a spirit level
Level Lev"el (l[e^]v"[e^]l), n. [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. [1913 Webster]

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. [1913 Webster]

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 level of the plateau and then descend to the level of the valley or of the sea. [1913 Webster]

After draining of the level in Northamptonshire. --Sir M. Hale. [1913 Webster]

Shot from the deadly level of a gun. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

4. Hence, figuratively, a certain position, rank, standard, degree, quality, character, etc., conceived of as in one of several planes of different elevation. [1913 Webster]

Providence, for the most part, sets us on a level. --Addison. [1913 Webster]

Somebody there of his own level. --Swift. [1913 Webster]

Be the fair level of thy actions laid As temperance wills and prudence may persuade. --Prior. [1913 Webster]

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. [1913 Webster]

When merit shall find its level. --F. W. Robertson. [1913 Webster]

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. [1913 Webster]

7. A horizontal passage, drift, or adit, in a mine. [1913 Webster]

{Air level}, {a spirit level}. See {Spirit level} (below).

{Box level}, a spirit level in which a glass-covered box is used instead of a tube.

{Carpenter's level}, {Mason's level}, either the plumb level or a straight bar of wood, in which is imbedded a small spirit level.

{Level of the sea}, the imaginary level from which heights and depths are calculated, taken at a mean distance between high and low water.

{Line of levels}, a connected series of measurements, by means of a level, along a given line, as of a railroad, to ascertain the profile of the ground.

{Plumb level}, one in which a horizontal bar is placed in true position by means of a plumb line, to which it is at right angles.

{Spirit level}, one in which the adjustment to the horizon is shown by the position of a bubble in alcohol or ether contained in a nearly horizontal glass tube, or a circular box with a glass cover.

{Surveyor's level}, a telescope, with a spirit level attached, and with suitable screws, etc., for accurate adjustment, the whole mounted on a tripod, for use in leveling; -- called also {leveling instrument}.

{Water level}, an instrument to show the level by means of the surface of water in a trough, or in upright tubes connected by a pipe. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Spirit level — A spirit level or bubble level is an instrument designed to indicate whether a surface is level or plumb. Different types of spirit levels are used by carpenters, stone masons, bricklayers, other building trades workers, surveyors, millwrights… …   Wikipedia

  • Spirit level — Level Lev el (l[e^]v [e^]l), n. [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… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • spirit level — spirit levels also spirit level N COUNT A spirit level is a device for testing to see if a surface is level. It consists of a plastic, wood, or metal frame containing a glass tube of liquid with an air bubble in it …   English dictionary

  • Spirit level (Engineers) — An engineers spirit level is generally used to level machines, although they may be used to level large workpieces on machines such as planers. Spirit levels are also used in building construction, by carpenters and masons.The upper image is a… …   Wikipedia

  • Spirit level — Spirit Spir it, n. [OF. espirit, esperit, F. esprit, L. spiritus, from spirare to breathe, to blow. Cf. {Conspire}, {Expire}, {Esprit}, {Sprite}.] 1. Air set in motion by breathing; breath; hence, sometimes, life itself. [Obs.] All of spirit… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • spirit level — spirit ,level noun count MAINLY BRITISH a LEVEL for measuring how level a surface is …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • spirit level — ► NOUN ▪ a device consisting of a sealed glass tube partially filled with alcohol or other liquid, containing an air bubble whose position reveals whether a surface is perfectly level …   English terms dictionary

  • spirit level — spirit .level n especially BrE a tool used for testing whether a surface is level …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • spirit level — noun indicator that establishes the horizontal when a bubble is centered in a tube of liquid • Syn: ↑level • Derivationally related forms: ↑level (for: ↑level) • Hypernyms: ↑indicator …   Useful english dictionary

  • spirit level — UK / US noun [countable] Word forms spirit level : singular spirit level plural spirit levels a tool for measuring how level a surface is, usually used by someone who is building something such as a house or a wall …   English dictionary

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