[ loh-lee ]
/ ˈloʊ li /

adjective, low·li·er, low·li·est.

humble in station, condition, or nature: a lowly cottage.
low in growth or position.
humble in attitude, behavior, or spirit; meek.


in a low position, manner, or degree: a lowly placed shelf.
in a lowly manner; humbly.
in a quiet voice; softly: to converse lowly.

Nearby words

  1. lowlands,
  2. lowlife,
  3. lowlight,
  4. lowlihead,
  5. lowliness,
  6. lown,
  7. lowndes,
  8. lowness,
  9. lowp,
  10. lowrider

Origin of lowly

Middle English word dating back to 1300–50; see origin at low1, -ly

Related formslow·li·ly, adverblow·li·ness, nounun·low·ly, adjective

Can be confusedlow lowly

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for lowly

British Dictionary definitions for lowly


/ (ˈləʊlɪ) rare /

adjective -lier or -liest

humble or low in position, rank, status, etc
full of humility; meek
simple, unpretentious, or plain


in a low or lowly manner
Derived Formslowliness, 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 lowly


c.1300 (adv.); late 14c. (adj.) "humble," from low (adj.) + -ly.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper