low·​ball | \ˈlō-ˌbȯl \
lowballed; lowballing; lowballs

Definition of lowball 

transitive verb

1 : to give (a customer) a deceptively low price or cost estimate

2 : to give a markedly or unfairly low offer lowballed him in contract negotiations

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Other Words from lowball

lowball noun

Examples of lowball in a Sentence

It became clear that the contractor had lowballed us on the cost of materials. Management lowballed him in contract negotiations.

Recent Examples on the Web

While closed databases like Option Impact can be used to ensure fair pay, they can likewise be employed to lowball less-savvy recruits, says David Burkus, an associate professor of leadership and innovation at Oral Roberts University. Rachel Nuwer, WIRED, "Silicon Valley’s Exclusive Salary Database," 1 July 2018 This crew defiantly made cuts and lowballed the $2.4 billion corrections budget by $79 million. Lauren Ritchie, OrlandoSentinel.com, "21 Floridians a day die from drugs while legislators cut treatment," 18 May 2018 Another day, another oddsmaker lowballing the Dolphins. Dave Hyde, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Hyde5: 10,000 computer simulations — and Dolphins' season ranks worst in league," 10 May 2018 Local bigwigs had every incentive to lowball the figures to avoid the wrath of NIMBYs, says Neal Hudson of Residential Analysts, a consultancy. The Economist, "Britain’s housing supply is perking up at last," 10 May 2018 The lower offer sparked outcry in the community, which saw Kehoe as trying to lowball the county. Molly Harbarger, OregonLive.com, "Multnomah County approves $5 million offer for Wapato Jail," 12 Apr. 2018 Now if a player had said Newsome lowballed him in the opening of negotiations or fought him for the last $10,000, that would be more like Newsome. Mike Preston, baltimoresun.com, "Mike Preston: Despite free agency moves, Ravens still have gaping holes," 20 Mar. 2018 The investigation found that Cooke lowballed the number of escaped fish by more than half, and did not do essential maintenance at its farm, causing the escape. Lynda V. Mapes, The Seattle Times, "Fish farm caused Atlantic salmon spill near San Juans, then tried to hide how bad it was, state says," 2 Feb. 2018 Among the mistakes Yahoo! made after Ring's time there -- an offer to buy Google for $1 million that Yahoo! turned down, and a deal to buy Facebook for $1.1 billion that fell through when Yahoo! lowballed. Dan Sweeney, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Power Lunch: Four amendments on 2018 ballot and counting," 24 Jan. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'lowball.' 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 lowball

1957, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Dictionary Entries near lowball



low-angle fault


low beam



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Time Traveler for lowball

The first known use of lowball was in 1957

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English Language Learners Definition of lowball

: to trick or deceive (someone) by saying that the price or cost of something is lower than it really is

: to give a very low or unfairly low offer to (someone)

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Comments on lowball

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


to clear from alleged fault or guilt

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