Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

low - definition and synonyms


What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.



The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

adjective  /loʊ/
Word Forms
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  1. 1
    small in height, or smaller than the usual height
    1. a.
      not far above the ground

      The plane was very low.

      low clouds

    2. b.
      used about the level of water in a river or the ocean

      The tide is low.

  2. 2
    small in amount or level

    The bigger stores are able to keep their prices low.

    Cook it for five minutes on a low heat.

    in the low 20s/30s etc. (=between 20 and 25):

    Temperatures are usually around the low 30s at this time of year.

    1. b.
      used about supplies of things when a lot has been used

      Stocks were so low that many of the shelves in the store were empty.

      run/get low (on something):

      A message appears on the screen when you’re running low on disk space.

    2. c.
      used about equipment that is not producing much energy, or that has not got much energy left

      There was music on and the lights were low.

      run/get low:

      Most phones tell you when the battery is running low.

    3. d.
      used about the quality or standard of something

      The standard of housing in some areas is very low.

    4. e.
      used about the importance or status of something

      Doing the garden is fairly low on my list of priorities.

      low-priority (=much less important than other things):

      Food will not be sent to low-priority areas until next week.

  3. 3
    someone who is low feels unhappy and does not have much hope or confidence
    low spirits:

    It was unlike her to be in such low spirits.

    1. a.
      used about someone who does not have much energy

      It’s the kind of illness that leaves you feeling low for a few days.

      Synonyms and related words
    2. b.
      used about someone’s negative attitude

      Sandra’s problem is she has really low expectations.

      Morale is really low in the office.

      He has a very low opinion of his colleagues (=thinks they are not very good).

  4. 6
    a piece of clothing that is low shows your neck and a lot of your chest

derived word


noun [uncountable]

Open Dictionary


the activity of exploring abandoned buildings and other manmade structures

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog
Macmillan learn live love play