Date: 1300-1400
Origin: LOW1


adverb, preposition
be‧low S2 W2
1 in a lower place or position, or on a lower level [≠ above]:
an animal that lives below ground
Water was dripping onto the floor below.
I could hear voices in the courtyard below my window.
They camped a few hundred feet below the summit.
Down below, people were talking and laughing.
Somewhere far below, a door slammed.
The kitchen is directly below her bedroom.
Captain Parker went below (=to the lower level of the ship), leaving Clooney in charge.
2 of a lower rank or having a less important job than someone else [≠ above]:
No one below the level of senior manager was present at the meeting.
and/or below
officers of the rank of captain and below
3 less than a particular number, amount, level etc [≠ above]:
Test scores below 50 were classed as 'unsatisfactory'.
In June the rate of inflation fell below 3%.
Tom's spelling is well below average (=much worse than the normal standard).
below freezing/zero (=lower than the temperature at which water freezes)
In winter, temperatures dip to 40 degrees below freezing.
and/or below
free travel for children four years old and below
4TCN lower on the same page, or on a later page [≠ above]:
Details of courses are listed below.
For more information, see below.

➔ below par

at par (2)

; ➔ below the belt

at belt1 (4)
! below or under?see usage note underWORD CHOICE: WORD CHOICE:

under, underneath, below, beneath
Under is the usual way to say that one thing is at a lower level than another, or is covered by it Your shoes are under the table. He lay under a blanket.Under is nearly always used as a preposition (followed by a noun).Underneath has a similar meaning to under, and is used especially when something is hidden or covered a box underneath the floorboardsIt can also be used as an adverb She lifted the cover and peeped underneath.Below is used when one thing is at a much lower level than another, and can be a preposition or an adverb the apartment below ours Mist lay in the valley below.Beneath can be used in the same ways as under and below, but is a more literary or formal word beneath the silvery moon the cliff, and the ocean beneathSee also under

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