[noun loh-brou; adjective loh-brou]


a person who is uninterested, uninvolved, or uneducated in intellectual activities or pursuits.


being a lowbrow: that lowbrow idiot.
of, relating to, or proper to a lowbrow: lowbrow entertainment.

Origin of lowbrow

An Americanism dating back to 1905–10; low1 + brow
Related formslow·brow·ism, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for lowbrow

Contemporary Examples of lowbrow

Historical Examples of lowbrow

  • It was one of our chief delights to watch Frankling grind his teeth when some lowbrow—as he called them—drew her name.

    At Good Old Siwash

    George Fitch

  • As I was saying when this lowbrow interrupted me, I was thinking that it might be a good idea to go nutting.

  • When I came to I found myself in that room, with one lowbrow on guard.

British Dictionary definitions for lowbrow



a person who has uncultivated or nonintellectual tastes

adjective Also: lowbrowed

of or characteristic of such a person
Derived Formslowbrowism, noun
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 lowbrow

also low-brow, "person who is not intellectual," 1902, from low (adj.) + brow. Said to have been coined by U.S. journalist Will Irwin (1873-1948). A low brow on a man as a sign of primitive qualities was common in 19c. fiction, but it also was considered a mark of classical beauty in women.

A low brow and not a very high one is considered beautiful in woman, whereas a high brow and not a low one is the stamp of manhood. ["Medical Review," June 2, 1894]

As an adjective from 1913.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Culture definitions for lowbrow


Unsophisticated, uncultured, vulgar: “My blind date took me to a mud-wrestling match. What a lowbrow evening!”

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.