See also: 'low, low%, Low, łów, and LOW

EnglishEdit

Etymology 1Edit

From Middle English lowe, lohe, lāh, from Old Norse lágr (low), from Proto-Germanic *lēgaz (lying, flat, situated near the ground, low), from Proto-Indo-European *legʰ- (to lie). Cognate with Scots laich (low), Low German leeg (low, feeble, bad), Danish lav (low), Icelandic lágur (low), West Frisian leech (low), North Frisian leeg, liig (low), Dutch laag (low), obsolete German läg (low). More at lie.

PronunciationEdit

AdjectiveEdit

low (comparative lower, superlative lowest)

  1. Situated close to, or even below, the ground or another normal reference plane; not high or lofty.
    standing on low ground
    in a low valley, ringed by low hills
    a low wall a low shelf
    • 2012, Tyler Jo Smith, Dimitris Plantzos, A Companion to Greek Art (→ISBN):
      Narrative friezes in low relief were characteristic of Ionic architecture.
    1. Pertaining to (or, especially of a language: spoken in) in an area which is at a lesser elevation, closer to sea level (especially near the sea), than other regions.
      the low countries Low German
    2. (baseball, of a ball) Below the batter's knees.
      the pitch (or: the ball) was low
  2. Of less than normal height or upward extent or growth, or of greater than normal depth or recession; below the average or normal level from which elevation is measured.
    a low bow
    a low tide
    the Mississippi is unusually low right now
    • 1607 (edition of 1967), Edward Topsell, The history of four-footed beasts:
      It is a little low hearb  []
    • 1795, James Cavanah Murphy, Travels in Portugal, page 15:
      The men are well-proportioned, rather low than tall, have a brown complexion, and reserved countenance.
    • 1911(?), Anthony Trollope, Framley Parsonage, page 13:
      "Now you mention her, I do remember the young lady," said Mrs. Grantly; "a dark girl, very low, and without much figure. She seemed to me to keep very much in the background."
    1. Low-cut.
      • 1878, Mary Eliza Joy Haweis, The Art of Beauty, London : Chatto & Windus, page 83:
        Again, observe the unmeaningness of the low neck fashion. Our mothers wore low dresses and bare arms all day long; they knew if their shoulders and arms were beautiful they would look as well by daylight as by candlelight; []
      • 1917, George Amos Dorsey, Young Low, page 195:
        Why do girls wear low dresses?
  3. Not high in status, esteem, or rank, dignity, or quality. (Compare vulgar.)
    low birth
    low rank
    the low officials of the bureaucracy
    low-quality fabric
    playing low tricks on them
    a person of low mind
    Now that was low even for you!
    • 1971, Keystone Folklore Quarterly, volume 16, page 208:
      Therefore they must have been common in the 16th century also among the folk first of all not as a high festival food but rather as a low festival and Sunday food, if our experience proves accurate.
    • 1720, The Delphick oracle, page 35:
      Low-Sunday, is the Sunday after Easter, and is so call'd, because it is a low Festival in Comparison of that Day whereon Christ arose from Death to Life again.
  4. Humble, meek, not haughty.
    • 1829, Thomas Watson, Discourses on Important and Interesting Subjects:
      God loves an humble soul. It is not our high birth, but our low hearts God delights in.
  5. Disparaging; assigning little value or excellence.
    She had a low opinion of cats. He took a low view of dogs.
    • 1826, Ebenezer Erskine, The Whole Works of the Rev. Ebenezer Erskine, Sermon VII, page 103:
      The humble soul has low thoughts of his own person; as David, 'I am a worm, and no man.'
  6. Being a nadir, a bottom.
    the low point in her career
    • 2012, Faith Hartmann, Only a Fool Would Have Believed It in the First Place (→ISBN):
      Virginia, for example, reached such a low point in her junior year that she briefly considered suicide [...]
  7. Depressed in mood, dejected, sad.
    low spirits
    • 2016, Rick Riordan, The Hammer of Thor, page 33:
      As low as I felt, at least I didn't have Hunding's [miserable] job.
  8. Lacking health or vitality, strength or vivacity; feeble; weak.
    a low pulse
    made (or: laid) low by sickness
  9. Dead. (Compare lay low.)
    • 1830, George Gordon Byron Baron Byron, Byron's Poems, page 511:
      And wilt thou weep when I am low?
    • 1879, Alfred Tennyson Baron Tennyson, Poetical Works, page 198:
      And let the mournful martial music blow; / For many a time in many a clime / The last great Englishman is low.
  10. Small, not high (in amount or quantity, value, force, energy, etc).
    My credit union charges a low interest rate.   Jogging during a whiteout, with such low temperatures and low visibility, is dangerous.   The store sold bread at low prices, and milk at even lower prices.   The contractors gave a low estimate of the costs.   low cholesterol   a low voltage wire   a low number
    • 1989, Bernard Smith, Sailloons and Fliptackers: The Limits to High-speed Sailing (→ISBN):
      Unfortunately, low winds were the rule over the local waters and this craft was no better, if as good, as ordinary sailboats under such conditions.
    • 2013 June 22, “T time”, in The Economist[1], volume 407, number 8841, page 68:
      The ability to shift profits to low-tax countries by locating intellectual property in them, which is then licensed to related businesses in high-tax countries, is often assumed to be the preserve of high-tech companies. […] current tax rules make it easy for all sorts of firms to generate […] “stateless income”: profit subject to tax in a jurisdiction that is neither the location of the factors of production that generate the income nor where the parent firm is domiciled.
    1. Having a small or comparatively smaller concentration of (a substance, which is often but not always linked by "in" when predicative).
      diets low in vitamin A
       
