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adjective, low·li·er, low·li·est.
  1. humble in station, condition, or nature: a lowly cottage.
  2. low in growth or position.
  3. humble in attitude, behavior, or spirit; meek.
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  1. in a low position, manner, or degree: a lowly placed shelf.
  2. in a lowly manner; humbly.
  3. in a quiet voice; softly: to converse lowly.
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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

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

Related Words for lowly

humble, average, base, common, commonplace, docile, dutiful, everyday, gentle, ignoble, low, mean, meek, menial, mild, modest, mundane, obscure, obsequious, ordinary

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Contemporary Examples of lowly

Historical Examples of lowly

British Dictionary definitions for lowly


adjective -lier or -liest
  1. humble or low in position, rank, status, etc
  2. full of humility; meek
  3. simple, unpretentious, or plain
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  1. in a low or lowly manner
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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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper