verb (1)
low·​er | \ ˈlau̇(-ə)r How to pronounce lower (audio) , ˈlō-ər How to pronounce lower (audio) \
variants: or less commonly \ ˈlau̇(-​ə)r How to pronounce lower (audio) \
lowered also loured; lowering also louring; lowers also lours

Definition of lower

 (Entry 1 of 4)

intransitive verb

1 : to look sullen : frown
2 : to be or become dark, gloomy, and threatening an overcast sky lowered over the village


variants: or less commonly lour

Definition of lower (Entry 2 of 4)


low·​er | \ ˈlō-ər How to pronounce lower (audio) \

Definition of lower (Entry 3 of 4)

1 : relatively low in position, rank, or order
2 : southern lower New York State
3 : less advanced in the scale of evolutionary development
4a : situated or held to be situated beneath the earth's surface
b capitalized : being an earlier epoch or series of the period or system named Lower Cretaceous Lower Paleolithic
5 : constituting the popular and often the larger and more representative branch of a bicameral legislative body lower house


verb (2)
low·​er | \ ˈlō-ər How to pronounce lower (audio) \
lowered; lowering; lowers

Definition of lower (Entry 4 of 4)

intransitive verb

: to move down : drop also : diminish

transitive verb

1a : to let descend : let down
b : to depress as to direction lower your aim
c : to reduce the height of
2a : to reduce in value, number, or amount
b(1) : to bring down in quality or character : degrade
(2) : abase, humble
c : to reduce the objective of
lower the boom
: to deal a crushing blow or punishment

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms & Antonyms for lower

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Adjective

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of lower in a Sentence

Noun he turned to see the scornful lower on her face Adjective the ship's upper and lower decks The message appeared on the lower portion of the screen. the mountain's upper and lower slopes The forecast is for strong winds at lower elevations. in the lower and higher latitudes the lower and upper peninsulas
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective When an appeal is submitted, the lower court’s decision generally doesn’t take legal effect until the higher court reaches a decision, lawyers familiar with Chinese law said. Yang Jie, WSJ, "Amazon Banned From Using AWS Logo in China Trademark Ruling," 5 Jan. 2021 Her attorneys filed a motion to the Alabama Supreme Court, asking the high court to vacate the lower court’s order and appointment of the temporary guardian and conservator, and to dismiss the petition. Ivana Hrynkiw | Ihrynkiw@al.com, al, "Joann Bashinsky, widow of Golden Flake CEO, dies at 89," 5 Jan. 2021 The appeals court’s majority opinion said the lower court was correct to dismiss the lawsuit because the plaintiffs failed to show how they were harmed. Kevin Krause, Dallas News, "Legal challenge to Dallas’ removal of Confederate memorials fails in appeals court," 4 Jan. 2021 On Saturday, a three-judge panel on the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the lower court's ruling. Caroline Linton, CBS News, "Judge dismisses Gohmert's attempt to force Pence to decide election results," 3 Jan. 2021 The public pressure campaign was on the brink of success — a lower court ordered the young man’s release, and his family prepared to celebrate. New York Times, "Raphael Warnock, From the Pulpit to Politics, Doesn’t Shy From ‘Uncomfortable’ Truths," 2 Jan. 2021 The 8th Circuit panel, with one justice dissenting, found that the lower court did not abuse her discretion in the decision to modify the longstanding court orders and consent decrees. Cynthia Howell, Arkansas Online, "8th Circuit rules in Arkansas school choice case," 1 Jan. 2021 Friday’s Supreme Court order, however, directs the lower court to block enforcement of the orders, pending any further appeal. Shannon Najmabadi, ExpressNews.com, "Austin won’t be allowed to restrict dining-in at restaurants, Texas Supreme Court says," 1 Jan. 2021 President Trump ran out the clock Wednesday in his long-running legal battle to shield his tax and financial records from Congress when a federal appeals court declined to rule on the matter and sent the case back to a lower court. Washington Post, "House Democrats cannot immediately access President Trump’s tax and financial records, after court ruling," 30 Dec. 2020

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

Verb (1)

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


14th century, in the meaning defined above


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb (2)

1575, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

History and Etymology for lower

Verb (1)

Middle English louren; akin to Middle High German lūren to lie in wait


low entry 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about lower

Time Traveler for lower

Time Traveler

The first known use of lower was in the 13th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for lower

Cite this Entry

“Lower.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/lower. Accessed 22 Jan. 2021.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for lower


How to pronounce lower (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of lower

: located below another or others of the same kind
: located toward the bottom part of something
: not high above the ground


low·​er | \ ˈlō-ər How to pronounce lower (audio) \

Kids Definition of lower

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : located below another or others of the same kind a lower floor
2 : located toward the bottom part of something the lower back
3 : placed below another or others in rank or order a lower court
4 : less advanced or developed lower animals


lowered; lowering

Kids Definition of lower (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to move to a level or position that is below or less than an earlier one The sun lowered in the west.
2 : to let or pull down He lowered a flag.
3 : to make or become less (as in value, amount, or volume) The store lowered the price.
4 : to reduce the height of We'll lower the fence.



Medical Definition of lower

: the lower member of a pair especially : a lower denture

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on lower

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Slippery Words Quiz—Changing with the Times

  • ducreux self portrait yawning
  • What is an earlier meaning of nice?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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