[ loh ]
See synonyms for low on Thesaurus.com
adjective,low·er, low·est.
  1. situated, placed, or occurring not far above the ground, floor, or base: a low shelf.

  2. of small extent upward; not high or tall: A low wall surrounds the property.

  1. not far above the horizon, as a planet: The moon was low in the sky.

  2. lying or being below the general level: low ground.

  3. designating or pertaining to regions near sea level, especially near the sea: low countries.

  4. bending or passing far downward; deep: a low bow.

  5. (of a garment) low-necked; décolleté: The dress she wore was fashionably low.

  6. rising but slightly from a surface: a low relief on a frieze.

  7. of less than average or normal height or depth, as a liquid or stream: The river is low this time of year.

  8. near the first of a series: a low number.

  9. ranked near the beginning or bottom on some scale of measurement: a low income bracket.

  10. indicating the bottom or the point farthest down: the low point in his creative life.

  11. lacking in strength, energy, or vigor; feeble; weak: to feel low and listless.

  12. providing little nourishment or strength, as a diet.

  13. of small number, amount, degree, force, intensity, etc.: low visibility; a generator with a low output.

  14. indicated or represented by a low number: A low latitude is one relatively near the equator.

  15. soft: subdued; not loud: a low murmur.

  16. Music. produced by relatively slow vibrations, as sounds; grave in pitch.

  17. assigning or attributing little worth, value, excellence, or the like: a low estimate of a new book.

  18. containing a relatively small amount: a diet low in starches.

  19. nearing depletion; not adequately supplied: low on funds; Our stock of towels is low.

  20. depressed or dejected: low spirits.

  21. far down in the scale of rank or estimation; humble: of low birth.

  22. of inferior quality or character: a low grade of fabric; a low type of intellect.

  23. lacking in dignity or elevation, as of thought or expression.

  24. mean, base, or disreputable: low tricks; low companions.

  25. coarse or vulgar: entertainment of a low sort.

  26. Boxing. struck or delivered below a contestant's belt.

  27. Biology. having a relatively simple structure; not complex in organization.

  28. Phonetics. (of a vowel) articulated with a relatively large opening above the tongue, as the vowels of hat, hut, hot, ought, etc.: Compare high (def. 23).

  29. Automotive. of, relating to, or operating at the gear transmission ratio at which the drive shaft moves at the lowest speed with relation to the speed of the engine crankshaft, used especially for temporarily overcoming the weight or inertia of the vehicle; first: low gear.

  30. Baseball. (of a pitched ball) passing the plate at a level below that of the batter's knees: a low curve.

  31. Cards. having less value than other cards: a low card.

  32. Metallurgy. having a relatively small amount of a specified constituent (usually used in combination): low-carbon steel.

  33. Chiefly British. holding to Low Church principles and practices.

adverb,low·er, low·est.
  1. in or to a low position, point, degree, etc.: The raiders crouched low in the bushes.

  2. near the ground, floor, or base; not aloft: The plane flew low.

  1. in or to a humble or abject state: Some live low while others live high. She swore she would bring him low.

  2. in or to a condition of depletion, prostration, or death: The gas in the tank is running low.

  3. at comparatively small cost; cheaply: to buy something low and sell it high.

  4. at or to a low pitch, volume, intensity, etc.: to turn the radio low; lights turned down low.

  5. in a low tone; softly: quietly: to speak low.

  6. Archaic. far down in time; late.

  1. something that is low, as ground or prices: numerous marshy lows in the forest; the recent low in the stock market.

  2. Automotive. low gear; first gear.

  1. Meteorology. an atmospheric low-pressure system; cyclone. : Compare high (def. 37).

  2. Cards.

    • the lowest trump card.

    • a card of small value, or of lower value than other cards.

    • the lowest score in a game.

    • a player having such a score.

  3. a point of deepest decline, vulgarity, etc.: a new low in tastelessness.

  4. Slang. a period of intense depression or discomfort, when the effects of a drug have subsided.

Idioms about low

  1. lay low,

    • to overpower or kill; defeat: to lay one's attackers low.

    • to knock down; make prostrate.

    • Informal. to lie low.

  2. lie low,

    • to conceal oneself: He had to lie low for a while.

    • to do nothing until the right opportunity develops; bide one's time: Until the dispute is settled, you would do best to lie low.

Origin of low

First recorded in 1125–75; Middle English lou(e), loh(e) (adjective and noun), earlier lāh, from Old Norse lāgr (adjective) “low, low down”; cognate with Old Frisian lēge, lēch, Dutch laag, Old High German laege; akin to lie2

synonym study For low

27. See mean2.

Other words for low

Opposites for low

Other words from low

  • lowish, adjective
  • lowness, noun
  • o·ver·low·ness, noun

Words that may be confused with low

Other definitions for low (2 of 4)

[ loh ]

verb (used without object),lowed, low·ing.
  1. to utter the deep, low sound characteristic of cattle; moo.

verb (used with object),lowed, low·ing.
  1. to utter by or as by lowing.

