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

Adverb lowly bowing before his king, he accepted his knighthood Adjective He was working as a lowly clerk. He resented his lowly status.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb The players will receive $70 million to $75 million of that windfall in the form of a higher salary cap, but the structure exposes the strange economics of the playoffs, as well as the divergent interests of highly paid and lowly paid players. Ken Belson, New York Times, "N.F.L. Players Split Over Revenue Share and Longer Season as C.B.A. Vote Looms," 3 Mar. 2020 The resulting takeover hopes always looked highly speculative, and any trace of them in Nokia’s lowly valued stock has already been swept away by the coronavirus selloff. Stephen Wilmot, WSJ, "Nokia’s New Boss Must Learn to Fight Huawei," 2 Mar. 2020 According to the most recent UCLA Diversity Report, the share of female screenwriters on all theatrical movies slipped from a lowly 14.1 percent in 2011 to an even lower 12.6 percent in 2017. Steven Zeitchik, Washington Post, "A woman has not won a screenwriting Oscar since the George W. Bush administration. Activists call it a travesty.," 8 Feb. 2020 The company has performed as well as can reasonably be expected—selling aggressively into the U.S. light-truck boom even while preparing its cost structure for a downturn—but its shares are as lowly valued as ever. Stephen Wilmot, WSJ, "Ford Skids Again but Might Yet Pass GM," 5 Feb. 2020 Recent Form As alluded to earlier, Northern Ireland have been on fire in recent months, recording four straight wins in their European Championship Qualifying group, albeit against lowly ranked opponents Belarus and Estonia. SI.com, "Northern Ireland vs Luxembourg: Where to Watch, Buy Tickets, Live Steam, Kick Off Time & Team News," 4 Sep. 2019 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 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Sectors The final building block to discuss is the lowly sector. Jim Salter, Ars Technica, "ZFS 101—Understanding ZFS storage and performance," 8 May 2020 Peyton Manning is a lowly minus-9.1 but — gasp — Tom Brady is minus-7.2. Nat Newell, Indianapolis Star, "Is Colts quarterback Philip Rivers a Hall of Famer?," 7 May 2020 Dirt is the long-gestating sequel to Heat, Buford’s 2006 book about leaving his prestigious job at The New Yorker to become a lowly apprentice in the kitchen of the (now-disgraced) chef Mario Batali. Ryu Spaeth, The New Republic, "Cooking While the World Falls Apart," 30 Apr. 2020 While the White Sox made some major roster improvements inside the division, the Indians will still earn double-digit wins against the lowly Detroit Tigers and Kansas City Royals, while teams like the Boston Red Sox are also down quite a bit. Joe Williams, USA TODAY Sportsbook Wire, "How many games will the Cleveland Indians win in 2020?," 16 Feb. 2020 The 1969 season was Alabama’s worst in a decade, with an October loss to lowly Vanderbilt, and blowout defeats to Tennessee and Auburn. Creg Stephenson | Cstephenson@al.com, al, "What if Paul ‘Bear’ Bryant had taken the Miami Dolphins job in 1970?," 11 May 2020 Wisconsin finished only 8-10 in the Big Ten that year and wasn't a sure thing to make the NCAA field at 17-10 overall and a 3-7 conclusion to the year, including two setbacks against lowly Northwestern. Jr Radcliffe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "50 in 50: UW-Green Bay stuns Cal and Jason Kidd in NCAA Tournament," 24 Apr. 2020 Granted, in the pantheon of Ferrari 250s a 2+2 GTE variant occupies a lowly position in the hierarchy, worth only a small fraction of the eight figures a 250GTO commands. Mike Duff, Car and Driver, "1962 Ferrari 250GTE Police Car That Chased Roman Gangsters Is for Sale," 23 Apr. 2020 Picking up a win Monday against the lowly Golden State Warriors was absolutely critical for a Blazers team that has remained committed to chasing a playoff spot this year, despite a highly disappointing first half to the season. oregonlive, "Trail Blazers classics: Damian Lillard erupts for franchise-record 61 points as Portland beats Golden State Warriors," 5 Apr. 2020

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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Time Traveler for lowly

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for lowly

Last Updated

16 Apr 2020

Cite this Entry

“Lowly.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/lowly. Accessed 4 Jun. 2020.

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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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for lowly

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with lowly

Spanish Central: Translation of lowly

Nglish: Translation of lowly for Spanish Speakers

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