low·​ball | \ ˈlō-ˌbȯl How to pronounce lowball (audio) \
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

Keep scrolling for more

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

And European and Alstom officials stymied GE’s attempts to review the company’s order book: a black box of immeasurable risk since the French company had been lowballing bids just to keep sales coming in. Thomas Gryta And Ted Mann, WSJ, "GE Powered the American Century—Then It Burned Out," 14 Dec. 2018 This is why the IRS requires families taking advantage of GRATs to submit independent appraisals and threatens penalties for those who lowball valuations. Susanne Craig, The Seattle Times, "Trump engaged in suspect tax schemes as he reaped riches from father," 2 Oct. 2018 Its actual earnings could be even higher since Sony has traditionally lowballed its profit guidance. Jacky Wong, WSJ, "Sony Is Playing the Game Better Than Nintendo," 30 Oct. 2018 This result was achieved by lowballing all seven buildings. Susanne Craig, The Seattle Times, "Trump engaged in suspect tax schemes as he reaped riches from father," 2 Oct. 2018 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

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.

See More

First Known Use of lowball

1957, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about lowball

Dictionary Entries near lowball



low-angle fault


low beam



Statistics for lowball

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for lowball

The first known use of lowball was in 1957

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for lowball



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)

More from Merriam-Webster on lowball

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with lowball

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).


having a desire to acquire more things

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!