General English

General Science

  • adjective below a usual or expected value or amount


  • noun a sound made by a cow
  • verb to make a sound.



  • noun a point where prices or sales are very small

Cars & Driving

  • noun
    (written as Low)
    a driving gear ratio for hilly terrain; the top gear is not engaged, and the engine brake takes effect.
  • symbolL
    (written as Low)


  • Having a small degree of a given magnitude, quantity, or characteristic. Also, having a smaller degree of a magnitude, quantity, or characteristic relative to something else. For example, low voltage, low impedance, or the like.
  • On the lower end of a given interval or spectrum. Also, that part of an interval or spectrum which is lesser than another. For instance, the frequencies which a high-pass filter blocks, as opposed to those it transmits.
  • In a binary operation, a 0, which also corresponds to off, as opposed to high, which corresponds to 1, or on.


  • The smallest price level of a currency pair, financial instrument or commodity over a specified period of time. For example, a low for the U.S. Dollar was reached against the Japanese Yen at 0.7641 in early 2011.


  • adjective relatively little in height
  • adjective close to the bottom or base of something


  • adjective relating to type or blocks which are not as high as the forme and have to be raised by interlaying


  • adjective small, not high

Origin & History of “low”

English has two words low, of which surprisingly the ‘noise made by cattle’ (OE) is the older. It goes back ultimately to the onomatopoeic Indo-European base *klā-. this also produced Latin clārus (which originally meant ‘loud’, and gave English clear and declare), clāmāre ‘cry out’ (source of English acclaim, claim, exclaim, etc), and calāre ‘proclaim, summon’ (source of English council). It produced a prehistoric Germanic *khlō-, whose only survivor other than English low is Dutch loeien.

Low ‘not high’ (12th c.) was borrowed from Old Norse lágr (source also of Swedish låg ‘low’). This goes back to a prehistoric Germanic *lǣgjaz, which was derived from the same base as produced the English verb lie ‘recline’.