be·low | \ bi-ˈlō \

Definition of below 

(Entry 1 of 4)

1 : in or to a lower place gazed at the water below voices from the apartment below

2a : on earth improvements in conditions here belowTimes Literary Supplement

b : in or to Hades or hell

3 : on or to a lower floor or deck ordered the crew below

4a : in, to, at, or by a lower rank or number suitable for children age 10 and below

b : below zero the temperature was 20 below

5 : lower on the same page or on a following page See the graph below.

6 : under the surface of the water thirty fathoms below



Definition of below (Entry 2 of 4)

1a : lower in place, rank, or value than : under Our apartment is below theirs. Her skirt reached below her knees. The sun dipped below the horizon.

b : down river from moored a mile below town

c : south of located 20 miles below the nation's capital

2 : inferior to (as in rank) A lieutenant is below a captain.

3 : not suitable to the rank of : beneath considers such work below him



Definition of below (Entry 3 of 4)

: something that is below



Definition of below (Entry 4 of 4)

: written or discussed lower on the same page or on a following page the below list

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Synonyms & Antonyms for below

Synonyms: Adverb

down, downward (or downwards), over

Synonyms: Preposition

after, behind, following, next to, past

Antonyms: Adverb

up, upward (or upwards), upwardly

Antonyms: Preposition

ahead of, before, ere, of, previous to, prior to, to

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Examples of below in a Sentence


The pencil rolled off the desk and fell to the floor below. The pilot looked down at the sea far below. We heard the elevator stop at the floor below. They secured the goods on deck and went below. All personnel, captain and below, were ordered to report for duty.


Our apartment is below theirs. We could see only clouds below us. The diver descended below 25 meters. The sun disappeared below the horizon. a spot directly below us the valley far below us Temperatures were below average all week. She worked for wage rates below those of other workers. He ranks far below his superior.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

See the full list of Emmy nominations, below, and tune in this September to find out who wins. Jessica Radloff, Glamour, "Here's Everyone Nominated for the 2018 Emmy Awards," 12 July 2018 The appellate courts typically have the last word on cases filed in the district courts below and precedent set there determines the rules for trial at the lower level. Claire Zillman, Fortune, "Think President Trump Is About to Remake the Federal Judiciary? To Some Degree, He Already Has," 8 July 2018 Check out the new trailer below, and tune into E! on August 5 when KUWTK returns for season 15., "The New Trailer For KUWTK Has Us Asking: Can Kourtney Live?," 5 July 2018 In the garden below, several men grabbed his ankles and pulled in an effort to speed up the strangling process. Anne Thériault, Longreads, "Queens of Infamy: Joanna of Naples," 3 July 2018 From bowls and from buckets, poured from windows onto unsuspecting passerby below and between consenting dousers in village centers, water throwing on Vardavar is a holiday unique to Armenia. Roger Catlin, Smithsonian, "The Point of Armenia’s Splashy Holiday is Getting Wet," 3 July 2018 The planet itself is situated just below and to the right. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "The First Picture of a Newborn Planet," 2 July 2018 The normal average temperature is around 80, so our forecast is for July to end up between a degree below and two degrees above normal, perhaps not far off from last year’s 81.7 degrees. Matt Rogers, Washington Post, "July outlook: The month kicks off like a firecracker but heat should ease in second half," 29 June 2018 Enjoy the nostalgia and the surprise performances in the clip below. Erin Jensen, USA TODAY, "Jimmy Fallon and Christina Aguilera shock subway riders by singing in disguise," 15 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Preposition

Both the car’s nickel-metal-hydride hybrid battery and 9.5-gallon fuel tank are below the rear seat, allowing the interior to have a total of 104 cubic feet of space, including 87.4 cubic feet in the passenger compartment. G. Chambers Williams Iii, Houston Chronicle, "COMPACT," 13 July 2018 The rate also is well below the historical norm of 5.6 percent, which is the median monthly rate for all the months since the start of 1948. Brooks Jackson,, "Trump's Numbers (Second Quarterly Update) | FactCheck," 11 July 2018 Judy Malinowski’s deposition from January 2017, which includes graphic content, is below. Adam Carlson,, "Mom-of-2 Describes Horror of Boyfriend Lighting Her on Fire as He Pleads to Her Murder: 'Pure Evil'," 11 July 2018 Indiana University was well below OSU and UK, coming in at No. Patrick Brennan,, "Ohio State tops CBS Sports 'Best in College Sports' rankings," 11 July 2018 Stockton’s median income is $46,000 a year, well below the state’s, according to Census data. Kathleen Ronayne, The Seattle Times, "Young California mayor sees value in paying poor to rise up," 10 July 2018 The boys were deep below the surface with dwindling oxygen levels, sometimes as low as 15 percent. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "All 12 Thai Boys Rescued From Cave," 10 July 2018 Indeed, Massachusetts’ current marijuana supply appears to be well below even the most conservative estimates of recreational demand. Dan Adams,, "The hidden, high-tech world of communications at Fenway Park," 10 July 2018 The Second edited follows and is below the first one. Amanda Arnold, The Cut, "Customs Agent Hassled Mother and Daughter for Having Different Last Names," 9 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

