verb (used without object) British Slang.
to leave secretly or hurriedly to avoid paying debts.

1750–60; perhaps < Spanish levantar to lift (Compare levantar el campo to break camp, leave), frequentative of levar < Latin levāre

levanter, noun
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the lands bordering the E shores of the Mediterranean Sea.
Also called Levant morocco. a superior grade of morocco having a large and prominent grain, originally made in the Levant.

1490–1500; earlier levaunt < Middle French levant, noun use (with reference to rising sun) of present participle of lever to raise (se lever to rise). See lever

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
levant1 (lɪˈvænt)
a type of leather made from the skins of goats, sheep, or seals, having a pattern of irregular creases
[C19: shortened from Levant morocco (type of leather)]

levant2 (lɪˈvænt)
(Brit) (intr) to bolt or abscond, esp to avoid paying debts
[C18: perhaps from Spanish levantar (el campo) to break (camp)]

Levant (lɪˈvænt)
the Levant a former name for the area of the E Mediterranean now occupied by Lebanon, Syria, and Israel
[C15: from Old French, from the present participle of lever to raise (referring to the rising of the sun in the east), from Latin levāre]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Dictionary.com's 21st Century Lexicon
Main Entry:  levant
Part of Speech:  n
Definition:  See aram sandwich
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Word Origin & History

"Mediterranean lands east of Italy," 1497, from M.Fr. levant "the Orient," from prp. of lever "to rise" (from L. levare "to raise;" see lever). The region so called in allusion to the direction of sunrise.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary
Levant [(luh-vant)]

Name for the nations on the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea: Cyprus, Egypt, Israel, Lebanon, Syria, and Turkey.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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