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)

: frown


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

face, frown, grimace, moue, mouth, mow, mug, pout, scowl, snoot

Synonyms: Adjective

inferior, junior, less, lesser, minor, smaller, subordinate

Antonyms: Adjective

greater, higher, major, more, primary, prime, senior, superior, superordinate

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Examples of lower in a Sentence


he turned to see the scornful lower on her face


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

With recognition of the lower horse population and the possible over-racing of horses in the most recent winter-spring meet at Santa Anita, where 30 horses suffered fatal injuries in training or racing, more breaks were worked into the calendar. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Del Mar gets encouraging news with 2020 racing schedule," 22 Aug. 2019 If Auburn’s running game finishes on the lower end of reasonable projections, the Tigers will lose five or six games. Christopher Smith, al, "Auburn’s running game will determine the Tigers’ 2019 betting value," 21 Aug. 2019 Changing the constitution requires two-thirds of both the upper and lower houses of the Diet, followed by a majority in a referendum. The Economist, "Can Shinzo Abe change Japan’s basic law?," 10 Aug. 2019 The deputy, who was not wounded, returned fire, hitting the man in the upper and lower torso, Crowder said. Hannah Frystaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, "Man armed with gun fatally shot by deputy after Hyde Park traffic stop, authorities say," 1 Aug. 2019 Though, sometimes, monetary policy can boost the economy in the short run, particularly when the economy is in a recession, when consumers and investors are most nervous and lower rates make spending and investing more attractive. Allison Schrager, Quartz, "The Fed finally cut rates. Will anyone notice?," 31 July 2019 The lower rear wing, plus the work the company did to revamp the internals of the car over the last year, appears to have given Dumas a historically potent competitor. Sean O'kane, The Verge, "Volkswagen’s electric racecar breaks 20-year-old Goodwood hill climb record," 5 July 2019 But a lower water table could cause some springs and creeks to dry, rare trees and plants to die, and wildlife that depend on them to move or perish. Douglas Main, National Geographic, "In a land of wild cats and scarce water, a battle over mining heats up," 25 Apr. 2019 The design calls for upper and lower bowls with the exception of an undivided section of seats, located behind one basket, that would stretch from the floor level into the stadium’s highest rows. Los Angeles Times, "The Sports Report: Ex-wife pleads guilty in Lorenzen Wright case," 26 July 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 3

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Time Traveler for lower

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

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More Definitions for lower



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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with lower

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for lower

Spanish Central: Translation of lower

Nglish: Translation of lower for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of lower for Arabic Speakers

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).


recurring in steady succession

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