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levity

[lev-i-tee] /ˈlɛv ɪ ti/
noun, plural levities.
1.
lightness of mind, character, or behavior; lack of appropriate seriousness or earnestness.
2.
an instance or exhibition of this.
4.
lightness in weight.
Origin
1555-1565
1555-65; < Latin levitās lightness, frivolity, equivalent to levi(s) light + -tās -ty2
Synonyms
1, 2. frivolity, flippancy, triviality, giddiness.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for levity
  • Aye, but arguments can become tedious, and sometimes rampant imagination may add levity to an otherwise heavy discussion.
  • They that desire to excel in too many matters, out of levity and vain glory, are ever envious.
  • The simple rise as by specific levity not into a particular virtue, but into the region of all the virtues.
  • One of his friends he would never be prevailed upon to admit among the clergy, on account of some levity in his carriage.
  • In her infancy she discovered no marks of levity, and all her inclinations were turned to piety and devotion.
  • His enthusiasm, barred from the career which it would have selected for itself, seems to have found a vent in desperate levity.
  • Moderate strength is shown in violence, supreme strength is shown in levity.
  • Let her never play with her feet, nor learn any levity or vanity.
  • His discourse at such times was cheerful without levity or impertinence, and instructive without stiffness or austerity.
  • Season with some interpolating phrases featuring a bit of levity, and you're done.
British Dictionary definitions for levity

levity

/ˈlɛvɪtɪ/
noun (pl) -ties
1.
inappropriate lack of seriousness
2.
fickleness or instability
3.
(archaic) lightness in weight
Word Origin
C16: from Latin levitās lightness, from levis light
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 levity
n.

"want of seriousness, frivolity," 1560s, from Latin levitatem (nominative levitas) "lightness, frivolity," from levis "light" in weight (see lever) + -ity.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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