  1. the act or the sound of lowing: the low of a distant herd.

Origin of low

First recorded before 1000; Middle English lowen, Old English hlōwan; cognate with Dutch loeien, Old High German hluoen, Old Saxon hlōian; akin to Old Norse Hlōi a proper name (literally, “bellower, shouter”), Latin clāmāre “to call out”

Other definitions for low (3 of 4)


or lowe

[ loh ]

verb (used without object),lowed, low·ing.British Dialect.
  1. to burn; blaze.

  2. (of a person) to feel strong emotions; glow with excitement.

Origin of low

First recorded in1300–50; Middle English, from Old Norse loga “to flame,” log “a flame,” akin to German lohen (verb), Lohe (noun), Latin lūcēre (verb), lūx (noun) “light”; see also light1

Other definitions for Low (4 of 4)

[ loh ]

  1. David, 1891–1963, English political cartoonist, born in New Zealand.

  2. Juliette, 1860–1927, founder of Girl Scouts in the U.S.

  1. Seth, 1850–1916, U.S. political reformer, educator, and politician.

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use low in a sentence

  • Early yesterday I heard something really heavy and a deep, loud lowing.

    Violence is the New Normal in Abu Tor | Rabbi Daniel Landes | July 24, 2013 | THE DAILY BEAST
  • The lowing of cattle and the soft stumbling tread of many unshod feet told him that some one was approaching.

    The Red Year | Louis Tracy
  • Three sounds of increase: the lowing of a cow in milk; the din of a smithy; the swish of a plough.

  • The whole air of the place was that of almost pastoral quietness, and the only sound to be heard was the lowing of oxen.

    The Relief of Mafeking | Filson Young
  • Now pours forth the evening concert from the woods, while warbling brooks, and lowing herds, appear to answer to the sound.

    The Rain Cloud | Anonymous
  • Oxen were lowing, sheep bleating, as they stood in droves herded together for sacrifice.

    Sarchedon | G. J. (George John) Whyte-Melville

British Dictionary definitions for low (1 of 3)


/ (ləʊ) /

  1. having a relatively small distance from base to top; not tall or high: a low hill; a low building

    • situated at a relatively short distance above the ground, sea level, the horizon, or other reference position: low cloud

    • (in combination): low-lying

    • involving or containing a relatively small amount of something: a low supply

    • (in combination): low-pressure

    • having little value or quality

    • (in combination): low-grade

  1. of less than the usual or expected height, depth, or degree: low temperature

    • (of numbers) small

    • (of measurements) expressed in small numbers

  2. unfavourable: a low opinion

  3. not advanced in evolution: a low form of plant life

  4. deep: a low obeisance

  5. coarse or vulgar: a low conversation

    • inferior in culture or status

    • (in combination): low-class

  6. in a physically or mentally depressed or weakened state

  7. designed so as to reveal the wearer's neck and part of the bosom: a low neckline

  8. with a hushed tone; quiet or soft: a low whisper

  9. of relatively small price or monetary value: low cost

  10. music relating to or characterized by a relatively low pitch

  11. (of latitudes) situated not far north or south of the equator

  12. having little or no money

  13. abject or servile

  14. phonetics of, relating to, or denoting a vowel whose articulation is produced by moving the back of the tongue away from the soft palate or the blade away from the hard palate, such as for the a in English father: Compare high (def. 22)

  15. (of a gear) providing a relatively low forward speed for a given engine speed

  16. (usually capital) of or relating to the Low Church

  1. in a low position, level, degree, intensity, etc: to bring someone low

  2. at a low pitch; deep: to sing low

  1. at a low price; cheaply: to buy low

  2. lay low

    • to cause to fall by a blow

    • to overcome, defeat or destroy

  3. lie low

    • to keep or be concealed or quiet

    • to wait for a favourable opportunity

  1. a low position, level, or degree: an all-time low

  2. an area of relatively low atmospheric pressure, esp a depression

  1. electronics the voltage level in a logic circuit corresponding to logical zero: Compare high (def. 40)

Origin of low

C12 lāh, from Old Norse lāgr; related to Old Frisian lēch low, Dutch laag

Derived forms of low

  • lowness, noun

British Dictionary definitions for low (2 of 3)


/ (ləʊ) /

nounAlso: lowing
  1. the sound uttered by cattle; moo

  1. to make or express by a low or moo

Origin of low

Old English hlōwan; related to Dutch loeien, Old Saxon hlōian

British Dictionary definitions for Low (3 of 3)


/ (ləʊ) /

  1. Sir David. 1891–1963, British political cartoonist, born in New Zealand: created Colonel Blimp: See blimp 2

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

Other Idioms and Phrases with low


In addition to the idioms beginning with low

  • low blow
  • low boiling point
  • low man on the totem pole
  • low profile

also see:

  • at a low ebb
  • (low) boiling point
  • high and low
  • keep a low profile
  • lay someone low
  • lie low

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.