Meaning of LOW in English


I. ˈlō noun

( -s )

Etymology: Middle English, from Old English hlāw, hlǣw — more at law

archaic : hill , mound ; specifically : a burial mound

II. “ sometimes ˈlü verb

( -ed/-ing/-s )

Etymology: Middle English loowen, from Old English hlōwan; akin to Old Low Franconian luon, luogin to moo, Old High German hluoen to moo, Latin calare to call, summon, Greek kalein to call, Lithuanian kalbà language

intransitive verb

1. of cattle : to make the usually deep sustained sound characteristic of cows and other bovine animals : moo

2. : to make a sound suggestive of the lowing of cattle

that's what I would say, and they would low with pleasure — E.L.Burdick

transitive verb

: to utter with a lowing sound

III. noun

( -s )

: the usually deep sustained sound characteristic of cows and other bovine animals

the low of herds — William Wordsworth

IV. ˈlō adjective

( -er/-est )

Etymology: Middle English low, lowe, from lah, from Old Norse lāgr; akin to Old Frisian lēch low, Middle Dutch lage, Middle High German læge low, flat, Russian lezt' to climb, and perhaps to Old Norse liggja to lie — more at lie



(1) : having a relatively small upward extension : extending upward or outward relatively little

a man of low stature

a low building

a low wall

low relief

(2) : situated, placed, or passing relatively little above the line, point, or plane with relation to which reckoning is made

a low bridge

a bird of low flight

(3) now chiefly dialect : not tall : short

a low , fat man — Vance Randolph & G.P.Wilson

about forty, low , corpulent — Anne Royall

(4) : having a low neck : décolleté

a low dress

also : low-cut

a low shoe

(5) : articulated with a wide opening between the comparatively flat tongue and the palate : open

the sounds ä ȧ a are low


(1) : situated relatively below the normal level, surface, or base of measurement, or the mean elevation

low ground

the low levels in a mine

(2) : of or relating to the lowlands especially near the seashore — now used chiefly in fixed phrases

the Low Countries

(3) : having less than or being below or farthest below the usual or normal height

the water is low in the reservoir

— compare low tide , low water

(4) : being near the horizon

the afternoon sun is low at four o'clock in winter


(1) : dead , lifeless — now usually used in the phrase lay low

keen swords and sharp arrows laid the enemy low

(2) : prostrate — usually used in the phrase lay low

laid low for weeks by a severe illness

laid him low with one mighty stroke of his staff

(3) : abased , humbled — usually used in the phrase bring low

added that he kept a list of all his opponents and … would bring them low — Evelyn G. Cruickshanks

(4) : not prosperous : poor , embarrassed, backward

sought to account for the low state of the higher studies in this country

was low financially — Arthur Godfrey

d. : passing far downward

a low swoop

a low obeisance



(1) : of or relating to the lower classes : socially or economically humble or inferior

a person of low birth

women of low degree — H.M.Parshley

loved by all his parishioners, high and low

also : associated with lower class status : ignoble , plebeian

these tasks become … too low to be performed by the native — B.K.Sandwell

(2) : ranking as poor or inferior by some standard : inferior

a man of low intelligence

results in the domination of news by low intellectual and moral standards — F.L.Mott

groups of the population with low personal hygiene — E.C.Faust

(3) : lacking dignity or elevation : ordinary , commonplace , prosaic

distinguished between the high and the low style … the latter assigned to the realism of every day life — William Barrett

have used abbreviations freely in this letter. Do you think them low — O.W.Holmes †1935

(4) : characterized by burlesque, horseplay, and broad or farcical humor : bordering on farce

low comedy

(5) : culturally inferior by some standard : little advanced in civilization

savages of a low Negrito type — Encyc. Americana

(6) : having a relatively simple organization : not highly developed in the scale of biological evolution

low organisms

no remains of … low forms of man have been found here — S.E.Morison & H.S.Commager

(7) usually capitalized : Low Church

who was very Low, would forget for a moment her annoyance at the ecclesiastical lace — Osbert Lancaster


