Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to lie down, lay."
It forms all or part of: allay; anlage; belay; beleaguer; bylaw; coverlet; fellow; lager; lair; law; lawful; lawless; lawsuit; lawyer; lay (v.) "to cause to lie or rest;" ledge; ledger; lees; lie (v.2) "rest horizontally;" litter; lochia; low (adj.) "not high;" outlaw; scofflaw; stalag; vorlage.
It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Hittite laggari "falls, lies;" Greek lekhesthai "to lie down," legos "bed," lokhos "lying in wait, ambush," alokhos "bedfellow, wife;" Latin lectus "bed;" Old Church Slavonic lego "to lie down;" Lithuanian at-lagai "fallow land;" Old Irish laigim "I lie down," Irish luighe "couch, grave;" Old English licgan "be situated, have a specific position; remain; be at rest, lie down."
"to look dark and menacing," also lour, from Middle English louren, luren "to frown, scowl" (early 13c.), "to lurk" (mid-15c.), from Old English *luran or from its cognates, Middle Low German luren, Middle Dutch loeren "lie in wait." The form perhaps has been assimilated to lower (v.1). Related: Lowered; lowering.
"depression, low spirits," 1741, from blue (adj.1) in the sense "low-spirited" (c. 1400).
"to make the characteristic cry of a cow, to low," 1540s, of imitative origin (compare Latin mūgire "to low, moo," Lithuanian mūkiu "to bellow," Middle High German mūhen "to low, bellow," and see PIE root *gwou-). Related: Mooed; mooing. The noun "the low of a cow" is from 1789. Baby-talk moo-cow (n.) "a cow" is attested from 1812.
late 14c., "low, of little height," from Old French bas "low, lowly, mean," from Late Latin bassus "thick, stumpy, low" (used only as a cognomen in classical Latin, humilis being there the usual word for "low in stature or position"), possibly from Oscan, or Celtic, or related to Greek basson, comparative of bathys "deep."
The meaning "low on the social scale" is from late 15c.; that of "low in the moral scale" is attested by 1530s in English. The meaning "benefiting an inferior person or thing, unworthy" is from 1590s. Base metals (c. 1600) were worthless in contrast to noble or precious metals. Related: Basely.
late 14c., bas, of things, "low, not high," from Late Latin bassus "short, low" (see base (adj.)). In Middle English it also meant "low in social scale or rank" (late 14c.). Of voices and music notes, "low in tone" from mid-15c. (technically, ranging from the E flat below the bass stave to the F above it), a sense development influenced by Italian basso.
1888, "low-cut neck of a bodice" (from 1883 as a French word in English), from French décolletage, from décolleté "low-necked" (see decollete). Hence also "exposure of the neck and shoulders" (1894).