1 of 2


variants or less commonly low-keyed
: having or producing dark tones only with little contrast
: of low intensity : restrained


2 of 2


informal : in a way or to a degree that is moderate or limited
It didn't take long for all of us to become low-key [=somewhat] obsessed with Lizzo …Abi Travis
Everywhere we go, we're low-key [=casually] checking out coffee shops, parks, and window seats for maximum reading coziness.Charlotte Ahlin
We asked the BuzzFeed Community to tell us which products have low-key changed their lives.Samantha Wieder
First things first: for what it's worth, I low-key think Jake Gyllenhaal is the best actor of his generation.Eric Ital
informal : without seeking or receiving much attention or recognition
Nordstrom low-key announced the sale with little fanfare …Danielle Gonzalez
The 21-year-old model and 24-year-old musician surprised everyone when they low-key stepped into a New York City courthouse to make it official …Jamie Leelo
… is low-key getting some of the best and most underrated lines in these episodes …Kase Wickman
She was low-key the best player on that season …Leigh Oleszczak

Examples of low-key in a Sentence

Adjective hoping to make a good impression, he deliberately chose a low-key tie with a subtle pattern
Recent Examples on the Web
Nothing about a wedding should be low-key — but the bachelorette party needs to be high-key above all. Staff Author, Travel + Leisure, 12 July 2024 Escola, low-key famous these last few years through YouTube videos, late night appearances and gigs for TV’s The Other Two and Difficult People, ups the career stakes immensely with Oh, Mary!, opening tonight at Broadway’s Lyceum Theatre. Greg Evans, Deadline, 11 July 2024
According to the interview, Emma is still keeping things low-key in her personal life. Hannah Oh, Seventeen, 29 Mar. 2023 For a low-key version, buy your own karaoke machine for home. Cameron Jenkins, Good Housekeeping, 29 Mar. 2023 See all Example Sentences for low-key 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'low-key.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use


1897, in the meaning defined at sense 1


2010, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of low-key was in 1897

Dictionary Entries Near low-key

Cite this Entry

“Low-key.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/low-key. Accessed 18 Jul. 2024.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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