I'll give you an analogy:

  1. внизу - below;
  2. на дне - at the bottom.

I would argue, that "дно" is a literal translation of "bottom", while "низ" is a general term for any surface that's below you (or in relation to some object).

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.