Main definitions of lower in English

: lower1lower2lower3



  • 1

    comparative of low
  • 2Less high.

    ‘the lower levels of the building’
    ‘managers lower down the hierarchy’
    • ‘Resuscitation may have dislodged it and allowed minute food particles to pass into the lower respiratory tract.’
    • ‘The proposal for a new building had a more plausible scale and circulation pattern in a somewhat lower structure.’
    bottom, bottommost, under, underneath, further down, beneath, nether
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    1. 2.1(of an animal or plant) showing relatively primitive or simple characteristics.
    2. 2.2Geology Archaeology Denoting an older (and hence usually deeper) part of a stratigraphic division or archaeological deposit or the period in which it was formed or deposited.
      ‘Lower Cretaceous’
      ‘Lower Paleolithic’
  • 3(in place names) situated on less high land or to the south or toward the sea.

    ‘the sweatshops of the Lower East Side’


  • In or into a lower position.

    ‘the sun sank lower’

Main definitions of lower in English

: lower1lower2lower3



  • 1 Move (someone or something) in a downward direction.

    ‘he watched the coffin being lowered into the ground’
    • ‘A mere glance upwards at a bright lamp caused it to lower from the domed ceiling.’
    • ‘So ski patrollers finally slid along the cables, fitted the passengers with harnesses and lowered them to the ground one by one.’
    • ‘A white disc is lowered into the water until it can no longer be seen.’
    • ‘The eagle touched down, and the platform slowly lowered down to the ground.’
    • ‘Mona stood still as the casket was lowered slowly into the ground.’
    • ‘In Germany flags were lowered to half-mast at federal buildings.’
    • ‘He lowered his hand, moving his focus to the paints and pencils and brushes that had been forgotten for so long.’
    • ‘As they watched, screens lowered from the ceiling to show the battle.’
    • ‘Mules, lowered by rope down the narrow shaft into the mine, were used in the early mining operations.’
    • ‘The first panel had been lowered into place and was being anchored.’
    • ‘He turned to tap on his laptop and a plasma screen lowered from the ceiling.’
    • ‘Upon the third ring, my other hand released his and I lowered my fist, moving away from the elder man and back to my laptop.’
    • ‘The national red-and-white flag was then lowered to half-mast.’
    • ‘He stood by as baskets of mutton and fish were lowered in together like coffins in a communal grave.’
    • ‘The new sonar is carefully lowered by crane into the water.’
    • ‘He gently lowered her head from his shoulder onto the pillow and got off the bed.’
    • ‘Everyone watched in silence as the Stars and Stripes and the Union flag were lowered to half-mast.’
    • ‘Amidst the drizzle and the strong winds, the box was lowered into the water.’
    • ‘He gently lowered his head and rested it on the cold glass.’
    • ‘Villagers cheered as the building was lowered by crane off a flatbed lorry.’
    move down, let down, take down, haul down, drop, let fall, let sink
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    1. 1.1Make or become less in amount, intensity, or degree.
      [with object] ‘traffic speeds must be lowered’
      ‘she lowered her voice to a whisper’
      [no object] ‘temperatures lowered’
      soften, modulate, quieten, hush, tone down, muffle, turn down, mute
      reduce, decrease, lessen, bring down, diminish, curtail, prune, ease up on, cause to fall, slim down, mark down, cut, slash, axe
      subside, recede, ebb, wane
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    2. 1.2Behave in a way that is perceived as unworthy or debased.
      • ‘I can't imagine the French lowering themselves to pay more attention to him than the other street performers on Parisian streets.’
      • ‘It makes perfect sense for supermodels to love me, but there's really no reason for them to be lowering themselves to fools like Pete.’
      • ‘She will not regard it as lowering herself, or pandering to the male chauvinist ego.’
      • ‘And so what if the media have lowered themselves to airing snuff films in an effort to boost ratings?’
      • ‘You have lowered yourself to an extent I didn't think was conceivable.’
      • ‘Faced with the EU's biggest crisis for two decades - the French and Dutch rejection of the constitution - European politicians and much of the media are lowering themselves to the occasion.’
      • ‘He lowers himself and the book by covering these topics.’
      • ‘But does it not say something if they are still trying to get more money by lowering themselves to prostitution?’
      • ‘Apparently that friend saw Lindt's photo on my blog and felt Lindt was lowering himself to be associated with a empty vessel like myself.’
      • ‘I think my greatest disappointment was really the commissioners' behavior with regard to lowering themselves to partisan politics.’
      degrade, debase, demean, abase, humble, humiliate, downgrade, discredit, shame, dishonour, disgrace
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  • lower the boom on

    • 1informal Treat or reprimand (someone) severely.

      • ‘They lowered the boom on him, for no particular reason, after a snap decision that only took a few months.’
      • ‘His edgy temper flared again on April 18, when he lowered the boom on a dry cleaner.’
      • ‘He came in and lowered the boom on a lot of people, and he didn't let people off the hook just because they were friendly or nice.’
      • ‘Let the credit card companies eat it for a while by telling them to tighten their new credit requirements - don't just suddenly lower the boom on people.’
      • ‘He was walking through the halls of the Department of Energy when an acquaintance came up to him and said, ‘Has Frank lowered the boom on you yet?’’
      • ‘He says he simply forgot about memos in his own hand in 1981 and 1984 that show him lowering the boom on two previously undisclosed priests accused of molestation.’
      1. 1.1Put a stop to (an activity)
        ‘let's lower the boom on high-level corruption’
        • ‘We just need to get a lock on power for another four years, and then we'll lower the boom on big government.’
        • ‘He can scarce contain his glee as he is lauded him for lowering the boom on government troughing.’

Main definitions of lower in English

: lower1lower2lower3


(also lour)


  • 1 Look angry or sullen; frown.

    ‘the lofty statue lowers at patients in the infirmary’
    • ‘Two guys worked the kitchen - a dark, lowering, Heathcliffy fellow and a chirpy-looking, more English chap in glasses.’
    scowl, frown, look sullen, glower, glare, grimace, give someone black looks, look daggers, look angry
    give someone dirty looks
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    1. 1.1(of the sky, weather, or landscape) look dark and threatening.
      ‘a day of lowering clouds’
      • ‘While their only rivals Sheffield Collegiate overcame the sea fret at Hull, Harrogate raced to beat dark, lowering Wolds cloud at Driffield.’
      • ‘The sky was a leaden gray, darkening and lowering towards the west, promising rain.’
      overcast, dark, leaden, grey, cloudy, clouded, sunless, gloomy, threatening, menacing, promising rain
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  • 1A scowl.

    1. 1.1A dark and gloomy appearance of the sky, weather or landscape.


Middle English: of unknown origin.