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 lour (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

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Synonyms & Antonyms for lower

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Adjective

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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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Derek Hodges, another meteorologist with the National Weather Service Phoenix, said the Valley should expect between 0.5 to 1 inches of rain between Monday afternoon and Wednesday morning, with most cities receiving the lower end of the estimate. Perry Vandell, azcentral, "Valley expecting moderate to heavy rain throughout Monday and Tuesday," 9 Feb. 2020 But recent pay gains at the lower end of income ladder are largely due to a number of states and cities acting to raise the local minimum wage. Aimee Picchi, CBS News, "America's job problem: Employers are hiring, but pay is low," 7 Feb. 2020 YouTube’s ad revenue landed on the lower end of Wall Street estimates. Patience Haggin, WSJ, "What Investors Learned From the First Peek Inside YouTube’s Financials," 4 Feb. 2020 This includes religious schools, which typically fall on the lower end of the tuition spectrum. Anna Bahney, CNN, "How to pay for private school," 15 Jan. 2020 The service techs also investigated a wiggly driver's seat, confirming our suspicions by locating a loose hinge that would require both the upper and lower seat frames to be replaced. David Beard, Car and Driver, "Our Subaru Ascent Drinks Heavily When Towing," 24 Jan. 2020 Its middle and lower parts jut forward, while Lucy’s species had a flatter mid-face, a step toward humans’ flat faces. Malcolm Ritter, Los Angeles Times, "3.8-million-year-old fossil reveals face of Lucy’s ancestors," 28 Aug. 2019 Wilson said most of the start increases are in homes priced at the lower end of the market — from $200,000 to $300,000. Steve Brown, Dallas News, "D-FW new home starts surged 22% in the fourth quarter," 9 Jan. 2020 Yet the driving ranges have lingered between 200 and 300 miles, mostly on the lower end of that spectrum. Eric Adams, Popular Mechanics, "The Electric Decade: How EVs Redefined Transportation in the 2010s," 30 Dec. 2019

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.

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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

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Time Traveler for lower

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for lower

Last Updated

27 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Lower.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/lower. Accessed 25 Feb. 2020.

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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

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More from Merriam-Webster on lower

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for lower

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with lower

Spanish Central: Translation of lower

Nglish: Translation of lower for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of lower for Arabic Speakers

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