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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

lower sights

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
References in periodicals archive ?
In the case of a pressure pour that does not tilt, the lowest level to which the metal can be lowered is the burp level, at which point the pressurizing gas escapes via the fill and poursiphons.
Senior debt of United Air Lines has been lowered to 'BB+' (Double-B- Plus), a reduction from 'BBB' (Triple-B), and United's senior subordinated notes are now rated 'BB' (Double-B), a reduction from 'BBB-' (Triple-B-Minus).
Class B Notes lowered to 'A-' from 'A' and removed from RWN.
Senior unsecured debt lowered to 'BBB-' from 'BBB'.
One, sitostanol, is the key ingredient in a Finnish margarine called Benecol, which lowered LDL cholesterol by 14 percent in 102 people.
A: Several diets have reversed coronary disease or lowered the risk of heart attacks.
Asset-Backed Bonds, Series 2002 $196,545,000 lowered to 'BBB'
In almost all studies--most have been funded by Quaker--one cup of oat bran or 1 1/2 cups of oatmeal lowered cholesterol meaningfully only when it was fed to people who had high cholesterol when the studies began.
Fitch's ratings of tobacco securitizations are directly linked to its tobacco industry assessment, which was lowered to 'BBB+' from 'A' in conjunction with the Altria action.
A recent trial, known as the Scandinavian Simvastatin Survival Study, showed that drugs lowered the risk of heart attacks by 40 percent in diabetics.
Fitch Ratings has lowered the ratings of Allegheny Energy, Inc.
In other studies, heart disease patients lowered their risk by taking the equivalent of a baby aspirin (80 mg) every day.
23, 2002--Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said today that it lowered its credit rating on the notes issued by TXU Europe Funding Ltd.
The answer is still unclear, but here's what we know so far: * In Quaker Oats' studies of healthy people with average cholesterol levels, about 35 grams of hot oat bran cereal or oatmeal (slightly more than a 2/3-cup cooked serving) lowered cholesterol levels an average of three percent when eaten every day for four to six weeks.
Fitch Ratings has lowered the ratings of Allegheny Energy, Inc (AYE) and its subsidiaries Allegheny Energy Supply Co.