low·​ly | \ ˈlō-lē How to pronounce lowly (audio) \

Definition of lowly

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : in a humble or meek manner
2 : in a low position, manner, or degree
3 : not loudly


lowlier; lowliest

Definition of lowly (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : humble in manner or spirit : free from self-assertive pride
2 : not lofty or sublime : prosaic
3 : ranking low in some hierarchy
4 : of or relating to a low social or economic rank
5 : low in the scale of biological or cultural evolution

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Other Words from lowly


lowliness noun

Examples of lowly in a Sentence


lowly bowing before his king, he accepted his knighthood


He was working as a lowly clerk. He resented his lowly status.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

But the series was, at least by Netflix’s notoriously secretive estimates, lowly rated, and the streaming service chose to axe the show in March. Isaac Feldberg, Fortune, "'One Day at a Time' Is Saved—Pop TV Rescues Canceled Netflix Sitcom for Season 4," 27 June 2019 Car makers in general are lowly valued because investors assume their profits will disappear in the next downturn. Stephen Wilmot, WSJ, "GM Has Overtaken Ford but Investors Haven’t Noticed," 27 Nov. 2018 And higher funding costs haven’t been matched by earnings growth for more lowly rated borrowers. Paul J. Davies, WSJ, "Shorting Loans: A Hedge Against Financial Trouble," 30 Aug. 2018 Wiggins, 31, appeared in court in orange prison scrubs, flip-flops and handcuffs, speaking lowly and showing little emotion. Washington Post, "Suspect accused of burning deputy’s body after killing him," 8 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Sadly, the only human who will give them the time of day is the lowly water seller Wang (Lance Gardner). Karen D'souza, The Mercury News, "Review: Brecht debuts at Cal Shakes with rollicking ‘Good Person of Szechwan’," 8 July 2019 Yes, even the lowly Orioles get an all-star, but Mancini’s place on the roster is no participation trophy. Matt Martell, SI.com, "Who Should Make the AL and NL All-Star Rosters?," 29 June 2019 Because here, as a reminder of what matters, is that salt-of-the-earth lowly contractor who knows what decency is. Dorothy Rabinowitz, WSJ, "‘The Loudest Voice’ Review: A Fox in the Hen House," 27 June 2019 The lowly resource is little more than ground-up rocks, tiny grains of silica and quartz washed down rivers from eroding mountaintops. Paul Salopek, National Geographic, "Inside the deadly world of India’s sand mining mafia," 26 June 2019 And two very lowly servants, played by Lane and Kristine Nielsen, are charged with cleaning up the bodies. David Canfield, EW.com, "Nathan Lane comedy Gary to shutter early on Broadway," 11 June 2019 After being humbled by the lowly Miami Marlins two days in a row, the Milwaukee Brewers bounced back Thursday with their usual home run power. Tom Kertscher, sun-sentinel.com, "Ex-Marlin Yelich’s home run key in preventing Miami sweep in Milwaukee," 6 June 2019 Available July 1 20 of 98 Paul Blart: Mall Cop (2009) A lowly security guard rises to the occasion when his mall is overtaken by criminals. Kathryn Lindsay, refinery29.com, "Everything Coming To Netflix In July," 20 June 2019 In the top of the ninth at Camden Yards, with the Yankees tied with lowly Orioles, Sanchez blasted a line drive into the left field seats. Kristie Ackert, courant.com, "Gary Sanchez is playing old school defense, but is the new school letting him down?," 17 June 2019

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


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for lowly

Last Updated

10 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for lowly

The first known use of lowly was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for lowly



English Language Learners Definition of lowly

: low in rank, position, or importance


\ ˈlō-lē How to pronounce lowly (audio) \
lowlier; lowliest

Kids Definition of lowly

: of low rank or importance: humble a lowly servant

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More from Merriam-Webster on lowly

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with lowly

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for lowly

Spanish Central: Translation of lowly

Nglish: Translation of lowly for Spanish Speakers

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