low: Meaning and Definition of


Pronunciation: (lō), [key]
— adj., adv., n. -er, -est, -er, -est,
  1. situated, placed, or occurring not far above the ground, floor, or base: a low shelf.
  2. of small extent upward; not high or tall: A low wall surrounds the property.
  3. not far above the horizon, as a planet: The moon was low in the sky.
  4. lying or being below the general level: low ground.
  5. designating or pertaining to regions near sea level, esp. near the sea: low countries.
  6. bending or passing far downward; deep: a low bow.
  7. (of a garment) low-necked; décolleté: The dress she wore was fashionably low.
  8. rising but slightly from a surface: a low relief on a frieze.
  9. of less than average or normal height or depth, as a liquid or stream: The river is low this time of year.
  10. near the first of a series: a low number.
  11. ranked near the beginning or bottom on some scale of measurement: a low income bracket.
  12. indicating the bottom or the point farthest down: the low point in his creative life.
  13. lacking in strength, energy, or vigor; feeble; weak: to feel low and listless.
  14. providing little nourishment or strength, as a diet.
  15. of small number, amount, degree, force, intensity, etc.: low visibility; a generator with a low output.
  16. indicated or represented by a low number: A low latitude is one relatively near the equator.
  17. soft: subdued; not loud: a low murmur.
  18. produced by relatively slow vibrations, as sounds; grave in pitch.
  19. assigning or attributing little worth, value, excellence, or the like: a low estimate of a new book.
  20. containing a relatively small amount: a diet low in starches.
  21. nearing depletion; not adequately supplied: low on funds; Our stock of towels is low.
  22. depressed or dejected: low spirits.
  23. far down in the scale of rank or estimation; humble: of low birth.
  24. of inferior quality or character: a low grade of fabric; a low type of intellect.
  25. lacking in dignity or elevation, as of thought or expression.
  26. mean, base, or disreputable: low tricks; low companions.
  27. coarse or vulgar: entertainment of a low sort.
  28. struck or delivered below a contestant's belt.
  29. having a relatively simple structure; not complex in organization.
  30. (of a vowel) articulated with a relatively large opening above the tongue, as the vowels of hat, hut, hot, ought, etc. Cf. high (def. 23).
  31. of, pertaining to, or operating at the gear transmission ratio at which the drive shaft moves at the lowest speed with relation to the speed of the engine crankshaft, used esp. for temporarily overcoming the weight or inertia of the vehicle; first: low gear.
  32. (of a pitched ball) passing the plate at a level below that of the batter's knees: a low curve.
  33. having less value than other cards: a low card.
  34. having a relatively small amount of a specified constituent (usually used in combination): low-carbon steel.
  35. holding to Low Church principles and practices.
  1. in or to a low position, point, degree, etc.: The raiders crouched low in the bushes.
  2. near the ground, floor, or base; not aloft: The plane flew low.
  3. in or to a humble or abject state: Some live low while others live high. She swore she would bring him low.
  4. in or to a condition of depletion, prostration, or death: The gas in the tank is running low.
  5. at comparatively small cost; cheaply: to buy something low and sell it high.
  6. at or to a low pitch, volume, intensity, etc.: to turn the radio low; lights turned down low.
  7. in a low tone; softly; quietly; to speak low.
  8. far down in time; late.
  9. to lay one's attackers low.
    1. to overpower or kill; defeat:to lay one's attackers low.
    2. to knock down; make prostrate.
    3. lie low.
  10. He had to lie low for a while.
    1. to conceal oneself:He had to lie low for a while.
    2. to do nothing until the right opportunity develops; bide one's time:Until the dispute is settled, you would do best to lie low.
  1. something that is low, as ground or prices: numerous marshy lows in the forest; the recent low in the stock market.
  2. low gear; first gear.
  3. an atmospheric low-pressure system; cyclone. Cf. high (def. 41).
    1. the lowest trump card.
    2. a card of small value, or of lower value than other cards.
    3. the lowest score in a game.
    4. a player having such a score.
  4. a point of deepest decline, vulgarity, etc.: a new low in tastelessness.
  5. a period of intense depression or discomfort, when the effects of a drug have subsided.


Pronunciation: (lō), [key]
— v.i.
  1. to utter the deep, low sound characteristic of cattle; moo.
  1. to utter by or as by lowing.
  1. the act or the sound of lowing: the low of a distant herd.


Pronunciation: (lō), [key]
— v.i. Brit. Dial.
  1. to burn; blaze.
  2. (of a person) to feel strong emotions; glow with excitement.


Pronunciation: (lō), [key]
— n.
  1. 1891–1963, English political cartoonist, born in New Zealand.
  2. 1860–1927, founder of Girl Scouts in the U.S.
  3. 1850–1916, U.S. political reformer, educator, and politician.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
See also:
  • low (Thesaurus)