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level Meaning, Definition & Usage

  1. noun a position on a scale of intensity or amount or quality
    grade; degree.
    • a moderate grade of intelligence
    • a high level of care is required
    • it is all a matter of degree
  2. noun a relative position or degree of value in a graded group
    grade; tier.
    • lumber of the highest grade
  3. noun a specific identifiable position in a continuum or series or especially in a process
    point; stage; degree.
    • a remarkable degree of frankness
    • at what stage are the social sciences?
  4. noun height above ground
    • the water reached ankle level
    • the pictures were at the same level
  5. noun indicator that establishes the horizontal when a bubble is centered in a tube of liquid
    spirit level.
  6. noun a flat surface at right angles to a plumb line
    horizontal surface.
    • park the car on the level
  7. noun an abstract place usually conceived as having depth
    layer; stratum.
    • a good actor communicates on several levels
    • a simile has at least two layers of meaning
    • the mind functions on many strata simultaneously
  8. noun a structure consisting of a room or set of rooms at a single position along a vertical scale
    story; storey; floor.
    • what level is the office on?
  9. verb aim at
    • level criticism or charges at somebody
  10. verb tear down so as to make flat with the ground
    rase; take down; dismantle; pull down; tear down; raze.
    • The building was levelled
  11. verb make level or straight
    even; even out; flush.
    • level the ground
  12. verb direct into a position for use
    charge; point.
    • point a gun
    • He charged his weapon at me
  13. verb talk frankly with; lay it on the line
    • I have to level with you
  14. verb become level or even
    level off.
    • The ground levelled off
  15. adjective satellite having a surface without slope, tilt in which no part is higher or lower than another
    flat; plane.
    • a flat desk
    • acres of level farmland
    • a plane surface
    • skirts sewn with fine flat seams
  16. adjective satellite not showing abrupt variations
    • spoke in a level voice
    • she gave him a level look"- Louis Auchincloss
  17. adjective satellite being on a precise horizontal plane
    • a billiard table must be level
  18. adjective satellite oriented at right angles to the plumb
    • the picture is level
  19. adjective satellite of the score in a contest
    even; tied.
    • the score is tied

Lev"el noun
OE. level, livel, OF. livel, F. niveau, fr. L. libella level, water level, a plumb level, dim. of libra pound, measure for liquids, balance, water poise, level. Cf. Librate, Libella.
  1. A line or surface to which, at every point, a vertical or plumb line is perpendicular; a line or surface which is everywhere parallel to the surface of still water; -- this is the true level, and is a curve or surface in which all points are equally distant from the center of the earth, or rather would be so if the earth were an exact sphere.
  2. A horizontal line or plane; that is, a straight line or a plane which is tangent to a true level at a given point and hence parallel to the horizon at that point; -- this is the apparent level at the given point.
  3. An approximately horizontal line or surface at a certain degree of altitude, or distance from the center of the earth; as, to climb from the level of the coast to the lvel of the plateau and then descent to the level of the valley or of the sea.
    After draining of the level in Northamptonshire. Sir M. Hale.
    Shot from the deadly level of a gun. Shak.
  4. Hence, figuratively, a certain position, rank, standard, degree, quality, character, etc., conceived of as in one of several planes of different elevation.
    Providence, for the most part, sets us on a level. Addison.
    Somebody there of his own level. Swift.
    Be the fair level of thy actions laid As temperance wills and prudence may persuade. Prior.
  5. A uniform or average height; a normal plane or altitude; a condition conformable to natural law or which will secure a level surface; as, moving fluids seek a level.
    When merit shall find its level. F. W. Robertson.
  6. (Mech. & Surv.) (a) An instrument by which to find a horizontal line, or adjust something with reference to a horizontal line. (b) A measurement of the difference of altitude of two points, by means of a level; as, to take a level.
  7. A horizontal passage, drift, or adit, in mine.
Lev"el adjective
  1. Even; flat; having no part higher than another; having, or conforming to, the curvature which belongs to the undisturbed liquid parts of the earth's surface; as, a level field; level ground; the level surface of a pond or lake.
    Ample spaces o'er the smooth And level pavement. Milton.
  2. Coinciding or parallel with the plane of the horizon; horizontal; as, the telescope is now level.
  3. Even with anything else; of the same height; on the same line or plane; on the same footing; of equal importance; -- followed by with, sometimes by to.
    Young boys and girls Are level now with men; the odds is gone. Shak.
    Everything lies level to our wish. Shak.
  4. Straightforward; direct; direct; clear; open.
    A very plain and level account. M. Arnold.
  5. Well balanced; even; just; steady; impartial; as, a level head; a level understanding. Colloq. " A level consideration." Shak.
  6. (Phonetics) Of even tone; without rising or falling inflection. H. Sweet.
Lev"el transitive verb
imperfect & past participle Leveled or Levelled; present participle & verbal noun Leveling or Levelling
  1. To make level; to make horizontal; to bring to the condition of a level line or surface; hence, to make flat or even; as, to level a road, a walk, or a garden.
  2. To bring to a lower level; to overthrow; to topple down; to reduce to a flat surface; to lower.
    And their proud structures level with the ground. Sandys.
    He levels mountains and he raises plains. Dryden.
  3. To bring to a horizontal position, as a gun; hence, to point in taking aim; to aim; to direct.
    Bertram de Gordon, standing on the castle wall, leveled a quarrel out of a crossbow. Stow.
  4. Figuratively, to bring to a common level or plane, in respect of rank, condition, character, privilege, etc.; as, to level all the ranks and conditions of men.
  5. To adjust or adapt to a certain level; as, to level remarks to the capacity of children.
    For all his mind on honor fixed is, To which he levels all his purposes. Spenser.
Lev"el intransitive verb
  1. To be level; to be on a level with, or on an equality with, something; hence, to accord; to agree; to suit. Obs.
    With such accommodation and besort As levels with her breeding. Shak.
  2. To aim a gun, spear, etc., horizontally; hence, to aim or point a weapon in direct line with the mark; fig., to direct the eye, mind, or effort, directly to an object.
    The foeman may with as great aim level at the edge of a penknife. Shak.
    The glory of God and the good of his church . . . ought to be the mark whereat we also level. Hooker.
    She leveled at our purposes. Shak.

Webster 1913