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mean, underhand, or despicable
information, esp secret or true information
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
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Examples from the Web for low-down
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Peggy Stewart and Polly Howland are thoroughbreds an' thoroughbreds ain't capable of no low-down snobbishness.

    Peggy Stewart at School Gabrielle E. Jackson
  • Every one knocks instead of boosts, and tells us how low-down we are.

    Penny of Top Hill Trail Belle Kanaris Maniates
  • That's just the way:  a person does a low-down thing, and then he don't want to take no consequences of it.

    Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Complete Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)
  • You low-down skunk, what have you been saying about me to the governor?

    The Trembling of a Leaf William Somerset Maugham
  • It was a low-down, cruel, mean thing to do; and if it was me I'm sorry for it—even now, after all these years.

    Those Times And These Irvin S. Cobb
  • Of all the low-down things any man ever done in all his life, that's what you done now.

    The Man Next Door Emerson Hough
  • That's Norman Antor, that low-down, good-for-nothing night-owl!

    Gadsby Ernest Vincent Wright
  • The worst is, she's married a low-down cur that's been after her money all this time.

    The Man Next Door Emerson Hough
  • He's seen the procession from across the street and fears some low-down trick is being played on his defenseless client.

    Somewhere in Red Gap Harry Leon Wilson
Word Origin and History for low-down

also low down, lowdown, "vulgar," 1888, from low (adj.) + down (adv.). Earlier it meant "humble" (1540s). As a noun, 1915, from the adjective, American English.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for low-down



  1. Vulgar; despicable; vile: a dirty lowdown trick (1888+)
  2. Intense and insinuating, in the blues style: a babe with a low-down voice (1900+ Jazz musicians)

Related Terms

a dirty shame

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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