Stay Low Key – Meaning & Example Sentences

You might have heard the expression “staying low key” in the past, but do you know exactly what it means? If the answer to that question is no, don’t worry because we’ll explain to you what it means, how to use it, and if it is positive or not.

What Does “Stay Low Key” Mean?

The expression “stay low key” applies to people who keep a low profile and avoid being noticed by other people. Also, in the same vein, it can be used to express that someone is laid-back, cool, reserved, or can even be used as a synonym for being quiet.

stay low key meaning

When we say that someone is “staying low key” we mean that the person is avoiding being noticed. “Being low key” can also be a natural characteristic of the person that we are talking about rather than an effort to avoid other people’s eyes. Moreover, it is an expression used to describe people who maintain a cool mood, are quiet, laid-back, or introverted.

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How Do You Stay Low Key?

“Staying low key” requires keeping a low profile and avoiding calling attention to you. For example, someone who stays away from arguments, speaks in a soft voice, or is prone to be in a secluded place in a social situation can be considered “low key”.

Likewise, if someone is naturally laid-back, cool, reserved, or quiet, that person will stay “low key” in most situations because he or she won’t drive any attention to him or herself.

Is It Good to Stay Low Key?

Whether “stay low key” is a positive thing or not depends on a personal opinion or taste. Those who like extroverts and highly-energetic people will find that to “stay low key” is not positive. On the other hand, those who like introverts and people with a laid-back attitude will find that “staying low key” is a plus.

Moreover, “staying low key” is a plus for people that aren’t comfortable with receiving other people’s attention. For example, introverts, quiet people, and those who don’t enjoy the spotlight will find that “staying low key” is a characteristic of their personality rather than an effort.

Likewise, the expression can be used to talk about people who are “cool”, “laid-back”, or “quiet”. These terms can all be considered as positive qualities when talking about people because they make social life much easier, not confronting other people about opinions and avoiding arguments.

Therefore, we can consider that “staying low key” is the opposite of being an extrovert, loud, or engaging in arguments which might be considered by some people a negative thing. That being said, the positive or negative quality of “staying low key” is a matter of personal opinion.

How to Use “Stay Low Key” in a Sentence

This is not just a theoretical article to explain to you what the line “stay low key” means, but a practical guide on how to use it. Therefore, these are examples of how to use “stay low key” in a sentence:

  1. I haven’t seen you at house parties in the entire summer but someone told me you were staying low-key because of your ex-boyfriend.
  2. Staying low-key is important if you want to make it big in this business; let the talkers do the talk, and just concentrate on your job.
  3. I always thought that I was an introvert and that staying low-key was part of my personality.
  4. As an extrovert, I have always admired the ability people have to stay low-key even when the arguments are very interesting.
  5. If you choose to stay low-key for the rest of the semester, you might just make it through college.
  6. She is always staying low-key no matter what happens around her; she’s just the coolest!
  7. I don’t stay low-key too often, it means a huge effort for me; I wish I could be more like Brian, he’s so cool and relaxed all the time!

Final Thoughts

To “stay low key” means to avoid drawing attention to your persona or actions. Moreover it can also be used to describe those who have a laid-back, cool, or reserved personality. That being said, it can also be an attitude adopted at a certain moment rather than a personality spec.