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verb (used with object)
  1. to cause to descend; let or put down: to lower a flag.
  2. to make lower in height or level: to lower the water in a canal.
  3. to reduce in amount, price, degree, force, etc.
  4. to make less loud: Please lower your voice.
  5. to bring down in rank or estimation; degrade; humble; abase (oneself), as by some sacrifice of self-respect or dignity: His bad actions lowered him in my eyes.
  6. Music. to make lower in pitch; flatten.
  7. Phonetics. to alter the articulation of (a vowel) by increasing the distance of the tongue downward from the palate: The vowel of “clerk” is lowered to (ä) in the British pronunciation.
verb (used without object)
  1. to become lower, grow less, or diminish, as in amount, intensity, or degree: The brook lowers in early summer. Stock prices rise and lower constantly.
  2. to descend; sink: the sun lowering in the west.
  1. comparative of low1.
  2. of or relating to those portions of a river farthest from the source.
  3. (often initial capital letter) Stratigraphy. noting an early division of a period, system, or the like: the Lower Devonian.
  1. a denture for the lower jaw.
  2. a lower berth.

Origin of lower

1150–1200; Middle English, comparative of low1 (adj.)
Related formslow·er·a·ble, adjective

Synonyms for lower

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Antonyms for lower


[lou-er, louuhr]
verb (used without object)
  1. to be dark and threatening, as the sky or the weather.
  2. to frown, scowl, or look sullen; glower: He lowers at people when he's in a bad mood.
  1. a dark, threatening appearance, as of the sky or weather.
  2. a frown or scowl.
Also lour.

Origin of lower

1250–1300; Middle English lour (noun), louren (v.) to frown, lurk; akin to German lauern, Dutch loeren

Synonyms for lower

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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for lowered

Contemporary Examples of lowered

Historical Examples of lowered

  • She lowered her voice as her eyes dilated, and she laid her hand on his arm.

    The Armourer's Prentices

    Charlotte M. Yonge

  • The shades of his windows had been lowered against the heat.


    Mary Roberts Rinehart

  • The cow recoiled a few steps and lowered her head truculently.

  • The horn will resound in welcome, the drawbridge will be lowered for us.

    The Dream

    Emile Zola

  • He lowered his voice as if a sea urchin might hear and tattle.

    Her Father's Daughter

    Gene Stratton-Porter

British Dictionary definitions for lowered


  1. being below one or more other thingsthe lower shelf; the lower animals
  2. reduced in amount or valuea lower price
  3. maths (of a limit or bound) less than or equal to one or more numbers or variables
  4. (sometimes capital) geology denoting the early part or division of a period, system, formation, etcLower Silurian
  1. (tr) to cause to become low or on a lower level; bring, put, or cause to move down
  2. (tr) to reduce or bring down in estimation, dignity, value, etcto lower oneself
  3. to reduce or be reducedto lower one's confidence
  4. (tr) to make quieterto lower the radio
  5. (tr) to reduce the pitch of
  6. (tr) phonetics to modify the articulation of (a vowel) by bringing the tongue further away from the roof of the mouth
  7. (intr) to diminish or become less
Derived Formslowerable, adjective

Word Origin for lower

C12 (comparative of low 1); C17 (vb)




verb (intr)
  1. (esp of the sky, weather, etc) to be overcast, dark, and menacing
  2. to scowl or frown
  1. a menacing scowl or appearance
Derived Formslowering or louring, adjectiveloweringly or louringly, adverb
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 lowered



c.1600, "to descend, sink," from lower (adj.), from Middle English lahghere (c.1200), comparative of low (adj.). Transitive meaning "to let down, to cause to descend" attested from 1650s. Related: Lowered; lowering. In the sense "to cause to descend" the simple verb low (Middle English lahghenn, c.1200) was in use into the 18c.



"to look dark and threatening," also lour, Middle English louren, luren "to frown" (early 13c.), "to lurk" (mid-15c.), from Old English *luran or from its cognates, Middle Low German luren, Middle Dutch loeren "lie in wait." Form perhaps assimilated to lower (1). Related: Lowered; lowering.



c.1200, lahre, comparative of lah (see low (adj.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

lowered in Science


  1. Being an earlier division of the geological or archaeological period named. Compare upper.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.