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level

[lev-uh l] /ˈlɛv əl/
adjective
1.
having no part higher than another; having a flat or even surface.
2.
being in a plane parallel to the plane of the horizon; horizontal.
3.
equal, as one thing with another or two or more things with one another.
4.
even, equable, or uniform.
5.
filled to a height even with the rim of a container:
a level teaspoon of salt.
6.
mentally well-balanced; sensible; rational:
to keep a level head in a crisis.
noun
7.
a device used for determining or adjusting something to a horizontal surface.
8.
Surveying.
  1. Also called surveyor's level. an instrument for observing levels, having a sighting device, usually telescopic, and capable of being made precisely horizontal.
  2. an observation made with this instrument.
  3. spirit level.
9.
an imaginary line or surface everywhere at right angles to the plumb line.
10.
the horizontal line or plane in which anything is situated, with regard to its elevation.
11.
a horizontal position or condition.
12.
an extent of land approximately horizontal and unbroken by irregularities.
13.
a level or flat surface.
14.
a position with respect to a given or specified height:
The water rose to a level of 30 feet.
15.
a position or plane in a graded scale of values; status; rank:
His acting was on the level of an amateur. They associated only with those on their own economic level.
16.
an extent, measure, or degree of intensity, achievement, etc.:
a high level of sound; an average level of writing skill.
17.
Linguistics. a major subdivision of linguistic structure, as phonology, morphology, or syntax, often viewed as hierarchically ordered.
Compare component (def 6a), stratum (def 8).
18.
Mining. the interconnected horizontal mine workings at a particular elevation or depth:
There had been a cave-in on the 1500-foot level.
verb (used with object), leveled, leveling or (especially British) levelled, levelling.
19.
to make (a surface) level, even, or flat:
to level ground before building.
20.
to raise or lower to a particular level or position; to make horizontal.
21.
to bring (something) to the level of the ground:
They leveled the trees to make way for the new highway.
22.
Informal. to knock down (a person):
He leveled his opponent with one blow.
23.
to make equal, as in status or condition.
24.
to make even or uniform, as coloring.
25.
Historical Linguistics. (of the alternative forms of a paradigm) to reduce in number or regularize: Old English “him” (dative) and “hine” (accusative) have been leveled to Modern English “him.”.
26.
to aim or point (a weapon, criticism, etc.) at a mark or objective:
He leveled his criticism at the college as a whole.
27.
Surveying. to find the relative elevation of different points in (land), as with a level.
verb (used without object), leveled, leveling or (especially British) levelled, levelling.
28.
to bring things or persons to a common level.
29.
to aim a weapon, criticism, etc., at a mark or objective.
30.
Surveying.
  1. to take a level.
  2. to use a leveling instrument.
31.
to speak truthfully and openly (often followed by with):
You're not leveling with me about your trip to Chicago.
32.
Obsolete. to direct the mind, purpose, etc., at something.
adverb
33.
Obsolete. in a level, direct, or even way or line.
Verb phrases
34.
level off,
  1. Aeronautics. to maintain a constant altitude after a climb or descent.
  2. to become stable; reach a constant or limit.
  3. to make even or smooth.
Idioms
35.
find one's (own) level, to attain the place or position merited by one's abilities or achievements:
He finally found his level as one of the directors of the firm.
36.
one's level best, one's very best; one's utmost:
We tried our level best to get here on time.
37.
on the level, Informal. honest; sincere; reliable:
Is this information on the level?
Origin
1300-1350
1300-50; Middle English (noun and v.), variant of livel (noun) < Middle French < Vulgar Latin *lībellum, for Latin lībella plummet line, level, diminutive of lībra balance, scales; for formation, see castellum
Related forms
levelly, adverb
levelness, noun
antileveling, adjective
antilevelling, adjective
interlevel, adjective
nonlevel, adjective
relevel, verb, releveled, releveling or (especially British) relevelled, relevelling.
self-leveling, adjective
self-levelling, adjective
underlevel, adjective
unlevel, adjective
unlevelly, adverb
unlevelness, noun
unleveled, adjective
unlevelled, adjective
well-leveled, adjective
well-levelled, adjective
Synonyms
1, 2. flush. Level, even, flat, smooth suggest a uniform surface without marked unevenness. That which is level is parallel to the horizon: a level surface; A billiard table must be level. Flat is applied to any plane surface free from marked irregularities: a flat roof. With reference to land or country, flat connotes lowness or unattractiveness; level does not suggest anything derogatory. That which is even is free from irregularities, though not necessarily level or plane: an even land surface with no hills. Smooth suggests a high degree of evenness in any surface, especially to the touch and sometimes to the sight: as smooth as silk. 19. smooth, flatten. 21. raze, demolish, destroy. 23. equalize. 26. direct.
Antonyms
1. uneven. 2. vertical.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for leveling
  • Population is leveling off, without the need for any of the draconian measures that used to be popular subjects for discussion.
  • Mountaintop-removal operations are leveling the peaks and forested ridges where she has lived her whole life.
  • Many economists expect that figure to rise modestly over the next few months before leveling off.
  • We see clips of hulking lineman pull up short rather than leveling him.
  • Western countries have leveling population growths, but their consumption continues to climb.
  • They take advantage of gamers' completion urge by prominently displaying progress bars that encourage leveling up.
  • Of course, this group encounter winds up leveling everyone in sight.
  • Newer leveling systems do not have as much tilt as the older ones.
British Dictionary definitions for leveling

