low-key

or low·key

[ loh-kee ]
/ ˈloʊˈki /

adjective Also low-keyed .

of reduced intensity; restrained; understated: Judicial elections used to be low-key affairs, attracting little campaign spending.
(of a photograph) having chiefly dark tones, usually with little tonal contrast (distinguished from high-key).

adverb

Slang. in a restrained or discreet way, or to a limited extent, without trying to attract attention: I low-key wish I was married with three kids, though it is fun to be single.

verb (used with object), low-keyed, low-key·ing.

to make or attempt to make low-key: to low-key the arms buildup.

QUIZZES

LEARN THE SPANISH WORDS FOR THESE COMMON ANIMALS!

Are you learning Spanish? Or do you just have an interest in foreign languages? Either way, this quiz on Spanish words for animals is for you.
Question 1 of 13
How do you say “cat” 🐈 in Spanish?

Origin of low-key

First recorded in 1890–95
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

British Dictionary definitions for low-key

low-key

low-keyed


adjective

having a low intensity or tone
restrained, subdued, or understated
(of a photograph, painting, etc) having a predominance of dark grey tones or dark colours with few highlightsCompare high-key
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