noun, plural low·lifes.

a despicable person, especially a degenerate or immoral person.

Origin of lowlife

First recorded in 1785–95; low1 + life
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for low-life

Historical Examples of low-life

British Dictionary definitions for low-life


noun plural -lifes

  1. a member or members of the underworld
  2. (as modifier)his lowlife friends
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

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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper