Meaning of LOW in English


transcription, транскрипция: [ loʊ ]

( lower, lowest, lows)

Frequency: The word is one of the 700 most common words in English.


Something that is low measures only a short distance from the bottom to the top, or from the ground to the top.

...the low garden wall that separated the front garden from next door...

She put it down on the low table...

The Leisure Center is a long and low modern building.



If something is low , it is close to the ground, to sea level, or to the bottom of something.

He bumped his head on the low beams...

It was late afternoon and the sun was low in the sky...

They saw a government war plane make a series of low-level bombing raids.



When a river is low , it contains less water than usual.

...pumps that guarantee a constant depth of water even when the supplying river is low.

≠ high

ADJ : usu v-link ADJ


You can use low to indicate that something is small in amount or that it is at the bottom of a particular scale. You can use phrases such as in the low 80s to indicate that a number or level is less than 85 but not as little as 80.

British casualties remained remarkably low...

They are still having to live on very low incomes...

The temperature’s in the low 40s.

≠ high



Low is used to describe people who are not considered to be very important because they are near the bottom of a particular scale or system.

She refused to promote Colin above the low rank of ‘legal adviser’.

≠ high

ADJ : usu ADJ n


If something reaches a low of a particular amount or degree, that is the smallest it has ever been.

Eventually my weight stabilised at seven and a half stone after dropping to a low of five and a half stone...

The dollar fell to a new low.

≠ high

N-COUNT : usu sing , oft N of amount


If you drive or ride a bicycle in a low gear, you use a gear, usually first or second, which gives you the most control over your car or bicycle when travelling slowly.

She selected a low gear and started down the track carefully.

≠ high



If the quality or standard of something is low , it is very poor.

A school would not accept low-quality work from any student...

...low-grade coal.

= poor

≠ high



If a food or other substance is low in a particular ingredient, it contains only a small amount of that ingredient.

They look for foods that are low in calories.

≠ high

ADJ : v-link ADJ in n

Low is also a combining form.

...low-sodium tomato sauce...

Low-odour paints help make decorating so much easier.

COMB in ADJ : usu ADJ n


If you describe someone such as a student or a worker as a low achiever, you mean that they are not very good at their work, and do not achieve or produce as much as others.

Low achievers in schools will receive priority.

≠ high



If you have a low opinion of someone or something, you disapprove of them or dislike them.

I have an extremely low opinion of the British tabloid newspapers.

≠ high



You can use low to describe negative feelings and attitudes.

We are all very tired and morale is low...

People had very low expectations.



If a sound or noise is low , it is deep.

Then suddenly she gave a low, choking moan and began to tremble violently...

My voice has got so low now I was mistaken for a man the other day on the phone.

= deep

≠ high



If someone’s voice is low , it is quiet or soft.

Her voice was so low he had to strain to catch it.



A light that is low is not bright or strong.

Their eyesight is poor in low light.

= dim



If a radio, oven, or light is on low , it has been adjusted so that only a small amount of sound, heat, or light is produced.

She turned her little kitchen radio on low...

Buy a dimmer switch and keep the light on low, or switch it off altogether...

Cook the sauce over a low heat until it boils and thickens.



If you are low on something or if a supply of it is low , there is not much of it left.

We’re a bit low on bed linen...

World stocks of wheat were getting very low.

ADJ : v-link ADJ , usu ADJ on n


If you are low , you are depressed. ( INFORMAL )

‘I didn’t ask for this job, you know,’ he tells friends when he is low.

= down



see also lower


If you are lying low , you are hiding or not drawing attention to yourself. ( INFORMAL )

Far from lying low, Kuti became more outspoken than ever.

PHRASE : V inflects


to look high and low: see high

low profile: see profile

to be running low: see run

Collins COBUILD Advanced Learner's English Dictionary.      Английский словарь Коллинз COBUILD для изучающих язык на продвинутом уровне.