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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.
See also: ear, have, lower

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.
See also: ear, get, lower

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.
See also: guard, lower

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.
See also: bar, lower

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.
See also: bar, high, low, set

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.
See also: bar, set

lower the tone

To make something less polite, intellectual, or cultured. The fart jokes really lowered the tone of an otherwise smart and engaging film.
See also: lower, tone

lower (one's) sights

To lower one's expectations and accept less than one was hoping for or striving toward. Unfortunately, we simply can't afford to live in that ritzy neighborhood, so we have to lower our sights and look elsewhere.
See also: lower, sight

get one's ears set out

 and 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.
See also: ear, get, out, set

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.
See also: lower, sight

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.
See also: lower, voice

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?
See also: level, lower

lower someone's ears

Rur. to cut someone's hair. tasked the barber to lower my ears. Looks like somebody lowered foe's ears!
See also: ear, lower

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.
See also: boom, lower, on

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]
See also: lower, sight

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]
See also: boom, lower, on

lower your guard

or

drop your guard

COMMON If you lower your guard or drop your guard, you stop taking actions to protect yourself against trouble and you start to relax, often with bad consequences. Note: Your guard is the position that you get in when you are ready to defend yourself in sports such as boxing or fencing. The soldiers had made the mistake of lowering their guard at the precise moment when they should have been most alert. I don't like to drop my guard when I'm with my colleagues, even if I'm socializing with them. Note: You can also say that you let your guard down or let down your guard with the same meaning. Many men work in extremely competitive environments where letting down their guard could leave them vulnerable.
See also: guard, lower

lower the tone

If something lowers the tone of a place or event, it makes it seem less respectable. Councillors say plastic-framed windows lower the tone of the neighbourhood. I drank four cans of beer — I pride myself on lowering the tone at parties where everyone else is drinking champagne.
See also: lower, tone

lower (or drop or let down) your guard

1 relax your defensive posture, leaving yourself vulnerable to attack. 2 reduce your level of vigilance or caution.
This is an expression connected in its literal sense with boxing, as is its opposite raise your guard meaning ‘adopt a defensive posture’.
See also: guard, lower

lower the boom on

1 treat someone severely. 2 put a stop to an activity. informal
It has been suggested that this phrase originally meant ‘knocking out an adversary with one punch’ in a fight.
See also: boom, lower, on

lower the tone

diminish the spirit or moral character of a conversation, place, etc.
Tone here is used to mean the general character or attitude of a conversation, place, piece of writing, etc.
See also: lower, tone

lower the ˈtone (of something)

make the general character and attitude of something, such as a place, a piece of writing or the atmosphere of an event, less polite or respectable: Residents were afraid that a fast-food restaurant would lower the tone of the street.
See also: lower, tone

ˈlower yourself (by doing something)

(usually used in negative sentences) behave in a way that makes other people respect you less: I wouldn’t lower myself by working for him.
See also: lower

raise/lower your ˈsights

increase/reduce your hopes and ambitions: You should raise your sights and apply for the director’s job.Some women feel that staying at home and having a family means lowering their sights.
See also: lower, raise, sight

raise/lower the ˈtemperature

(informal) increase/decrease the amount of excitement, emotion, etc. in a situation: His angry refusal raised the temperature of the meeting.The government tried to lower the political temperature by agreeing to some of the demands.
See also: lower, raise, temperature