level

/ˈlɛvəl/
adjective
1.
on a horizontal plane
2.
having a surface of completely equal height
3.
being of the same height as something else
4.
(of quantities to be measured, as in recipes) even with the top of the cup, spoon, etc
5.
equal to or even with (something or someone else)
6.
not having or showing inconsistency or irregularities
7.
Also level-headed. even-tempered; steady
verb -els, -elling, -elled (US) -els, -eling, -eled
8.
(transitive) sometimes foll by off. to make (a surface) horizontal, level, or even
9.
to make (two or more people or things) equal, as in position or status
10.
(transitive) to raze to the ground
11.
(transitive) to knock (a person) down by or as if by a blow
12.
(transitive) to direct (a gaze, criticism, etc) emphatically at someone
13.
(informal) (intransitive) often foll by with. to be straightforward and frank
14.
(intransitive; foll by off or out) to manoeuvre an aircraft into a horizontal flight path after a dive, climb, or glide
15.
(often foll by at) to aim (a weapon) horizontally
16.
(surveying) to determine the elevation of a section of (land), sighting through a levelling instrument to a staff at successive pairs or points
noun
17.
a horizontal datum line or plane
18.
a device, such as a spirit level, for determining whether a surface is horizontal
19.
a surveying instrument consisting basically of a telescope with a spirit level attached, used for measuring relative heights of land See Abney level, dumpy level
20.
a reading of the difference in elevation of two points taken with such an instrument
21.
position or status in a scale of values
22.
amount or degree of progress; stage
23.
a specified vertical position; altitude
24.
a horizontal line or plane with respect to which measurement of elevation is based: sea level
25.
a flat even surface or area of land
26.
a horizontal passage or drift in a mine
27.
any of the successive layers of material that have been deposited with the passage of time to build up and raise the height of the land surface
28.
(physics) the ratio of the magnitude of a physical quantity to an arbitrary magnitude: sound-pressure level
29.
do one's level best, to make every possible effort; try one's utmost
30.
find one's level, to find one's most suitable place socially, professionally, etc
31.
on a level, on the same horizontal plane as another
32.
(informal) on the level, sincere, honest, or genuine
Derived Forms
levelly, adverb
levelness, noun
Word Origin
C14: from Old French livel, from Vulgar Latin lībellum (unattested), from Latin lībella, diminutive of lībra scales
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for leveling

level

n.

mid-14c., "tool to indicate a horizontal line," from Old French livel "a level" (13c.), ultimately from Latin libella "a balance, level," diminutive of libra "balance, scale, unit of weight," from PIE *lithra. Cognate Spanish nivel, Modern French niveau are from the same source but altered by dissimilation. Meaning "horizontality" is from c.1400. Meaning "position as marked by a horizontal line" is from 1530s. Phrase on the level "fair, honest" is from 1872; earlier it meant "moderate, without great ambition" (1790).

adj.

early 15c., from level (n.). To do one's level best is from 1851.

v.

mid-15c., "to make level," from level (n.). From c.1600 as "to bring to a level;" 1958 as "to cease increasing." Meaning "to aim a gun" is late 15c. Slang sense of "tell the truth" is from 1920. To level up "to rise" is attested by 1863.

A word here as to the misconception labored under by our English neighbor; he evidently does not understand the American manner of doing things. We never level down in this country; we are always at work on the up grade. "Level up! Level up!" is the motto of the American people. [James E. Garretson, "Professional Education," in "The Dental Cosmos," Philadelphia, 1865]
To level off "cease rising or falling" is from 1920, originally in aviation.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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leveling in Medicine

level lev·el (lěv'əl)
n.

  1. Relative position or rank on a graded scale, such as mental or emotional development.

  2. A relative degree, as of intensity or concentration.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Slang definitions & phrases for leveling

level

adjective

True: There's never a place for guys like me. That's level

verb

To tell the truth; be honest and candid: Don't laugh. I'm leveling/It's on this level that they tell you that they are ''leveling'' with you (1920+)

Related Terms

on the level


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with leveling
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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