1 adjective
a) having a top that is not far above the ground: He jumped over the low wall. | a long low building
b) at a point that is not far above the ground: low clouds | Put the books on the lowest shelf.
c) below the usual height: a low bridge | The river is low for this time of year.
a) small, or smaller than usual, in amount, value etc: The price of oil is at its lowest for 10 years. | families existing on very low incomes | low-cost/low-budget etc: There's a desperate need for good low-cost housing.
b) low in having less than the usual amount of a substance or chemical: food that is low in calories | low-fat/low-salt etc: I only smoke low-tar cigarettes. | low-alcohol beer
c) in the low 20s/50s etc a number, temperature etc in the low 20s etc is around 21, 22, or 23, but no higher: Daytime temperature will be in the low 30s
3 BELOW USUAL LEVEL small, or smaller than usual, in level or degree: In this sort of investment, the risks are fairly low. | Morale has been low since the latest round of job-cuts. | low-risk/low-priority etc: a low-security prison
4 STANDARDS/QUALITY below an acceptable or usual level or quality: Their safety standards seem to be pretty low. | Cost-cutting has led to a lower quality of service.
5 SUPPLY a supply of something that is low is nearly finished: be/get/run low (on): We're running low on coffee. | Stocks are getting low.
6 SOUND a low voice, sound etc is quiet or deep: I heard a low moaning noise. | The volume is too low - turn it up. | a low whisper
7 LIGHT a light that is low is not bright: low romantic lighting in a restaurant
8 HEAT if you cook something on a low heat or in a low oven, you cook it using only a small amount of heat
9 BATTERY a battery that is low does not have much power left in it
10 CLOTHES a low dress, blouse etc does not cover your neck and the top of your chest
11 UNHAPPY (not before noun) unhappy and without much hope for the future: She's still feeling pretty low about failing that exam. | in low spirits: Terry seems to be in rather low spirits today.
12 DISHONEST old-fashioned or humorous behaviour that is low is not fair or honest: a low trick
13 of low birth/breeding old-fashioned not from a high social class
-see also: be at a low ebb ebb 1 (2) - lowness noun (U) 2 adverb
1 in or to a low position or level: He bent low over the engine. | Turn the heating down low.
2 near the ground: Watch out for low-flying aircraft.
3 if you play or sing musical notes low, you play or sing them with quiet deep notes: Sing those bars an octave lower.
4 search/look high and low informal to look everywhere in order to find something
5 lie low
a) to hide from people who are trying to catch you
b) to wait and try not to be noticed by anyone: Just lie low for a while.
6 lay sb low to knock someone down onto the ground or to make someone feel very weak: laid low by flu
7 be brought low old-fashioned to become much less rich or important
-see also: lowly 3 noun
1 (C) a low price or level: fall to a new low/hit a new low (=be worth less than ever before): The pound has fallen to a new low against the dollar. | all-time low (=much lower or worse than ever before): Profits hit an all-time low this month.
2 (C) a bad situation in someone's personal life: all-time low (=a worse situation than ever before): 1963 marked an all-time low in his family life. | highs and lows (=good times and bad times): the highs and lows in their marriage
3 (countable usually singular)
a) an area of low pressure in the air: a low moving in over the Pacific
b) a low temperature: The overnight low will be 8ºC.
4 the lowest of the low
a) informal someone you think is completely unfair, cruel, immoral etc: Property barons are among the lowest of the low.
b) often humorous someone from a low social class
4 verb (I) especially literary if cattle low, they make a deep sound

Longman dictionary of contemporary English. 2004.


Look at other dictionaries:

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