(Modern English alow)


Formed on loʒe (adj.) with prefix -a (< OE on); cp. alofte (adv., prep.). With the sense 'in a low voice', cp. OIcel lágmæltr (pp.) (ONP s.v. lág·mǽla).

PGmc Ancestor


Proposed ON Etymon (OIcel representative)

lágr ‘low’
(ONP lágr (adj.))

Other Scandinavian Reflexes

Far lágur, Icel lágur, Norw låg, Dan lav, Sw låg

OE Cognate

lǣg- ‘fallow, uncultivated’

Phonological and morphological markers

ON /ɑ:/ &lt; PGmc */e:/ (1)

Summary category



Attested in ME from the late 14c. through 15c. from a variety of texts, incl. two others in this figurative sense (MED, OED3). It continued in some senses in early MnE (and perhaps was revived later in others; see futher OED3), and is frequently paired with alofte in ME and MnE.

Occurrences in the Gersum Corpus

Cl 670


MED aloue (adv.) , OED3 alow (adv.1 and prep.) , HTOED ; See further loʒe (adj., adv.).