Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. One having uncultivated tastes.
  • adj. Uncultivated; vulgar.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Unsophisticated, not intended for an audience of intelligence, education or culture.
  • n. Someone or something of low education or culture.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. characteristic of a person who is not cultivated or does not have intellectual tastes
  • n. a person who is uninterested in intellectual pursuits

Etymologies

low1 + (high)brow.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From low and brow, Americanism, circa 1902. Refers to the (by that time discredited) pseudoscience of phrenology, which suggested that a person of low intelligence and sophistication would possess a lower brow-line than someone of greater intelligence and sophistication. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The exhibition includes that hard-to-classify artzone known as lowbrow, pop surrealism, graffiti, tattoo culture, and contemporary fantasy art.

    Son of Baby Tattooville Exhibition

  • To tap into the latest in lowbrow zeitgeist, I just walk down Vermont Avenue here in LA, past the front window of crazy t-shirt store Y-Que (say "ee-kay," means "so what" in Spanish).

    Boing Boing: March 28, 2004 - April 3, 2004 Archives

  • These people actually think content isn't too big a problem, that all kinds of stories (whether so-called lowbrow or highbrow) can exist together, and that the problem is more of marketing (there! that's one of the opinions they share with you).

    Bloghopping Find

  • The publisher's success with artbooks stems from the growing popularity of so-called lowbrow art which has moved into the contemporary and commercial art realms ala artists like Ed Hardy.

    Publishers Weekly - Children's Books News

  • (There are three episodes, remaining, including one at 10 p.m. Friday.) "All joking aside, say what you will about what you might call the lowbrow nature of many of his shows, he did something truly amazing and subversive, up there with what Steven Bochco gets credit for, with 'frak,'" Goldberg said.

    Philly.com - Latest Videos

  • In fact, their was a vibrant artistic tradition in America throughout the 19th century, one that mixed what came to be known as lowbrow and highbrow entertainment in the same evening's entertainment, and one that was owned and operated by artists not producers.

    Theatre Ideas

  • "All joking aside, say what you will about what you might call the lowbrow nature of many of his shows, he did something truly amazing and subversive, up there with what Steven Bochco gets credit for, with 'frak,'" Goldberg said.

    Gazette.com :

  • But since larger issues are involved, since the Battle of the Brows troubles, I am told, the evening air, since the finest minds of our age have lately been engaged in debating, not without that passion which befits a noble cause, what a highbrow is and what a lowbrow, which is better and which is worse, may I take this opportunity to express my opinion and at the same time draw attention to certain aspects of the question which seem to me to have been unfortunately overlooked?

    The Death of the Moth, and other essays

  • Hence, "lowbrow" is often considered synonymous with mass appeal: bestsellers, platinum albums, blockbuster films.

    Athena Andreadis, Ph.D.: The Andreadis Unibrow Theory of Art

  • Rojas is rightly associated with the area's "lowbrow" Mission School, which also encompasses artists McGee, Chris Johanson, and Margaret Kilgallen, among others.

    ArtScene: The Northwest's Top Ten Exhibition Picks for 2010

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