low

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English[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

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 leg (low, feeble, bad), Danish lav (low), Icelandic lágur (low), West Frisian leech (low), North Frisian leeg, liig (low), Dutch laag (low), German läge (lying, low). More at lie.

Adjective[edit]

low (comparative lower, superlative lowest)

  1. In a position comparatively close to the ground.
  2. Small in height.
  3. Situated below the normal level, or the mean elevation.
  4. Depressed, sad.
    low spirits
    I felt low at Christmas with no family to celebrate with.
  5. Not high in amount or quantity.
    Food prices are lower in a supermarket than in a luxury department store.
    • 2013 June 22, “T time”, The Economist, 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.
  6. Of a pitch, suggesting a lower frequency.
    Generally, European men have lower voices than their Indian counterparts.
  7. Quiet; soft; not loud.
    They spoke in low voices so I would not hear what they were saying.
  8. Despicable; lacking dignity; vulgar.
    Now that was low even for you!
    a person of low mind
    a low trick or stratagem
  9. Lacking health or vitality; feeble; weak.
    a low pulse
    made low by sickness
  10. Being near the equator.
    the low northern latitudes
  11. Humble in character or status.
    • Milton
      Why but to keep ye low and ignorant?
    • Felton
      In comparison of these divine writers, the noblest wits of the heathen world are low and dull.
  12. Simple in complexity or development.
  13. Designed for the slowest speed, as in low gear.
  14. Articulated with a wide space between the flat tongue and the palette.
  15. (phonetics) Made, as a vowel, with a low position of part of the tongue in relation to the palate.
  16. (archaic) Not rich, highly seasoned, or nourishing; plain; simple.
    a low diet
Synonyms[edit]
Antonyms[edit]
  • (in a position comparatively close to the ground): high
Derived terms[edit]
Translations[edit]

Noun[edit]

low (plural lows)

  1. Something that is low; a low point.
    You have achieved a new low in behavior, Frank.
    Economic growth has hit a new low.
  2. A depressed mood or situation.
    He is in a low right now
  3. (meteorology) An area of low pressure; a depression.
  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 payment or expense.
    He got the brand new Yankees jersey for the low.
Translations[edit]

Adverb[edit]

low (comparative lower, superlative lowest)

  1. Close to the ground.
  2. Of a pitch, at a lower frequency.
    • Shakespeare
      Can sing both high and low.
  3. With a low voice or sound; not loudly; gently.
    to speak low
    • Tennyson
      The [] odorous wind / Breathes low between the sunset and the moon.
  4. Under the usual price; at a moderate price; cheaply.
    He sold his wheat low.
  5. In a low mean condition; humbly; meanly.
  6. In a time approaching our own.
    • John Locke
      In that part of the world which was first inhabited, even as low down as Abraham's time, they wandered with their flocks and herds.
  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.
Translations[edit]

Verb[edit]

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

  1. (obsolete, transitive) To depress; to lower.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Jonathan Swift to this entry?)

Etymology 2[edit]

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

Verb[edit]

low

  1. obsolete simple past tense of laugh.

Etymology 3[edit]

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 *(s)kale-, *klā-, *klē- (to shout, call). Cognate with Dutch loeien (to low), Middle High German lüejen (to roar), Swedish dialectal lumma (to roar), Latin calō (I call), Ancient Greek καλέω (kaléō), Latin clāmō (I shout, claim). More at claim.

Verb[edit]

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

  1. (intransitive) To moo.
    The cattle were lowing.
    • Gray
      The lowing herd wind slowly o'er the lea.
Translations[edit]

Etymology 4[edit]

From Middle English lowe, loghe, from Old Norse logi (fire, flame, sword), from Proto-Germanic *lugô (flame, blaze), from Proto-Indo-European *leuk- (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 forms[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

low (plural lows)

  1. (countable, UK, Scotland, dialect) A flame; fire; blaze.
Translations[edit]

Verb[edit]

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

  1. (UK, Scotland, dialect) To burn; to blaze.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Burns to this entry?)

Etymology 5[edit]

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

Alternative forms[edit]

Noun[edit]

low (plural lows)

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

Statistics[edit]

Anagrams[edit]


Manx[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Borrowing from English allow.

Verb[edit]

low (verbal noun lowal, past participle lowit)

  1. to allow, permit
  2. to justify

Antonyms[edit]