See also: Level and levél



From Middle English level, from Old French livel, liveau m, later nivel, niveau, from Latin libella f (a balance, a level), diminutive of libra f (a balance, a level); see libra, librate.

The verb is from Middle English levelen, from the noun.


  • (UK, US) IPA(key): /ˈlɛv.əl/
  • (file)
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɛvəl
  • Hyphenation: lev‧el


level (comparative leveler or leveller, superlative levelest or levellest)

  1. The same height at all places; parallel to a flat ground.
    This table isn't quite level; see how this marble rolls off it?
    • (Can we date this quote by John Milton and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      the smooth and level pavement
  2. At the same height as some reference; constructed as level with.
    • 1963, Margery Allingham, chapter 14, in The China Governess[1]:
      Nanny Broome was looking up at the outer wall. Just under the ceiling there were three lunette windows, heavily barred and blacked out in the normal way by centuries of grime. Their bases were on a level with the pavement outside, a narrow way which was several feet lower than the road behind the house.
    We tried to hang the pictures so that the bottom of the frames were level with the dark line in the wallpaper.
  3. Unvaried in frequency.
    His pulse has been level for 12 hours.
  4. Unvaried in volume.
    His voice has been unchanged. It has been level for 12 hours.
  5. Calm.
    He kept a level head under stress.
  6. In the same position or rank.
    • c. 1606–1607, William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of Anthonie and Cleopatra”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act IV, scene xv]:
      Young boys and girls / Are level now with men.
    • 2011 October 22, Sam Sheringham, “Aston Villa 1 - 2 West Brom”, in BBC Sport[2]:
      After a poor start to the season, Roy Hodgson's men are now unbeaten in four matches and 10th in the Premier League table, level with Aston Villa on 11 points.
  7. Straightforward; direct; clear.
    • (Can we date this quote by Matthew Arnold and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      a very plain and level account
  8. Well balanced; even; just; steady; impartial.
    a level head; a level understanding
  9. (phonetics) Of even tone; without rising or falling inflection; monotonic.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of H. Sweet to this entry?)
  10. (physics) Perpendicular to a gravitational force.
    The earth's oceans remain level in relation to the pull of gravity.


Derived termsEdit

Related termsEdit


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.


level (countable and uncountable, plural levels)

  1. A tool for finding whether a surface is level, or for creating a horizontal or vertical line of reference.
    Hand me the level so I can tell if this is correctly installed.
  2. A distance relative to a given reference elevation.
    By the end of the day, we'd dug down to the level of the old basement floor.
  3. Degree or amount.
    • 1918, W. B. Maxwell, chapter 17, in The Mirror and the Lamp:
      This time was most dreadful for Lilian. Thrown on her own resources and almost penniless, she maintained herself and paid the rent of a wretched room near the hospital by working as a charwoman, sempstress, anything. In a moment she had dropped to the level of a casual labourer.
    • 2013 May 17, George Monbiot, “Money just makes the rich suffer”, in The Guardian Weekly[3], volume 188, number 23, page 19:
      In order to grant the rich these pleasures, the social contract is reconfigured. […]  The public realm is privatised, the regulations restraining the ultra–wealthy and the companies they control are abandoned, and Edwardian levels of inequality are almost fetishised.
    The sound level is much too high; this hurts my ears.   We've reached a new level of success.
  4. Achievement or qualification.
    She achieved a high level of distinction.
  5. (computer science) Distance from the root node of a tree structure.
  6. (video games) One of several discrete segments of a game, generally increasing in difficulty and representing different locations in the game world.
    It took me weeks to get to level seven.   Watch out for the next level; the bad guys there are really overpowered.
    Synonyms: stage, zone, world
  7. (role-playing games, video games) A numeric value that quantifies a character's experience and power.
    My half-orc barbarian reached fifth level before he was squashed by a troll.
  8. A floor of a multi-storey building.
    Take the elevator and get off at the promenade level.
  9. (Britain) An area of almost perfectly flat land.
    • 1820, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Oedipus Tyrannus; Or, Swellfoot The Tyrant: A Tragedy in Two Acts:
      The troops grow mutinous—the revenue fails—
      There’s something rotten in us—for the level
      Of the State slopes, its very bases topple,
      The boldest turn their backs upon themselves!
  10. (Singapore, education) A school grade or year.


Related termsEdit


  • German: Level
  • Irish: leibhéal
  • Japanese: レベル (reberu)


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.

See alsoEdit


level (third-person singular simple present levels, present participle (US) leveling or levelling, simple past and past participle (US) leveled or levelled)

  1. To adjust so as to make as flat or perpendicular to the ground as possible.
    You can level the table by turning the pads that screw into the feet.
  2. To destroy by reducing to ground level; to raze.
    The hurricane leveled the forest.
    • (Can we date this quote by John Dryden and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      He levels mountains and he raises plains.
  3. (role-playing games, video games) To progress to the next level.
    I levelled after defeating the dragon.
  4. To aim or direct (a weapon, a stare, an accusation, etc).
    He levelled an accusation of fraud at the directors.  The hunter levels the gun before taking a shot.
    • (Can we date this quote by John Stow and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      Bertram de Gordon, standing on the castle wall, levelled a quarrel out of a crossbow.
    • 1879, R[ichard] J[efferies], chapter 1, in The Amateur Poacher, London: Smith, Elder, & Co., [], OCLC 752825175:
      But then I had the [massive] flintlock by me for protection. ¶ [] The linen-press and a chest on the top of it formed, however, a very good gun-carriage; and, thus mounted, aim could be taken out of the window […], and a 'bead' could be drawn upon Molly, the dairymaid, kissing the fogger behind the hedge, little dreaming that the deadly tube was levelled at them.
  5. To direct or impose (a penalty, fine, etc) at or upon (someone).
    • 1809, William Ross (Jr.), Abridgement of the laws of Scotland relating to hunting [etc], page 60:
      If the right of killing salmon belong exclusively to the King, and consequently to his donatories, why has not the Legislature secured the right by levelling penalties against such as should encroach upon it [...] ?
    • 1978, Parliamentary Debates of the New Zealand House of Representatives, page 4955:
      How can the Minister reconcile the first statement with the clause, when he is in fact levelling punishment at the woman and not at the errant father [...] ?
    • 1995, The Parliamentary Debates (Hansard) of the [Great British] House of Lords:
      There is no purpose in levelling fines because they would be merely paid from the £1.8 billion which the BBC collects.
    • 2007, Mary Jacoby, EU investigators endorse charges against Intel, Wall Street Journal Europe, 17 January, page 32, column 5:
      Ultimately, Ms. Kroes [European Union Antitrust Commissioner] could level a fine and order Intel to change its business practices.
  6. (sports) To make the score of a game equal.
    • 2012 April 9, Mandeep Sanghera, “Tottenham 1-2 Norwich”, in BBC Sport:
      Holt was furious referee Michael Oliver refused to then award him a penalty after Ledley King appeared to pull his shirt and his anger was compounded when Spurs immediately levelled.
  7. (figuratively) To bring to a common level or plane, in respect of rank, condition, character, privilege, etc.
    to level all the ranks and conditions of men
  8. To adjust or adapt to a certain level.
    to level remarks to the capacity of children
    • (Can we date this quote by Edmund Spenser and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      For all his mind on honour fixed is, / To which he levels all his purposes.
  9. (usually with "with") To speak honestly and openly with.
    • 2010, James William Jones, Triple Crossed:
      Sean, I'll level with you. This could get ugly. Do you have a gun?

Derived termsEdit



Further readingEdit