      made from low-carbon steel
    2. Depleted, or nearing deletion; lacking in supply.
      running low on cash
      • 2002, Modern Biogeochemistry, →ISBN, page 151:
        When silica is in low supply other classes of algae dominate the phytoplankton composition.
  11. (especially in biology) Simple in complexity or development.
    low protozoan animals, low cryptogamic plants, and other low organisms
    • 1870, Edward Burnett Tylor, Researches Into the Early History of Mankind and the Development of Civilization, page 80:
      In the case of languages spoken by very low races, like the Puris and the Tasmanians, the difficulty of deciding such a point must be very great.
  12. (chiefly in several set phrases) Favoring simplicity (see e.g. low church, Low Tory).
    • 1881, Anthony Trollope, Dr. Wortle's School: A Novel, page 6:
      Among them there was none more low, more pious, more sincere, or more given to interference. To teach Mr. Worth his duty as a parish clergyman was evidently a necessity to such a bishop.
    • 1889, Reginald Garton Wilberforce, Life of Samuel Wilberforce, Bishop of Oxford and Winchester, page 152:
      [] and give a judgment against not only Denison, but the Church's doctrine; and that, it having once been given, we shall not get it reversed; and that the Church of England will seem to be committed to Low doctrine, which []
  13. (in several set phrases) Being near the equator.
    the low northern latitudes
  14. (acoustics) Grave in pitch, due to being produced by relatively slow vibrations (wave oscillations); flat.
    The note was too low for her to sing.
    Generally, European men have lower voices than their Indian counterparts.
  15. Quiet; soft; not loud.
    They spoke in low voices so I would not hear what they were saying.
    Why would you want to play heavy metal at such a low volume?
  16. (phonetics) Made with a relatively large opening between the tongue and the palate; made with (part of) the tongue positioned low in the mouth, relative to the palate.
  17. (card games) Lesser in value than other cards, denominations, suits, etc.
    a low card
  18. (now rare) Not rich or seasoned; offering the minimum of nutritional requirements; plain, simple. [from 17th c.]
    • 1789, John Moore, Zeluco, Valancourt 2008, p. 173:
      The Physicians ordered a low diet, and cooling ptisans in great abundance.
  19. (of an automobile, gear, etc) Designed for a slow (or the slowest) speed.
    low gear
SynonymsEdit
AntonymsEdit
  • (in a position comparatively close to the ground): high
  • (small in length): tall
Derived termsEdit
Terms derived from low (adjective)
Related termsEdit
TranslationsEdit

NounEdit

low (plural lows)