When the doors opened, the desolate Chicago neighborhood below fell away. Katie Bain, Billboard, "Gay Black Men Helped Create EDM. Why Do Straight White Men Dominate It?," 14 June 2018 Best-case scenario: When a moisturizer contains ceramides and niacinamide (like the one below). Maddie Aberman, Cosmopolitan, "3 Ways to Make Sure You're Cleaning Your Face Correctly," 30 May 2017 Research has come full circle in some areas, and many habits that were once considered unhealthy or unproductive aren't so bad for you after all, like these five below. Tori Rodriguez, Woman's Day, "5 "Bad" Habits That Are Actually Good for You," 3 Aug. 2016 Enter to win by logging-in below and completing the entry form. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Attend an Advance Screening of TAG," 30 May 2018 The below is a reality check, comparing how our perception of the threat of snakebite stacks up to the actual risk. Wes Siler, Outside Online, "Let's Talk About Snakebites," 9 May 2018 The below table shows how New Orleans' racial demographics have changed over the last 300 years. Jennifer Larino,, "See 300 years of population, racial changes in New Orleans," 13 Apr. 2018 Cop one of the below, wear it with everything, rack up the compliments. Yang-yi Goh, GQ, "The Best Rugby Shirts Will Toughen Up Your Wardrobe," 24 Apr. 2018 NBC News' interactive below takes a look at who’s who in the monarchy and the line of succession. Rachel Elbaum /, NBC News, "New royal baby altered line to British throne. Here's what it looks like now.," 24 Apr. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Stereo Honey have also shared a first look at the song's music video, which will be released in mid-July, with the below photograph. Rebecca Schiller, Billboard, "Stereo Honey Premiere Emotional New Song 'Don't Speak': Exclusive," 28 June 2018 The spa was dark and below ground and didn't rank nationally or even locally. Dawn Gilbertson, azcentral, "Check out the Phoenician resort's fresh look: New spa, golf course, lobby," 11 July 2018 The cocktails are pictured (and detailed) in the below gallery: Trick Dog: 3010 20th St.; Open daily 3 p.m. - 2 a.m.; Justin Philips is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. Justin Phillips,, "Trick Dog’s new menu is a love letter to San Francisco restaurants," 6 July 2018 Counties with a below average rate of opioids, which include drugs such as OxyContin and Vicodin, saw about 39 percent of people vote for Trump. Adam K. Raymond, Daily Intelligencer, "Places With High Opioid Use Favored Trump in 2016, Study Says," 22 June 2018 The below extracts have been edited for length and clarity. Time, "Exclusive: Thailand PM Prayuth Chan-ocha on Turning to China Over the U.S.," 21 June 2018 See the below pictures for even more reason not to miss your legs. Melissa Minton, Allure, "These Viral Photos Show the Weird Sunburns People Got While Wearing Ripped Jeans," 18 May 2018 The woman at right in the below picture is giving off effortlessly chic Parisian vibes. Sam Dangremond, Town & Country, "French President Emmanuel Macron Has the Hottest Security in Global Politics," 25 Apr. 2018 The rent in the new campus housing will be offered at far below market value, the university says. Gary Robbins,, "UC San Diego begins building largest complex in campus history," 17 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'below.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of below


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


circa 1565, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1828, in the meaning defined above


1870, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for below


Middle English bilooghe, from bi by + looghe low, adjective


derivative of below entry 1


noun derivative of below entry 1


adjective derivative of below entry 1

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Phrases Related to below

below par

below standard

from below

Statistics for below

Last Updated

10 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for below

The first known use of below was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for below



English Language Learners Definition of below

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: in or to a lower place

: on or to a lower deck on a ship or boat

: in or to a lower rank or number



English Language Learners Definition of below (Entry 2 of 2)

: in or to a lower place than (something)

: lower in number, amount, or size than (something) : less than (something)

: less important or powerful than (someone) : having a lower rank than (someone)


be·low | \ bə-ˈlō \

Kids Definition of below

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : in or to a lower place The pencil rolled off the desk and fell on the floor below.

2 : below zero The temperature was ten below.



Kids Definition of below (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : in or to a lower place than : beneath The sun sank below the horizon. Vines grew below the window.

2 : at the bottom of : directly underneath a caption below the picture

3 : lower in number, size, or amount temperatures below average



Legal Definition of below 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : in a lower court the presumption that the decisions below…are correct —W. J. Brennan, Jr.

2 : lower on the same page or on a following page the paragraph below



Legal Definition of below (Entry 2 of 2)

: lower in place, rank, or value than

below the line

: in calculations that yield taxable income deductions taken below the line

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Comments on below

What made you want to look up below? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


the setting in which something occurs

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