be·​low | \ bi-ˈlō How to pronounce below (audio) \

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

Synonyms: Preposition

Antonyms: Adverb

Antonyms: Preposition

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Examples of below in a Sentence

Adverb 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. Preposition 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 Their defense was torched by what has otherwise been a below-average three-point shooting team. Matt Velazquez, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Bucks vs. 76ers Part II is must-see TV as Milwaukee looks to avenge Christmas Day debacle," 5 Feb. 2020 Playing behind a below-average offensive line, Wilson’s level of difficulty is often pushed to 10, as Wilson was pressured on 39.8% of his dropbacks (third-most in the NFL). John Owning, Dallas News, "Ranking the NFL’s top 15 QBs entering 2020: Where does Cowboys’ Dak Prescott rank after breakout 2019 season?," 5 Feb. 2020 However, three summers of below-average reproduction (2015 through 2018) dampened the previous population growth and reduced numbers in some areas. Brian Lovett, Outdoor Life, "The 2020 Spring Turkey Hunting State-by-State Forecast," 3 Feb. 2020 Washington has been a below-average home team this season, winning just 10 of their 21 games at the Capital One Arena. Joe Williams, USA TODAY Sportsbook Wire, "Brooklyn Nets vs Washington Wizards odds, picks and best bets," 1 Feb. 2020 After all, James, a star basketball player for the Los Angeles Lakers, has declared his love for tacos many times via social media posts like the one seen below. Leah Rocketto, Woman's Day, "Who Is The Taco On 'The Masked Singer'? People Think LeBron James," 1 Feb. 2020 This number and a pair of slippers (see below) make getting out of bed on cold mornings much more manageable compared to wearing just a shirt and pajama bottoms. Jakob Schiller, Outside Online, "8 Cozy Home Upgrades to Get You Through Winter," 26 Jan. 2020 On the court, this is a below-average shooting team that can rely too heavily on its star big man. Stephen Means, cleveland, "How Ohio State basketball went from No. 2 in the country to unranked in four weeks," 23 Jan. 2020 Probably helped by his reputation and astute playmaking (see: The Flip, during Game 3 of a 2001 A.L. division series), Jeter won five Gold Gloves even as his skills declined and he was rated a below-average defender. James Wagner, New York Times, "Derek Jeter and Larry Walker Elected to Baseball Hall of Fame," 21 Jan. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Preposition The results are impressive: Thirty-six percent of students who have entered the school since 2005 had scored below average on a national reading exam. USA Today, "Two boys with the same disability tried to get help. The rich student got it quickly. The poor student did not.," 9 Feb. 2020 There’s a nonprofit and then there are for-profits below it, like a nesting doll. Alex Pareene, The New Republic, "Democrats Embrace the Grift," 6 Feb. 2020 In the chaos, she was swept away from the grip of her parents and only survived by climbing up a tree while the torrent raged below her. Paul Gittings, CNN, "Indian cycling star Esow Alben targets Olympic gold," 4 Feb. 2020 Art covers the underpasses that run below it, the green space behind it, and the streets leading into it. Alissa J. Rubin, New York Times, "In Iraq, Where Beauty Was Long Suppressed, Art Flowers Amid Protests," 3 Feb. 2020 There’d been a cold snap in Cariboo; temperatures reached more than thirty below zero. Ceridwen Dovey, The New Yorker, "“It’s a Worldwide Problem”: How North American and Australian Firefighters Work Together," 1 Feb. 2020 Right below me are fish in every color of the rainbow, swimming in and out of neon coral. al, "Swim with sharks, dolphins at this Florida resort," 30 Jan. 2020 Since the European Central Bank dropped the nominal deposits rate below zero in June 2014, DB shares have sunk more than 70%. Bernhard Warner, Fortune, "Deutsche Bank’s ‘annus horribilis’ reveals the true cost of negative interest rates," 30 Jan. 2020 In a 1970 performance revered by his teammates, Brodie engineered a 17-14 playoff victory on a frozen field in Minnesota with the wind-chill reading dropping below zero. Bruce Jenkins, San Francisco Chronicle, "History of the 49ers," 30 Jan. