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lowlife

[loh-lahyf]
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noun, plural low·lifes.
  1. a despicable person, especially a degenerate or immoral person.
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Origin of lowlife

First recorded in 1785–95; low1 + life
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for low-life

Historical Examples

  • Only, when some low-life like Dreer says this is a rotten school I don't care for it.

    Left Tackle Thayer

    Ralph Henry Barbour

  • Gillian throws a rolling-pin at ye turnspit's head, and we call it low-life; but we looke for such unmannerlinesse in the kitchen.

  • But they are not more characteristic than his low-life pictures of itinerant players and singers.

  • They are now extinguished by the low-life novel; the most intolerable of all earthly realities.


British Dictionary definitions for low-life

lowlife

noun plural -lifes
  1. slang
    1. a member or members of the underworld
    2. (as modifier)his lowlife friends
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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

Word Origin and History for low-life

adj.

"disreputable, vulgar," 1794, from low (adj.) + life; as a noun, "coarse, no-good person" it is recorded from 1911. Also lowlife.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper