low-key

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See also: low key

English[edit]

A low-key photograph of a cat.
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Etymology[edit]

From key light.

Adjective[edit]

low-key (comparative more low-key, superlative most low-key)

  1. restrained, subtle, not trying to attract attention
    • She deserves an Oscar for her low-key performance in that movie.
  2. (photography) dark, with little or no fill light and high lighting ratio.

Usage notes[edit]

While both low-key and high-key are commonly used in photography, high-key is not used in everyday usage. The term mid-key also exists in photography, but is much rarer.

Antonyms[edit]

Coordinate terms[edit]