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The play below was what helped seal the Cavs’ fate. Cameron Fields, cleveland, "Marcus Morris’ unique skill set too much for Cavs to handle in overtime loss to Knicks," 4 Feb. 2020 See the full list of locations playing Harriet — also starring Janelle Monáe, Joe Alwyn, Jennifer Nettles, and Leslie Odom, Jr. — for free below. Joey Nolfi,, "Harriet returning to theaters for free Black History Month screenings," 31 Jan. 2020 The videos of the encounter, including the one below, were released for public viewing by The New York Times and To The Stars Academy of Arts & Science, a UFO research group from former Blink-182 member Tom DeLonge. Andrew Daniels, Popular Mechanics, "Navy Says Releasing UFO Videos Would ‘Gravely Damage’ National Security," 15 Jan. 2020 Shop the Pantone Color of the Year below and find the perfect piece to kick off the new year. Nandi Howard, Essence, "Shop The 2020 Pantone Color Of The Year," 17 Dec. 2019 The below is a fictionalized retelling of events, and its characters are not based on real people. Max De Haldevang, Quartz, "Thomas the Tank Engine was allegedly the engine for an accounting cover-up," 7 Nov. 2019 Children in 6th grade or below must be accompanied by an adult, according to the Facebook post. Nyssa Kruse, Arkansas Online, "Former high school of 'The Voice' contestant Marybeth Byrd plans viewing party," 25 Nov. 2019 Make your pick for best drama below (and best comedy/musical here), ahead of the 77th annual Golden Globe Awards, which are set to air live on NBC on Sunday, Jan. 5, at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT from the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills. Allison Crist, The Hollywood Reporter, "Golden Globes Poll: What Should Win Best Drama Movie?," 9 Dec. 2019 Check out highlight - or lowlight - below: Dalton Keene caught three touchdown passes for the Hokies (3-2, 1-2 Atlantic Coast Conference), who went up 28-0 in the first half and led 35-14 midway through the fourth quarter. Mark Heim |, al, "Watch: Va. Tech defender loses lunch on field, Hokies win wild one over Miami, 42-35," 6 Oct. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Additional charges: None Royal Caribbean Daily gratuity charge: $14.50-$17.50 Note: Passengers staying in junior suites and below pay $14.50, those in grand suites and above pay $17.50. Morgan Hines, USA TODAY, "USA TODAY's guide to cruise ship gratuity fees and service charges," 5 Dec. 2019 To lure in their victims, the fraudsters often offer a rent that’s well-below market price. NBC News, "Looking for an apartment or house to rent? That online listing may be a scam," 15 Jan. 2020 The pace is well-below average monthly growth last year, though the unemployment rate fell to a 50-year-low of 3.5 percent. Eli Rosenberg, Washington Post, "U.S. economy added just 136,000 jobs in September, in fresh sign economy is cooling," 4 Oct. 2019 There, thunder sounded, and the sky came apart in rain, sending the five of us scurrying below deck. Washington Post, "In the Greek islands, a ‘slow travel’ sailing odyssey to the far Ionians," 29 Nov. 2019 With outdated units and rents 15 percent below market, the new owner tentatively plans to spend about $1.5 million on renovations. Katherine Feser, Houston Chronicle, "Real estate transactions: St. Jude Candle Co. expands to additional warehouse," 26 July 2019 The below chart shows what the House of Commons might have looked under proportional representation—if the percentage of votes for a political party nationally translated to the same percentage of seats for that party. Natasha Frost, Quartz, "Here’s what the UK parliament would look like under proportional representation," 13 Dec. 2019 Individuals whose vehicles were in the affected area and impacted by catalyst may visit one of the below car wash locations in the next seven days for a free car wash. Bruce Finley, The Denver Post, "Suncor oil refinery’s release of clay-like “catalyst” triggers alarm, prompts air tests north of Denver," 11 Dec. 2019 And for those less well acquainted with the lie-flat experience, all of the below selections will seriously upgrade the economy experience, too. Louis Cheslaw, Condé Nast Traveler, "13 Gifts for the Business Class Regular," 6 Dec. 2019

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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Time Traveler for below

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for below

Last Updated

12 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Below.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for below


How to pronounce below (audio)

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 How to pronounce below (audio) \

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for below

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with below

Spanish Central: Translation of below

Nglish: Translation of below for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of below for Arabic Speakers

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