The DL or The Down Low, like many terms and phrases in the American culture, can attribute their genesis to the Gay and Urban Black community, The, "DL" has evolved to be used universally to refer to activities conducted secretly and behind the scenes. The DL can also refer to behavior described as slick or deceptive.
The term has truly evolved. In recent times DL has gone from being used exclusively to describe covert male homosexual behavior of a man fronting (portraying himself), as a heterosexual but in reality is actually a closet Gay man, to now refer to any behavior, action, or behavior that can be described as secretive or deceptive.

Etymology
DL or “Down Low”, attributes its genesis from the Inner City Black and Sub Culture. The Black community was slow to accept the male homosexual in their community so Black Men were maintaining a cover, by acting as they were only into the Ladies. Their homosexuality was secret and thus adopted the term, “Down Low” to refer to a man that is a closet homosexual or a man that engages in sexual relations with both male and female partners. The term evolved to identify such men as their female partners were discovering that their Man was subversively engaging in sexual relations with another man on the side, (on the DL) while their female partner was unaware of his behavior and sexual preference. Prior to the Homosexual descriptive, the term was used to describe: any kind of secretive, slick, and/or deceptive behavior.
None Sexual Reference: Steve is moonlighting as a Bartender on the DL so his friends don't go to the bar and harass him while on the job.
Sexual Reference: Mike is seeing His Girl's BF on the DL hoping she won't bust him out.
by CarizmaGuy November 02, 2016
Get the merch
Get the The DL neck gaiter and mug.
DL
DL means Down Low. This is basically a man who is seen publicly as straight, identifies and ‘acts’ straight; but secretly is attracted to or has sex with other men.
Kenneth: Oh Chris is so hot, why is he straight?
MJ: He’s on the dl, he ate my ass out in the parking lot this morning.
by MANJIII April 04, 2020
Get the mug
Get a DL mug for your barber Rihanna.
A "Straight" Man That Usually Has A Girlfriend Or Wife But, He Also Has A BoyFriend On The Dl (Down Low). Most Dl's Aren't Gay Just Bisexual But, Afraid To Come Out Because Of Family Or Friends.
Leo: You I'm Talking To This Boy On SnapChat, I Think He's Dl.

Chanel: Oh Shit Really Lemme See Him.

Leo: Look.
by Stratus Clouds May 10, 2017
Get the mug
Get a DL mug for your bunkmate Manley.
DOWN LOW see also D low--Hidden, concealed,secret.Specifically used to refer to covert male homosexual activity.Whether we're talking about guys who freak with their boys, or hustlers who are strictly "gay for pay" Thanks to homophobia, bigotry and all that bullshit in their communities they prefer to keep things quiet: On the DL.
"It's hard to stay on the DL when your girl catches you on the THUGZILLA web site at 3 o'clock in the morning"
by ra ra January 03, 2008
Get the mug
Get a DL mug for your father Günter.
Abbreviated for "Down Low." Sometimes used to say that you are still in the closet. Someone that is afraid to let the world know that they have sex with their homeboys.
Homeboy 1: "Man I like what we really did last night! Your dick is bangin!"

Homeboy 2: "Dude! Shut up! You know I have girlfriend. Don't say that in public, you know i'm on the DL."

by Dorian and Jordan September 14, 2006
Get the mug
Get a DL mug for your Aunt Julia.
short for on the down low. meaning a brotha is secretly looking for have sex with another dude
DL brotha here lookin to freak wit a hot dude.
by Brian January 23, 2005
Get the merch
Get the DL neck gaiter and mug.
A gay male who claims to be straight but nevertheless frequents gay clubs and bathhouses to score gay sex.
Many DLs have families and claim to be happily married.
Get the merch
Get the DL neck gaiter and mug.