[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

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

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

  • 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

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.