I. noun Etymology: Middle English, plumb line, from Anglo-French livel, from Vulgar Latin *libellum, alteration of Latin libella, from diminutive of libra weight, balance Date: 14th century 1. a device for establishing a horizontal line or plane by means of a bubble in a liquid that shows adjustment to the horizontal by movement to the center of a slightly bowed glass tube 2. a measurement of the difference of altitude of two points by means of a level 3. horizontal condition; especially equilibrium of a fluid marked by a horizontal surface of even altitude <
water seeks its own level
4. a. an approximately horizontal line or surface taken as an index of altitude b. a practically horizontal surface or area (as of land) 5. a position in a scale or rank (as of achievement, significance, or value) <
funded at the national level
the job appeals to me on many levels
6. a. a line or surface that cuts perpendicularly all plumb lines that it meets and hence would everywhere coincide with a surface of still water b. the plane of the horizon or a line in it 7. a horizontal passage in a mine intended for regular working and transportation 8. a concentration of a constituent especially of a body fluid (as blood) 9. the magnitude of a quantity considered in relation to an arbitrary reference value; broadly magnitude, intensity <
a high level of hostility
II. verb (-eled or -elled; -eling or levelling) Date: 15th century transitive verb 1. to make (a line or surface) horizontal ; make flat or level <
level a field
level off a house lot
2. a. to bring to a horizontal aiming position b. aim, direct <
leveled a charge of fraud
3. to bring to a common level or plane ; equalize <
love levels all ranks — W. S. Gilbert
4. a. to lay level with or as if with the ground ; raze b. to knock down <
leveled him with one punch
5. to make (as color) even or uniform 6. to find the heights of different points in (a piece of land) especially with a surveyor's level intransitive verb 1. to attain or come to a level <
the plane leveled off at 10,000 feet
2. to aim a gun or other weapon horizontally 3. to bring persons or things to a level 4. to deal frankly and openly III. adjective Date: 15th century 1. a. having no part higher than another ; conforming to the curvature of the liquid parts of the earth's surface b. parallel with the plane of the horizon ; horizontal 2. a. even or unvarying in height b. equal in advantage, progression, or standing c. proceeding monotonously or uneventfully d. (1) steady, unwavering <
gave him a level look
(2) calm, unexcited <
spoke in level tones
3. reasonable, balanced <
arrive at a justly proportional and level judgment on this affair — Sir Winston Churchill
4. distributed evenly <
level stress
5. being a surface perpendicular to all lines of force in a field of force ; equipotential 6. suited to a particular rank or plane of ability or achievement <
top-level thinking
7. of or relating to the spreading out of a cost or charge in even payments over a period of time • levelly adverblevelness noun Synonyms: level, flat, plane, even, smooth mean having a surface without bends, curves, or irregularities. level applies to a horizontal surface that lies on a line parallel with the horizon <
the vast prairies are nearly level
. flat applies to a surface devoid of noticeable curvatures, prominences, or depressions <
the work surface must be flat
. plane applies to any real or imaginary flat surface in which a straight line between any two points on it lies wholly within that surface <
the plane sides of a crystal
. even applies to a surface that is noticeably flat or level or to a line that is observably straight <
trim the hedge so it is even
. smooth applies especially to a polished surface free of irregularities <
a smooth skating rink

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • 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,… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Level — or levels may refer to: Contents 1 Places 2 Engineering related 3 Science and mathematics …   Wikipedia

  • LeveL — is a computer and video games magazine originating in the Czech Republic with branches in Romania and Turkey. These three brother divisions occasionally exchange content. In addition to publishing the magazine, LeveL also organizes many yearly… …   Wikipedia

  • level — [lev′əl] n. [OFr livel < VL * libellus < L libella, dim. of libra, a balance, level, weight] 1. an instrument for determining, or adjusting a surface to, an even horizontal plane: it has a glass tube partly filled with liquid so as to leave …   English World dictionary

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

  • level# — level vb point, train, *direct, aim, lay level adj Level, flat, plane, plain, even, smooth, flush are comparable chiefly as applied to surfaces and as meaning having a surface comparable to that of a perfectly calm body of water with no part… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • Level — Lev el, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Leveled} ( [e^]ld) or {Levelled}; p. pr. & vb. n. {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… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • level — ► NOUN 1) a horizontal plane or line with respect to the distance above or below a given point. 2) a height or distance from the ground or another base. 3) a position or stage on a scale of quantity, extent, rank, or quality. 4) a floor within a… …   English terms dictionary

  • level — 1. The phrase at level is well established and has a useful role to play: • No work is at present supported at international level on oil seeds such as sunflower, safflower and rapeseed Nature, 1974 • The Treasury took the lead in setting up… …   Modern English usage

  • level — [adj] smooth, balanced akin, aligned, alike, calm, commensurate, common, comparable, consistent, constant, continuous, equable, equivalent, even, exact, flat, flush, horizontal, identical, in line, leveled, like, lined up, matched, matching, of… …   New thesaurus

  • Level — Lev el, v. i. 1. To be level; to be on a level with, or on an equality with, something; hence, to accord; to agree; to suit. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] With such accommodation and besort As levels with her breeding. Shak. [1913 Webster] 2. To aim a… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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