• WordNet 3.6
    • adj lowly of low birth or station (`base' is archaic in this sense) "baseborn wretches with dirty faces","of humble (or lowly) birth"
    • adj lowly inferior in rank or status "the junior faculty","a lowly corporal","petty officialdom","a subordinate functionary"
    • adj lowly used of unskilled work (especially domestic work)
    • adj lowly low or inferior in station or quality "a humble cottage","a lowly parish priest","a modest man of the people","small beginnings"
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The full name of Harriet Beecher Stowe's novel Uncle Tom's Cabin is actually Uncle Tom's Cabin; or, Life Among the Lowly.
    • Lowly Having a low esteem of one's own worth; humble; meek; free from pride. "Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me, for I am meek and lowly in heart."
    • Lowly In a low condition; meanly. "I will show myself highly fed, and lowly taught."
    • Lowly In a low manner; humbly; meekly; modestly. "Be lowly wise."
    • Lowly Low in rank or social importance. "One common right the great and lowly claims."
    • Lowly Not high; not elevated in place; low. "Lowly lands."
    • Lowly Not lofty or sublime; humble. "These rural poems, and their lowly strain."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • lowly Not high or elevated; depressed in altitude, situation, or position; lying or being low.
    • lowly Not of a high order or degree; of humble rank or kind; hence, unpretending; rude; mean: as, a lowly swain; a lowly cottage.
    • lowly Humble in manner or spirit; free from pride: modest; meek.
    • lowly Synonyms Modest, resigned, submissive, mild.
    • lowly In a humble manner or condition; humbly; meekly; modestly.
    • lowly Without distinction or dignity; meanly.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • Lowly of a low or humble mind: not high: meek: modest
    • ***


  • J. G. Ballard
    “Pop artists deal with the lowly trivia of possessions and equipment that the present generation is lugging along with it on its safari into the future.”
  • Felicia D. Hemans
    Felicia D. Hemans
    “There's beauty all around our paths, if but our watchful eyes can trace it midst familiar things, and through their lowly guise.”
  • William Wordsworth
    “The flower that smells the sweetest is shy and lowly.”
  • Cecil F. Alexander
    Cecil F. Alexander
    “The rich man in his castle, the poor man at his gate, God made them, high or lowly, and ordered their estate.”
  • Ambrose Bierce
    “A lowly virtue whereby mediocrity achieves a glorious success.”
  • Bible
    “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart; and you shall find rest for your souls.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
Low, (a.) + -ly,
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Ice. lágr, Dut. laag, low; allied to A.S. licgan, to lie.


In literature:

Next to prostration lowly bowed the Captain.
"Clarissa, Volume 5 (of 9)" by Samuel Richardson
What "lowly flowers are often fairest"?
"De La Salle Fifth Reader" by Brothers of the Christian Schools
In its modesty it bloomed, in its lowly bed it sought no observation, and was passed by as a simple white clover.
"Our Gift" by Teachers of the School Street Universalist Sunday School, Boston
How pleasing is the Contemplation of the lowly Steps our Almighty Leader took in conducting us to his heavenly Mansions!
"The Spectator, Volume 2." by Addison and Steele
It is very difficult, I know," said Helen; "but we are taught to possess a meek and lowly spirit.
"The Pearl Box" by "A Pastor"
Think what rich dreams may haunt those lowly roofs!
"The Saint's Tragedy" by Charles Kingsley
Better, better to be of a lowly spirit.
"Town and Country Sermons" by Charles Kingsley
At the same time, the merit of Mr. Inglis's Gil Blas must not be lowly rated.
"The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction." by Various
With a trembling hand he knocked at the lowly door.
"The Young Emigrants; Madelaine Tube; The Boy and the Book; and Crystal Palace" by Susan Anne Livingston Ridley Sedgwick
It is very difficult, I know, said Helen; but we are taught to possess a meek and lowly spirit.
"The Pearl Box" by A Pastor

In poetry:

Meekly Emily's head is hung,
Many a sigh from her bosom breaks,
And ne'er such pitiful tune was sung
As that her lowly lullaby makes.
"Little Cyrus" by Alice Cary
Lowly temple and torii,
Shrine where the spirits of wind and wave
Find the worship and glory we
Give to the one God great and grave--
"Shinto" by Cale Young Rice
To you, this night, is born a Child
Of Mary, chosen mother mild;
This tender Child of lowly birth,
Shall be the joy of all your earth.
"From Heaven Above to Earth I Come" by Martin Luther
To shepherds as they watched by night
Appeared a host of angels bright;
Behold the tender Babe, they said,
In yonder lowly manger laid.
"To Shepherds As They Watched" by Martin Luther
A little Child, Thou art our Guest,
That weary ones in Thee may rest;
Forlorn and lowly is Thy birth;
That we may rise to Heaven from earth.
"All Praise to Thee, Eternal Lord" by Martin Luther
The meek, the still, the lowly mind,
O may I learn from thee, my God,
And love, with softest pity joined,
For those that trample on thy blood!
"Hymn XXIII: Extended on a Cursed Tree" by Charles Wesley

In news:

Arsenal fell to lowly Bradford City on penalty kicks in the League Cup on Tuesday.
4 Oregon, which scored eight touchdowns in the first half of a 70-14 rout of lowly Colorado.
This weekend's game against the lowly Browns isn't what you'd call a "marquee match-up".
When I joined the staff of National Review as a lowly associate in 1984, the magazine — and the conservative movement itself — was a fusion of two different mentalities.
Lowly Pistons can't copycat Tigers' move.
Hayden Schenck led Weber to a narrow victory with 30 points as the Warriors survived a lowly second half.
US field hockey crushed by lowly South Africa.
Which is a bit of an ironic statement if you think about it, all the usual favorites (save the lowly NY Mets) were in the baseball playoff hunt up until the very end.
Terry Collins is short on solutions after the Mets' freefall continued with a 3-1 loss to the lowly Houston Astros on Friday night at Citi Field.
Syrian siren Sheheradaze "Sherry" Jaafari: Assad's top aide, or lowly intern.
Kyrie Irving scores 28 points as Cavaliers beat Kobe , lowly Lakers 100-94.
Kyrie Irving scores 28 points as Cavaliers beat Kobe, lowly Lakers 100-94.
They took another beating Tuesday night, setting a new standard for lowly losses this season by falling to the already fallen.
OSU preps for lowly Kansas.
4 Ducks begin work on the lowly Buffs.

In science:

The absence of lowlying spin-degenerate states clearly indicates the absence of pairing correlations.
Spin Structure of Many-Body Systems with Two-Body Random Interactions
Furthermore, we have shown that there are strong correlations between wave functions and energies of lowlying states of different spin quantum number.
Spin Structure of Many-Body Systems with Two-Body Random Interactions
It might seem that complete spectra might best be measured by using a variety of reactions as done for the spectroscopy of low–lying states.
Random Matrices and Chaos in Nuclear Physics
The high–spin states that were analyzed so far lie up to a few 100 keV above the yrast line and, for that value of J , represent low–lying excited states.
Random Matrices and Chaos in Nuclear Physics
FIG. 9 The domains of excitation energy Ex and mass number A where spectral fluctuations have been investigated are shown for four classes of states (resonances, low–lying states, high–spin states, and states that belong to a complete spectrum.
Random Matrices and Chaos in Nuclear Physics