  1. A low point or position, literally (as, a depth) or or figuratively (as, a nadir, a time when things are at their worst, least, minimum, etc).
    You have achieved a new low in behavior, Frank.
    Economic growth has hit a new low.
    Unemployment has reached a ten-year low.
    • 2020 December 2, Anthony Lambert, “Reimagining Railway Stations”, in Rail, page 38:
      During the 1960s and 1970s, when both the quality of architecture and the appreciation of historic buildings reached an all-time low, British Railways was notorious for replacing good station buildings and canopies with little more than bus shelters, usually in conjunction with de-staffing.
    1. The minimum atmospheric temperature recorded at a particular location, especially during one 24-hour period.
      Today's low was 32 °F.
  2. A period of depression; a depressed mood or situation.
    He is in a low right now.   the highs and lows of bipolar disorder
  3. (meteorology, informal) An area of low pressure; a depression.
    A deep low is centred over the British Isles.
  4. The lowest-speed gearing of a power-transmission system, especially of an automotive vehicle.
    Shift out of low before the car gets to eight miles per hour.
  5. (card games) The lowest trump, usually the deuce; the lowest trump dealt or drawn.
  6. (slang, usually accompanied by "the") A cheap, cost-efficient, or advantageous price.
    He got the brand new Yankees jersey for the low.
Derived termsEdit
Terms derived from low (noun)
TranslationsEdit

AdverbEdit

low (comparative lower, superlative lowest)

  1. Close to the ground.
  2. Of a pitch, at a lower frequency.
  3. With a low voice or sound; not loudly; gently.
    to speak low
  4. Under the usual price; at a moderate price; cheaply.
    He sold his wheat low.
  5. In a low mean condition; humbly; meanly.
    • 2014 October 21, Oliver Brown, “Oscar Pistorius jailed for five years – sport afforded no protection against his tragic fallibilities: Bladerunner's punishment for killing Reeva Steenkamp is but a frippery when set against the burden that her bereft parents, June and Barry, must carry [print version: No room for sentimentality in this tragedy, 13 September 2014, p. S22]”, in The Daily Telegraph (Sport)[2]:
      But ever since the concept of "hamartia" recurred through Aristotle's Poetics, in an attempt to describe man's ingrained iniquity, our impulse has been to identify a telling defect in those brought suddenly and dramatically low.
  6. In a time approaching our own.
  7. (astronomy) In a path near the equator, so that the declination is small, or near the horizon, so that the altitude is small; said of the heavenly bodies with reference to the diurnal revolution.
    The moon runs low, i.e. comparatively near the horizon when on or near the meridian.
Derived termsEdit
Terms derived from low (adverb)
TranslationsEdit

VerbEdit

low (third-person singular simple present lows, present participle lowing, simple past and past participle lowed)

  1. (obsolete, transitive) To lower; to make low.
    • 1654 (edition of 1762), Andrew Gray, The Works of [...] Andrew Gray [Edited by R. Trail and J. Stirling], page 112:
      I shall only say this, that all the other graces must low the sail to faith, and so it is faith must carry us through, being that last triumphing grace, []
    • 1661 (edition of 1885), Joseph Glanvill, Scepsis Scientifica: [...] Vanity of Dogmatizing, page 85:
      Now to use these as Hypotheseis, as himself in his Word, is pleas'd to low himself to our capacities, is allowable:
    • 1790, Andrew Shirrefs, Poems, Chiefly in the Scottish Dialect, page 219:
      The merry fowks that were the ben, / By this time 'gan to low their strain
    • 1807, James Ruickbie, The Way-side Cottager; [...] Miscellaneous Poems, page 178:
      She was quite free of bad inventions, / But was a bitch o high pretenfions, / For the grit folk o' a dimensions, / Ran for her breed; / Dog-officers may low their pensions, / Since Venie's dead, 'Twas past the art o'man to cure her, / []
    • 1899 May 6, Shetland News:
      Dat 'ill be somtin' ta hise an' low wi' a ütterly breeze.

Etymology 2Edit

From Middle English lough, from Old English hlōg, preterite of hliehhan (to laugh). More at laugh.

VerbEdit

low

  1. (obsolete) simple past of laugh.

Etymology 3Edit

From Middle English lowen (to low), from Old English hlōwan (to low, bellow, roar), from Proto-Germanic *hlōaną (to call, shout), from Proto-Indo-European *kelh₁- (to call). Cognate with Dutch loeien (to low), Middle High German lüejen (to roar), dialectal Swedish lumma (to roar), Latin calō (I call), Ancient Greek καλέω (kaléō), Latin clāmō (I shout, claim). More at claim.

