lower the bar


lower the bar


  • to lower standards or expectations
  • to set simple rules than previous ones
  • to make something easier

Example Sentences

  1. The revision bill aims to lower the bar on picking candidates.
  2. We have played on a par with any opponent so far. We can’t lower the bar.
  3. It’s okay to lower the bar right now, not because we don’t have high standards, but we need a break.
  4. She was not ready to lower the bar of expectation just yet.
  5. Scientists decided to lower the bar on the Covid-19 vaccine potential to avoid fatal side effects.
  6. If it does not lower the bar for anyone, the system can be better off.
  7. The company has lowered the bar for new candidates to fill vacant positions.


Lower the bar is a wholly opposite term (but equally popular) of ‘raise the bar‘ that means to reduce the values of excellence or quality that are expected of or required for something.

The phrase originates in athletic terminology around 1900 and comes from the game of track and field. The high jump event and the pole vault event both involve raising a crossbar incrementally to know how high the contestants can jump or pole vault. So, It is originally from the area of pole vault and high jump, where it is necessary to raise the bar after each jump to reach a new height record and increase the competition.

A bar that is set low would be much easier to jump over than a bar that was set up high. In this way, two opposing idioms (raise the bar and lower the bar) originated simultaneously.

See also, raise the bar (antonym)

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