(1) : morally reprehensible : base , mean

that was a low trick

marked by a certain low cunning

also : striking below the belt : foul

a low blow

(2) : degraded , abandoned , dissolute , disreputable

a low public house — Newsweek

intrigues with low women — Benjamin Franklin

(3) : lacking in or reflecting lack of refinement or breeding : coarse , vulgar

low in her tastes and aspirations, low in her likes and dislikes — Joseph Furphy

sporting events of a low type — G.M.Trevelyan

scenes of would-be comedy from illiterate low characters — Leslie Rees

that's a low word

(4) : not conforming to some standard of correctness or propriety

the low language is the everyday language — Miguel Covarrubias


(1) : lacking strength, health, or vitality : feeble , weak

he was very low — Granville Toogood

a low pulse

(2) : not rich or highly seasoned : not nourishing : plain , simple

a low diet

(3) : lacking spirit or vivacity : depressed , dejected

felt too low even to remonstrate — Louis Auchincloss

: marked by dejection or depression

in a low state of mind — J.C.Lincoln

better than he thought in low moments — Times Literary Supplement

d. : unfavorable , disparaging

had a low opinion of his talents

3. : deficient, inferior, or unusually small in quantity, intensity, value, or degree: as

a. : less than normal : not intense : moderate

low barometric pressure

low speed

low visibility

a low fever

a low conductor of heat

valleys … low in lime — Walter Bally


(1) : not loud : soft

spoke in a very low voice — Katharine N. Burt

(2) : depressed in musical pitch : flat

(3) : relating to those musical notes or tones in the contraoctave especially in singing

low G


(1) : numerically small : not high in amount

the illiteracy rate is very low

a low number

deal me a low card

(2) : being beneath a rate, amount, or value considered normal, standard, or adequate by some criteria

persons of low income group

low wages

low prices

specifically : cheap

that's a very low price for that suit

(3) : relatively small or too small : moderate

gave me a very low estimate

(4) : nearly exhausted : depleted, short

left me when the coal was low — New Republic

the stores being so low — R.L.Stevenson

very low in pocket

d. : being near or not very distant from the equator

the low northern latitudes

e. : being relatively near the beginning of a series of chemical compounds arranged in order of increasing molecular weight or of increasing valence of the chief constituent

lower fatty acids

— compare high 1b 7

f. : designed for slow or usually the slowest speed ; specifically : giving the lowest ratio of propeller-shaft to engine-shaft speed and the highest amplification of torque

low gear

g. : not lively : slow

published … at very low tempo because of lack of funds — Mortimer Graves

a steady, dignified low dance — Anatole Chujoy

4. : very low : making a nadir : lowest

surely the low point of the entire period — Philles Nash

organized religion has reached a low point in its history — Humanist

Synonyms: see base

V. noun

( -s )

Etymology: Middle English, from lah, from lah, adjective — more at low IV

: something that is low: as

a. : a piece of low-lying level ground — usually used in plural

many lows growing dense reedbeds — Douglas Carruthers

b. : low speed


(1) : the lowest card of the trump suit or the lowest trump card in play counting one point in all forms and related games

(2) : the lowest number, card, or score in a game ; also : the player having low

d. : a domain of low barometric pressure — compare cyclone 1a

e. : lowest prices of a movement

buy stocks at the low

f. : a nadir of decline or degradation

whose report card marks a new low — Ralph Linton

prestige, power, and reputation plummet to new lows — Neal Stanford

membership is at an all-time low — Sydney (Australia) Bulletin

VI. adverb

( -er/-est )

Etymology: Middle English lowe, from lahe, lage, from lah, adjective — more at low IV

1. : in or to a low position : not on high : near the ground

the village is nestled low in the foothills of the great range

2. : to or toward a low position : in a low direction or course

aim your blows low


a. : in subjection, poverty, or disgrace

brought low by misfortune


(1) : in a low or poor condition : humbly , meagerly

on that income you must live very low

(2) : at a low rate

don't value yourself too low

4. : at a relatively low price : cheaply

sell wheat low


a. : with a low voice or sound : not loudly : softly

speak low

b. : with a low musical pitch or tone

6. archaic : late

VII. noun

or lowe “

( -s )

Etymology: Middle English, from Old Norse log, logi flame; akin to Old Frisian loga flame, Middle High German lohe flame, Gothic liuhath light — more at light

chiefly Scotland : flame , blaze , glow

VIII. verb

or lowe “

Etymology: Middle English lowen, from Old Norse loga, from logi, n.

Scotland : flame , blaze , glow

IX. ˈlau̇ verb

( -ed/-ing/-s )

Etymology: by shortening

dialect : allow

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.