\ ˈlō How to pronounce low (audio) \
lowed; lowing; lows

Definition of low

 (Entry 1 of 7)

intransitive verb

: moo in barns cows lowed to be milked— Esther Forbes

Definition of low (Entry 2 of 7)

: the deep sustained sound characteristic especially of a cow
lower\ ˈlō-​ər How to pronounce lower (audio) \; lowest\ ˈlō-​əst How to pronounce lowest (audio) \

Definition of low (Entry 3 of 7)

1a : having a small upward extension or elevation a low wall
b : situated or passing little above a reference line, point, or plane low bridges
c(1) : having a low-cut neckline
(2) : not extending as high as the ankle low oxfords
2a : situated or passing below the normal level, surface, or base of measurement, or the mean elevation low ground
b : marking a nadir or bottom the low point of his career
3 : dead used as a predicate adjective with laylaid the enemy low
4a : not loud : soft
c : characterized by being toward the bottom of the range of pitch attainable (as by an instrument)
5a : being near the equator low northern latitudes
b : being near the horizon
6 : socially or economically humble in character or status a person of low birth
7a : lacking strength, health, or vitality : weak, prostrate very low with pneumonia
b : lacking spirit or vivacity : depressed a low frame of mind
8a : of lesser degree, size, or amount than average or ordinary low energy
b(1) : small in number or amount
(2) : substandard, inadequate a low level of employment a low income group
(3) : cheap low prices
(4) : short, depleted oil is in low supply
c : of lesser position, rank, or order
9 : falling short of some standard: such as
a : lacking dignity or elevation a low style of writing
b : morally reprehensible : base a low trick
c : coarse, vulgar low language
10a : not advanced in complexity, development, or elaboration low organisms
b often capitalized : low church
11 : unfavorable, disparaging had a low opinion of him
12 : designed for slow and usually the slowest speed low gear
13 : articulated with a wide opening between the relatively flat tongue and the palate : open \ä\ is a low vowel
14 : intended to attract little attention kept a low profile
15 : being near the basket or net a player in the low post

Definition of low (Entry 4 of 7)

1 : something that is low: such as
a : depth a new low in advertising
b : a region of low barometric pressure
2 : the transmission gear of an automotive vehicle giving the lowest ratio of driveshaft to crankshaft speed
\ ˈlō How to pronounce low (audio) \
variants: or lowe

Definition of low (Entry 5 of 7)

chiefly Scotland
variants: or lowe
lowed; lowing

Definition of low (Entry 6 of 7)



biographical name
\ ˈlō How to pronounce Low (audio) \

Definition of Low (Entry 7 of 7)

Sir David Alexander Cecil 1891–1963 British cartoonist

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Other Words from low


low adverb
lowness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for low

Synonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Adjective

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Choose the Right Synonym for low


base, low, vile mean deserving of contempt because of the absence of higher values. base stresses the ignoble and may suggest cruelty, treachery, greed, or grossness. base motives low may connote crafty cunning, vulgarity, or immorality and regularly implies an outraging of one's sense of decency or propriety. refused to listen to such low talk vile, the strongest of these words, tends to suggest disgusting depravity or filth. a vile remark

Examples of low in a Sentence

Adjective The apartment has low ceilings. They have a home in the low country. The houses are built on low ground. temperatures as low as 10 below zero He's being treated for low blood pressure. a low dose of medicine She earns a low salary. Demand for his books has remained low. Temperatures were in the low eighties. Our supply of fuel is getting low.
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First Known Use of low

Verb (1)

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

Noun (1)

circa 1522, in the meaning defined above


12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Noun (2)

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun (3)

13th century, in the meaning defined above

Verb (2)

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for low

Verb (1) and Noun (1)

Middle English loowen, lowen, going back to Old English hlōwan, going back to Germanic *hlōan- (whence also Old Saxon hlōinga "mooing," Old Low Franconian luon, luogin "to moo, bellow," Old High German luoen), going back to Indo-European *kloh1-, presumed o-grade derivative of a verbal base *kleh1-, *kl̥h1- "call," whence also Germanic *halōn-, *hulōn- "to summon" (whence Old English geholian "to obtain, get," Old Saxon halon, haloian "to fetch, get, bring," Old High German halōn, holōn "to fetch, send for, summon"), Latin calāre "to announce, summon," Umbrian kařetu "(he must) call," Greek kaléō, kaleîn "to call, summon," and perhaps Hittite kalliš- "entice, elicit, evoke"

Note: Old English hlōwan is taken to be a Class VII strong verb (as grōwan "to grow," blōwan "to bloom, blow entry 3"), despite the lack of attested forms outside the present tense. The a vocalism of the Greek and Italic forms is variously explained. The suggestion that the base is *kalh1-, with a primary -a-, eliminates some of the difficulties.


Middle English lah, low, from Old Norse lāgr; akin to Middle High German læge low, flat; probably akin to Old English licgan to lie

Noun (3)

Middle English, from Old Norse logi, log; akin to Old English lēoht light — more at light

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Time Traveler for low

Time Traveler

The first known use of low was before the 12th century

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Statistics for low

Cite this Entry

“Low.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/low. Accessed 22 January 2020.

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More Definitions for low

English Language Learners Definition of low

: not rising or extending upward a great distance
: extending or reaching upward less than other things of the same kind
: not located far above the ground or another surface


\ ˈlō How to pronounce low (audio) \
lowed; lowing

Kids Definition of low

 (Entry 1 of 5)

: to make the sound of a cow : moo



Kids Definition of low (Entry 2 of 5)

: the mooing of a cow
lower; lowest

Kids Definition of low (Entry 3 of 5)

1 : not high or tall a low building
2 : lying or going below the usual level low ground a low bow
3 : not loud : soft a low whisper
4 : deep in pitch a low voice
5 : not cheerful : sad low spirits
6 : less than usual (as in quantity or value) low prices low temperatures
7 : less than enough Our supply is getting low.
8 : not strong low winds
9 : not favorable : poor I have a low opinion of him.

Other Words from low

lowness noun



Kids Definition of low (Entry 4 of 5)

1 : a point or level that is the least in degree, size, or amount The temperature hit a low of ten degrees.
2 : a region of reduced barometric pressure
3 : the arrangement of gears in an automobile that gives the slowest speed of travel


lower; lowest

Kids Definition of low (Entry 5 of 5)

: so as to be low fly low sing low
\ ˈlō How to pronounce low (audio) \
lower\ ˈlō(-​ə)r How to pronounce lower (audio) \; lowest\ ˈlō-​əst How to pronounce lowest (audio) \

Medical Definition of low

: having a relatively less complex organization : not greatly differentiated or developed phylogenetically usually used in the comparative degree of less advanced types of plants and animalsthe lower vertebrates — compare high sense 1

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More from Merriam-Webster on low

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for low

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with low

Spanish Central: Translation of low

Nglish: Translation of low for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of low for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about low

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