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tr.v. low·balled, low·bal·ling, low·balls Informal
To underestimate or understate (a cost) deliberately: "I get hopping mad every time I see a politician lowballing the cost of his latest healthcare boondoggle" (Megan McArdle).

[From the card game of the same name.]

low′ball′ adj.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


1. (Card Games) a game of poker in which the player with the lowest hand wins
2. (Commerce)
a. a very low estimate or offer
b. (as modifier): a lowball bid.
(Commerce) (tr) to make a very low estimate or offer for (a service, product, company, etc)
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014



1. to deliberately estimate a lower price for than one intends to charge.
2. to give a false estimate for.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Verb1.lowball - make a deliberately low estimatelowball - make a deliberately low estimate; "The construction company wanted the contract badly and lowballed"
estimate, gauge, approximate, guess, judge - judge tentatively or form an estimate of (quantities or time); "I estimate this chicken to weigh three pounds"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
That low-ball bid raised eyebrows and legitimate concern amongst some Acacia shareholders that Barrick would try to leverage Acacia's political difficulties in order to obtain the assets at a steep discount to their intrinsic value.
To prepare for the event, Lin said he has hit over 1,000 golf balls a day for the past month to practice on his low-ball trajectory, which he said will be useful after seeing the windy conditions at the 7206-yard TCC.
I think some buyers have made very low-ball buys from distressed sellers or estates, and that has become the accepted norm.
Numbers associated with the sprawling residential project, said to be completed in spring 2013, appear to be low-ball guesstimates.
And the canny Scot warned bargain hunters: "If you want to make a low-ball offer, please don't waste my time or yours."
Instead, we have swallowed the bait of a series of low-ball estimates, and are now held hostage by a project that is "too big to cancel."
For example, a defendant may make a low-ball offer of, say $1, that unexpectedly turns out to "satisfy the statutory requirements." The defendant has no meaningful risk in making an offer of no meaningful consequence, but woe unto the plaintiff who reasonably declines and is then subjected to a no-liability verdict.
First used for the Hawaiian Open in 1928 and its regular home since 1965, it is still a birdiefest, with low-ball hitters favoured as the wind can blow.
The expected advantages included avoiding "low-ball" bidding of development contracts, and obtaining production price commitments from contractors.
Apparently, the moratorium was meant to restrict maintenance on the subject properties so that whenever the time came for eminent domain to be exercised to build the dam, the government could apply their "fair market value" rule and take the properties for low-ball amounts.
For another, although the tendency to do so is presently reversing, there was a trend by multidisciplinary companies to low-ball the cost of management fees as a strategy to obtain that building's residential brokerage business, the latter being a lucrative source of revenue.