[loh-kee] /ˈloʊˈki/

adjective, Also, low-keyed
of reduced intensity; restrained; understated.
(of a photograph) having chiefly dark tones, usually with little tonal contrast (distinguished from ).
verb (used with object), low-keyed, low-keying.
to make or attempt to make low-key:
to low-key the arms buildup.
having a low intensity or tone
restrained, subdued, or understated
(of a photograph, painting, etc) having a predominance of dark grey tones or dark colours with few highlights Compare high-key


Quiet; modest; unassertive: She is low-key but is happy to talk about things that Wayans doesn’t do for himself (1965+)


To treat with little emphasis; play down: They were low-keying it because of the controversy (1960+)

[in adjective sense, a technical term in photography, ”with tones lying in the gray scale,” found by 1907]


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