Definitions

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The position of the ball on an American railroad ball signal that indicated Stop.
  • n. A form of poker in which the lowest-ranking poker hand wins the pot. Usually the ace is the lowest-ranking card, straights and flushes do not count making the best possible hand being A, 2, 3, 4, 5 regardless of suits (in contrast to deuce-to-seven lowball.)
  • n. A form of cribbage in which the first to score 121 (or 61) is the loser.
  • n. An unmixed alcohol drink served on ice or water in a short glass.
  • v. to give an intentionally low estimate of anything, not necessarily with deceptive intent.
  • v. To give (a customer) a deceptively low price or cost estimate that one has no intention of honoring or to prepare a cost estimate deliberately and misleadingly low.
  • v. To make an offer well below an item's true value, often to take advantage of the seller's desperation or desire to sell the item quickly.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A poker game in which the lowest-ranking hand wins.
  • transitive v. to give a deceptively low estimate of the price of (merchandise or services); -- a sales tactic to induce a person to buy.

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

  • v. make a deliberately low estimate

Etymologies

American railroad term that described one of two positions of the ball of a ball signal. This is the same history for highball. 2001, Anthony J. Biancull, Trains and Technology: The American Railroad in the Nineteenth Century, ISBN 0874138035: (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • (The budget calls the lowball $50 billion number a "placeholder" for "some as-yet unknown costs.")

    Forbes.com: News

  • Most buyers are afraid to "lowball" you too much, but will try to get you to move lower than they're ultimately willing and ready to pay.

    Cut Commissions With 'For Sale By Owner' Sales

  • Aspen's interest was initially seen as a lifeline for Sigma, but analysts last week described the 55 Australian cents a share offer as "lowball" and "opportunistic."

    Sigma Seeks Better Deal

  • He also expects "the Conservative government to "lowball" the degree of American involvement."

    Archive 2008-08-01

  • Then, if you don't want to "lowball" him, you would try to reach a compromise somewhere between those two numbers, which should also entice him to

    Comments for FanGraphs Baseball

  • They have been accused 0f misreading the market, of trying to "lowball" their target, and even -- incredulously to me -- "punished" by Scott Boras for the temerity of not valuing the aging righty sinkerballer as high as he and his agent did.

    Mike's Mets

  • A Judd Apatow clone that's one of the few recent R-rated raunch fests the ubiquitous auteur of larky crudeness actually had nothing to do with, "I Love You, Man" cranks out the kind of lowball humor that makes you gag on your own laughs.

    Variety.com

  • At that price, a local agent offered $1.3 million, a "lowball" they refused.

    ChicagoBusiness.com Breaking News

  • In one variation of this problem, OEM sales reps provide "lowball" estimates of demand rather than a truer picture, so they can more easily beat internal goals.

    BNET Articles

  • But, MET, I brought up the phrase "lowball" specifically to point out that it's not a useful phrase.

    Blog updates

Comments

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  • "The play will go on—the hall’s been rented, after all. It’s clear by now, though, that it’s likely to be not even a dress rehearsal. More like a read-through. And the script’s pretty weak—10 days ago the US made it clear that they’d lowball their offer. Obama will propose 4 percent reductions in its emissions by 2020, compared with 20 percent for the Europeans (a number the EU said they’d raise to 30 percent if the US would go along). Scientists, meanwhile, have made it clear that a serious offer would mean about 40 percent cuts by 2020. So—we’re exactly an order of magnitude shy of what the physics demands."
    - Bill McKibben, The Show Must Go On, motherjones.com, 5 Dec 2009.

    December 21, 2009