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below definition


This page has 11 definitions of below in English. Below is a preposition and adverb. Examples of how to use below in a sentence are shown. Also define these 0 related words and terms: .

See also: Below and bellow



From Middle English bilooghe, equivalent to be- +‎ low. Compare also earlier Middle English alogh, alow, aloȝ, alowe (below) and benethen (beneath).




A square below a circle
  1. Lower in spatial position than.
    • 1897 December (indicated as 1898), Winston Churchill, chapter IV, in The Celebrity: An Episode, New York, N.Y.: The Macmillan Company; London: Macmillan & Co., Ltd., →OCLC:
      One morning I had been driven to the precarious refuge afforded by the steps of the inn, after rejecting offers from the Celebrity to join him in a variety of amusements. But even here I was not free from interruption, for he was seated on a horse-block below me, playing with a fox terrier.
    The treasure is buried two meters below the surface.
    The marmalade is on the shelf below the bread.
  2. Lower than in value, price, rank, concentration, etc.
    • 1705, J[oseph] Addison, Remarks on Several Parts of Italy, &c. in the Years 1701, 1702, 1703, London: [] Jacob Tonson, [], →OCLC:
      one degree below kings
    • 2013 July-August, Philip J. Bushnell, “Solvents, Ethanol, Car Crashes & Tolerance”, in American Scientist:
      Surprisingly, this analysis revealed that acute exposure to solvent vapors at concentrations below those associated with long-term effects appears to increase the risk of a fatal automobile accident. Furthermore, this increase in risk is comparable to the risk of death from leukemia after long-term exposure to benzene, another solvent, which has the well-known property of causing this type of cancer.
    The temperature is below zero.
    Liverpool are below Manchester City in the Premier League.
  3. Downstream of.
    The River Thames is tidal below Teddington Lock.
  4. South of.
    Sudan is below Egypt.
  5. Unsuitable to the rank or dignity of; beneath.
    Such petty behavior is below me.
  6. (stage directions) Downstage of.



Derived terms


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Dictionary:Entry layout § Translations.


below (not comparable)

  1. In or to a lower place.
    The town is situated on a hillside, with a river running below.
    He was pulled below by a sea monster.
    • 1879, R[ichard] J[efferies], chapter 1, in The Amateur Poacher, London: Smith, Elder, & Co., [], →OCLC:
      But then I had the [massive] flintlock by me for protection.
      [] The linen-press and a chest on the top of it formed, however, a very good gun-carriage; and, thus mounted, aim could be taken out of the window at the old mare feeding in the meadow below by the brook, and a 'bead' could be drawn upon Molly, the dairymaid, kissing the fogger behind the hedge, [].
    1. On or to a lower storey.
      She lives below, on the ground floor.
    2. (nautical) On or to a lower deck, especially as relative to the main deck.
      The captain went below to inspect the engine.
      the landlubbers lying down below
  2. Later in the same text.
    This point is explained below.
    By their execution hereof, the Parties incur a legal obligation to pass consideration under this Loan Contract as is set forth below.
  3. (of a temperature) Below zero.
    It was forty degrees below.



Derived terms



  • Andrea Tyler and Vyvyan Evans, "The vertical axis", in The Semantics of English Prepositions: Spatial Scenes, Embodied Meaning and Cognition, Cambridge University Press, 2003, 0-521-81430 8