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 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 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 Predicted by many pundits to finish ahead of only the lowly Miami Marlins in the division, the Braves won their second consecutive NL East title in 2019. Tim Darnell, ajc, "9 for 2019: Top sports stories," 9 Dec. 2019 Philly's offense managed just 13 points in its final two games without Wentz after a mirage performance against the lowly Giants in Week 15. Nate Davis, USA TODAY, "NFL MVP tracker: Rams' Todd Gurley overtakes Patriots' Tom Brady in final poll," 3 Jan. 2018 Though the offensive output was a major improvement over the 85 points scored in Saturday's loss to the lowly New York Knicks, the problem remains getting stops on defense. J. Michael, Indianapolis Star, "Indiana Pacers wilt under relentless 3-point shooting of Dallas Mavericks," 4 Feb. 2020 But a strange thing happened as James and worked the crowd into a frenzy — his team didn’t play that well and went into halftime tied with the lowly Knicks. Dan Woike, Los Angeles Times, "LeBron James can score at will, but it’s his other talent that separates him from most," 25 Jan. 2020 Dalton led Cincinnati to a win over the lowly New York Jets on Sunday. Dave Birkett, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Lions draft watch: Up to No. 6 pick now as Chase Young dream lives on," 2 Dec. 2019 Realists will counter that the same standings showed the Bulls merely 1½ games ahead of the lowly Knicks, who beat them at Madison Square Garden. David Haugh, chicagotribune.com, "Column: The Bulls are a mess. Any hopes for a turnaround hinge on Zach LaVine and Lauri Markkanen taking big steps together.," 27 Nov. 2019 That makes sense for Cleveland — its failures against Tennessee were bad enough that a win against the lowly Jets did not make up for it. Benjamin Hoffman, New York Times, "N.F.L. Week 3 Predictions: Our Picks Against the Spread," 20 Sep. 2019 The Americans opened the tournament with a record 13-0 rout of lowly Thailand, triggering debate over whether the celebrations after each goal were excessive. Anne M. Peterson, Twin Cities, "United States defeats Netherlands 2-0 for record fourth Women’s World Cup title," 7 July 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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Time Traveler for lowly

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

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Last Updated

20 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Lowly.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/lowly. Accessed 25 Feb. 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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