English edit

Etymology edit

See the Citations page for examples showing the sense evolution.

Pronunciation edit

  • (file)

Prepositional phrase edit

on the level

  1. (idiomatic) Honest(ly), sincere(ly), straightforward(ly), fair(ly).
    He looks like a used car salesman, but he's really on the level, so you can trust him.
    • 1912 August, Christy Mathewson, “Play Clean Ball”, in Boys' Life, page 7:
      While I believe that the American people and the players want the game to be on the level, there are two or three things which, it strikes me, are not up to a high standard of honor.
    • 1959, Marc Brody, Low Dive for Lola, page i. 9:
      "On the level, honey, I have an all-time, big-time need for coffee."
  2. Synonym of on the square (discreet reference to freemasonry)

Synonyms edit

Antonyms edit