Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Financial, Acronyms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to lower: Loewe, Lower back pain, Lower abdominal pain
have (one's) ears lowered
To have one's hair cut, especially to a length that reveals one's ears. Ah, I see you had your ears lowered. It looks good! I'm thinking of having my ears lowered—my hair's just too long in this hot weather.
get (one's) ears lowered
To get a haircut, especially to a length that reveals one's ears. Ah, I see you got your ears lowered. It looks good! I'm thinking of getting my ears lowered—my hair's just too long in this hot weather.
lower (one's) guard
To become less guarded or vigilant; to stop being cautious about potential trouble or danger. We'll wait long enough for them to lower their guard before we launch our invasion. There will always be people in this business looking to exploit you, so you can never lower your guard.
lower the bar
To lower the standards of quality that are expected of or required for something. Soaring rents have really lowered the bar for where people are willing to live these days. During the economic boom, regulators lowered the bar for investment bankers' accountability.
set a high/low bar
To establish an expected, required, or desired (but ultimately constrictive) standard of quality. A: "At this point, I'm willing to go out with just about any guy, so long as he isn't living in his parents' basement." B: "Don't you think you're setting a bit of a low bar?" While you shouldn't take just any job you can get after college, be sure not to set too high a bar for an entry level job, or you may have trouble landing one at all.
set the bar (high/low)
To establish an expected, required, or desired standard of quality. (Often said of a standard that is constrictive in being either too low or too high). A: "At this point, I'm willing to go out with just about any guy, so long as he isn't living in his parents' basement." B: "Don't you think you're setting the bar a little low?" While you shouldn't take just any job you can get after college, be sure not to set the bar too high for an entry level job, or you may have trouble landing one at all. I hear that the new restaurant around the corner really sets the bar for exquisite seafood.
get one's ears set outand get one's ears lowered
Fig. to get one's ears made more visible by getting a haircut. Well, I see you got your ears set out!' Better get my ears lowered because I'm getting a little shaggy.
lower one's sights
Fig. to set one's goals lower. (Alludes to pointing the barrel of a rifle lower to lower the aim of the rifle.) Even though you get frustrated, don't lower your sights. I shouldn't lower my sights. If I work hard, I can do what I want.
lower one's voice
Fig. to speak more softly. Please lower your voice or you'll disturb the people who are working. He wouldn't lower his voice, so everyone heard what he said.
lower oneself to some level
Fig. to bring oneself down to some lower level of behavior. I refuse to lower myself to your level. Has TV news lowered itself to the level of the tabloids?
lower someone's ears
Rur. to cut someone's hair. tasked the barber to lower my ears. Looks like somebody lowered foe's ears!
lower the boom on someone
Fig. to scold or punish someone severely; to crack down on someone; to throw the book at someone. If Bob won't behave better, I'll have to lower the boom on him. The teacher lowered the boom on the whole class for misbehaving.
drop your guardalso lower your guard
to stop being careful about sharing your ideas or feelings Once he knew I wasn't a journalist, he dropped his guard and even let me take a photograph of him.
lower your sightsalso set your sights lower
to accept something that is not as good as what you originally wanted With so few jobs around she's had to lower her sights.
Usage notes: the opposite meaning is expressed by raise your sights (to try to get something better than you had originally expected)
drop/lower your guard
to stop being careful to avoid danger or difficulty Once he knew I wasn't a journalist, he dropped his guard and even let me take a photograph of him.
lower the boom(American informal)
to suddenly stop someone doing something you do not approve of Dad lowered the boom. I have to stay in the next two weekends.
lower the tone
if something lowers the tone of a place, it makes it less suitable for people of a high social class, and if something lowers the tone of a conversation or a piece of writing, it makes it less polite or of a lower quality (usually + of ) The locals don't like students living around here. It lowers the tone of the neighbourhood. Trust you to lower the tone of the evening by telling rude jokes, Ian!
lower your sights
to accept something less good than the thing you were hoping for With so few jobs around she's had to lower her sights.See drop guard
lower one's sights
Reduce one's goals or aspirations, as in Once he got the job I'd applied for, I had to lower my sights. This expression alludes to taking aim through the sights of a firearm. Also see raise one's sights; set one's sights on. [Second half of 1900s]
lower the boom on
Scold harshly or punish severely; also, put a stop to something. For example, If you're caught smoking in school, the principal is bound to lower the boom on you, or The new radar equipment enabled the police to lower the boom on speeding. This expression refers to the boom of a sailboat-a long spar that extends from the mast to hold the foot of the sail. In a changing wind, the boom can swing wildly, leaving one at risk of being struck. [Slang; first half of 1900s]