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

beneath, under, underneath

Synonyms: Preposition

beneath, neath [dialect], under

Antonyms: Adverb


Antonyms: Preposition

above, over

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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

Shoot for around 15% of calories from high-fat protein sources like those below. Karla Walsh, Woman's Day, "The Ultimate Keto Diet Foods List of What You Can (and Can't) Eat," 28 Dec. 2018 Check out our picks below, covering a range of shapes, sizes, styles, and budgets—from a classic round table to a breakfast bar with hideaway chairs. Jenny Xie, Curbed, "All kinds of small dining tables for under $500," 1 Oct. 2018 Read below for a fool-proof guide on the platform bed, and shop some of our favorite picks. Lucia Tonelli, ELLE Decor, "Everything You Need to Know About Platform Beds," 21 Nov. 2018 The two-stage rocket, which made its debut in June 2010, was designed to carry satellites and the Dragon (see below) cargo capsule safely into orbit. Jennifer Earl, Fox News, "Elon Musk's Big Falcon Rocket revealed: How it compares to SpaceX's other powerful spacecrafts," 17 Sep. 2018 Swatches of The Girls can be seen below, as well as everything else from the collection. Devon Abelman, Allure, "Dose of Colors Is Dropping a Second Desi x Katy Collection on September 24," 17 Sep. 2018 Ars did not initially find any information about the recall on King Bio’s website, but the site has since been updated (see update below). Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "Massive recall of homeopathic kids’ products spotlights dubious health claims," 24 Aug. 2018 Rome, Brussels, Copenhagen, Berlin, and Amsterdam are all participating in the deal, plus eight other cities (see below). Bridget Hallinan, Condé Nast Traveler, "Flight Deal: U.S. to Europe from $368 Round-Trip," 11 Oct. 2018 Once Senator Lindsey Graham made that look foolish (see below), Democrats focused on their only other argument, which is that the FBI should investigate. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Confirm Brett Kavanaugh," 27 Sep. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Preposition

The bruising selloff briefly knocked valuation measures of small companies to their lowest level in six years and below that of their bigger counterparts in the S&P 500, according to FactSet. Michael Wursthorn, WSJ, "Small-Cap Stocks Take On New Shine as Markets Slump," 8 Jan. 2019 And innovations in fracking have dropped the cost of US natural gas far below that of coal. Megan Geuss, Ars Technica, "Trump tried to rescue coal. Instead, coal capacity retirements doubled in 2018," 29 Nov. 2018 Placing the ponytail just below the crown of your head looks the most polished. Jenna Rosenstein, Harper's BAZAAR, "Kate Middleton Can't Stop Wearing Hair Bows, So Now We're Wearing Them Too," 28 Nov. 2018 Some companies pay the drivers daily flat fees that range from $125 to $150; others pay $13 to $15 an hour, which is far below the wages Amazon advertises on its website. Gaby Del Valle, Vox, "Amazon is cutting costs with its own delivery service — but its drivers don’t receive benefits," 26 Dec. 2018 Depending on how hot the fire is below, smoke can either hang low near the ground or be lofted high into the sky, traveling across entire continents. Mary Beth Griggs, The Verge, "Scientists fly through plumes of wildfire smoke to unravel its mysteries," 21 Nov. 2018 That number is more than $100 million below the projection Vice offered private-equity firm TPG in the summer of 2017, when the investor gave Vice a $5.7 billion valuation, the highest of any new-media company. Recode Staff, Recode, "Recode Daily: Google and Amazon respond to their employees’ concerns," 9 Nov. 2018 As for the least legroom, several airlines stand out for squeezing passengers in space that's below the 31-to-32-inch standard: Aeroflot, Austrian Airlines, Cebu Pacific, easyJet, Ryanair, and Royal Air Maroc, all at a measly 30 inches. Cynthia Drescher, Condé Nast Traveler, "These Airlines Have the Most Legroom," 17 Oct. 2018 While a 20 percent hike may seem steep, the sheets are still well below some other luxury brands. Taylor Mead, House Beautiful, "Here's Why The Prices Of Brooklinen's Cotton Sheets Are Increasing," 4 Sep. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Pick four or five of the below, do 12 to 15 reps of each, and repeat three times, to create your own resistance band workout. Amy Marturana, SELF, "20 Resistance Band Exercises to Strengthen Your Entire Body," 2 Jan. 2019 Those changes also would only affect students in 2022, meaning only those in 8th grade and below would be impacted. Wilborn P. Nobles Iii,, "Louisiana lawmakers send 3 of 4 TOPS bills to Senate," 27 Mar. 2018 Tons of tweets, like the one below, continue to flow about Goodman's weight. Amanda Garrity, Good Housekeeping, "People Have a Lot to Say About John Goodman's Weight Loss," 17 Oct. 2018 Check out Luna's music video below and be on the lookout for more of her in the future. Ilana Kaplan, Teen Vogue, "Luna Blaise Debuts "Secrets" Music Video and Talks Her New Show "Manifest"," 11 Oct. 2018 More recently, Serra’s non-sculptural work has shifted to Rothko-esque abstractions like the one below. Russell Brandom, The Verge, "Celebrated artist Richard Serra has been making Goatses his entire career," 23 Sep. 2018 Today’s loan market has a much greater concentration of deals with low ratings, single-B and below, which are more prone to downgrades and defaults. Paul J. Davies, WSJ, "When Diversification Doesn’t Spread Your Risks," 28 Aug. 2018 Many recipes, including the one below, call for baking two separate cake rounds rather than splitting a single cake. Rebekah Denn, The Seattle Times, "Long live the Victoria Sponge Cake — or, at least through summer’s super-fresh fruit season," 1 Aug. 2018 The standoff ended when Dunn did a backflip off the sign down to an inflatable below. Greg Norman, Fox News, "California man's bizarre 'rap video' antics snarl traffic in Los Angeles for miles," 28 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

So refer to our handy 2018 Fall Foliage Map to find when the brightest leaves will pop up in your region, then fill up the tank for one of the below drives (organized from west to east) the family won't forget. Juliet Izon, Woman's Day, "The 12 Most Scenic Drives in the Country to Add to Your Bucket List ASAP," 4 Dec. 2018 Watch the below video, captured by an audience member. Devon Elizabeth, Glamour, "This Video of Prince Harry Singing a Hamilton Song Will Royally Make Your Day," 30 Aug. 2018 Watch the below video, captured by an audience member. Devon Elizabeth, Teen Vogue, "Prince Harry Sings "You'll Be Back" on the "Hamilton" Stage," 30 Aug. 2018 Plus, many San Francisco developments have reserved most of their below-market-rate units for individuals and families who fall on the lowest ends of HUD’s income limits for San Franciscans. Caille Millner,, "In high-cost SF, even professionals can qualify as low-income," 6 July 2018 Members, sign in below and click through to redeem this offer. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Special Janet Jackson Ticket Offer," 18 Sep. 2017 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

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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Statistics for below

Last Updated

15 Jan 2019

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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More from Merriam-Webster on below

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with below

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for below

Spanish Central: Translation of below

Nglish: Translation of below for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of below for Arabic Speakers

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).


a complex dispute or argument

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