PronunciationEdit

VerbEdit

low (third-person singular simple present lows, present participle lowing, simple past and past participle lowed)

  1. (intransitive) To moo.
    The cattle were lowing.
    • 1726, Jonathan Swift, “The Lamentations of Glumdalclitch for the Loss of Grildrig”, in Gulliver's Travels, A Voyage to Brobdingnag:
      In peals of thunder now she roars--and now / She gently whimpers like a lowing cow
    • 1750, Thomas Gray, Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard :
      The lowing herd wind slowly o'er the lea.
    • 1869 May, Anthony Trollope, “The Honourable Mr. Glascock”, in He Knew He Was Right, volume I, London: Strahan and Company, publishers, [], OCLC 1118026626, page 107:
      It would have been a great privilege to be the mistress of an old time-honoured mansion, to call oaks and elms her own, to know that acres of gardens were submitted to her caprices, to look at herds of cows and oxen, and be aware that they lowed on her own pastures.
TranslationsEdit

Etymology 4Edit

From Middle English lowe, loghe, from Old Norse logi (fire, flame, sword), from Proto-Germanic *lugô (flame, blaze), from Proto-Indo-European *lewk- (light). Cognate with Icelandic logi (flame), Swedish låga (flame), Danish lue (flame), German Lohe (blaze, flames), North Frisian leag (fire, flame), Old English līeġ (fire, flame, lightning). More at leye, light.

Alternative formsEdit

PronunciationEdit

NounEdit

low (plural lows)

  1. (countable, Britain, Scotland, dialect) A flame; fire; blaze.
    • 1815, Walter Scott, Guy Mannering, page 85:
      She was, as one of them expressed himself, in a light low (bright flame) when they observed a king's ship, with her colours up, heave in sight from behind the cape. The guns of the burning vessel discharged themselves []
    • 1843, John Wilson, The Noctes Ambrosianœ of "Blackwood"., page 478:
      A boy fell aff his chair a' in a low, for the discharge had set him on fire []
    • 1849, Charlotte Brontë, Shirley, by Currer Bell, page 76:
      [] and he was sure to light of a verse blazing wi' a blue brimstone low that set all straight.
TranslationsEdit

VerbEdit

low (third-person singular simple present lows, present participle lowing, simple past and past participle lowed)

  1. (Britain, Scotland, dialect) To burn; to blaze.
    • 1724 (edition of 1788), Allan Ramsay, The Tea-Table Miscellany, page 23:
      Driest wood will eithest low,
    • 1785, Burns, Robert, The Jolly Beggars:
      They scarcely left to co'er their fuds, / To quench their lowan drouth.
    • 1870, Edward Peacock, Ralf Skirlaugh, the Lincolnshire Squire: A Novel, page 197:
      [] in every crevice; and each individual brick shone and “lowed” with the intense heat. “As I am a Christian man,” thought he, “this is verily the mouth of the pit; and I am lost — lost for ever, for —”
    • 1894, Samuel Rutherford Crockett, The Raiders, page 82:
      Sand, striking a light with his flint and steel, and transferring the flame when it lowed up to the bowl of his tiny elf's pipe, so small that it just let in the top of his little finger as he settled the tobacco in it as it began to burn.
    • 1895, Robert Louis Stevenson, Works, page 382:
      The next I saw, James parried a thrust so nearly that I thought him killed; and it lowed up in my mind that this was the girl's father, and in a manner almost my own, and I drew and ran in to sever them.

Etymology 5Edit

From Old English hlāw, hlǣw (burial mound), from Proto-Germanic *hlaiwaz. Obsolete by the 19th century, survives in toponymy as -low.

PronunciationEdit

Alternative formsEdit

NounEdit

low (plural lows)

  1. (archaic or obsolete) Barrow, mound, tumulus.
    • 1686, Robert Plot, The natural history of Staffordshire:
      A barrow or Low, such as were usually cast up over the bodies of eminent Captains.
  2. (Scottish dialectal, archaic) A hill.
    • 1847, Mary Howitt, Ballads and other poems:
      And some they brought the brown lint-seed, and flung it down from the Low.

AnagramsEdit


ChineseEdit

EtymologyEdit

From English low.

AdjectiveEdit

low

  1. (slang) Of low stature; uncivilized; uncouth.
    low行為 / low行为  ―  hěn low de xíngwèi  ―  highly uncivilized behavior

ManxEdit

EtymologyEdit

Borrowed from English allow.

VerbEdit

low (verbal noun lowal, past participle lowit)

  1. to allow, permit
  2. to justify

AntonymsEdit