I checked the meaning of 'lowlife' on two different dictionaries:

a person who exists by criminal activities or has a way of life that most people disapprove of

a person of low social status

a person of low moral character

I find the definitions a little conflicting. One mentions a person of low social status and another a person whom people disapprove of.

So I have the following questions:

  1. So can one use this word for people who are earning low?
  2. Can one use this word for people who are egotistical?
  3. Can one use this for people who are manipulative?
  • It usually implies low social status combined with low moral character. May 31, 2022 at 8:57

1 Answer 1


Lowlife is a derogatory term. It describes moral character.

To answer your questions:

  1. No. Lowlife has no direct relationship with income level. You can use the term low-income to describe someone who doesn't earn much. It carries no judgment on moral character. You can be a good person and a low-income individual as well.

  2. No. While egotistical is generally a negative term, you would use it to describe someone who thinks a lot of himself and who always assumes that people are talking about him because he's very important. A lowlife doesn't have the confidence to be egotisitcal.

  3. Manipulative describes a person that takes actions to create an outcome that is favorable to them. It implies that the actions might be sneaky or the person might be cheating. I suppose a lowlife could be manipulative, although he might not have the intelligence to do so. Someone who is egotistical could also be manipulative. But they describe different things and don't necessarily go together.

  • re 1: a drug dealer could have high earnings and be a lowlife.
    – JavaLatte
    Jul 9, 2022 at 5:47

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