Etymology
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low-profile (adj.)

1957, in reference to automobile wheels, from low (adj.) + profile (n.). General sense is by 1970 in American English, apparently first in reference to Nixon Administration policy of partial U.S. disengagement from burdensome commitments abroad.

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low-class (adj.)

1868, from low (adj.) + class (n.). Earlier were low-born (c. 1200), low-bred (1757).

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low-budget (adj.)

1939, originally of motion pictures, "made with little expense;" from low (adj.) + budget (n.). Usually with a suggestion of low quality as a result.

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low-key (adj.)

by 1895, perhaps 1847, from low key in some sense relating to deep musical tone or quiet sound; see low (adj.) + key (n.1). Low key in reference to a quiet voice is attested from 1837. Also compare undertone.

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low-down (adj.)

also low down, lowdown, "vulgar, far down the social scale," 1888, from low (adj.) + down (adv.). Earlier it had meant "humble" (1540s). As a noun, 1915, from the adjective, American English. Low-downer was late 19c. American English colloquial for "poor white; rude, mean person."

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lowing (n.)

the normal bellowing of cattle, early 13c., verbal noun from low (v.).

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lowly (adv.)

c. 1300, "humbly, in a modest manner," from low (adj.) + -ly (2).

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lowest (adj.)

c. 1200, laghesst, superlative of lah "low" (see low (adj.)).

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lowball (v.)

also low-ball, "report or estimate lower," from low (adj.) + ball (n.1).

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lowly (adj.)

late 14c., "humble in feeling, not proud," from low (adj.) + -ly (1). Related: Lowlily.

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