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levee1

[lev-ee] /ˈlɛv i/
noun
1.
an embankment designed to prevent the flooding of a river.
2.
Geology, natural levee.
3.
Agriculture. one of the small continuous ridges surrounding fields that are to be irrigated.
4.
History/Historical. a landing place for ships; quay.
verb (used with object), leveed, leveeing.
5.
to furnish with a levee:
to levee a treacherous stream.
Origin of levee1
1710-1720
1710-20, Americanism; < French levée < Medieval Latin levāta embankment, noun use of feminine past participle of Latin levāre to raise, orig. lighten, akin to levis light, not heavy
Can be confused
levee, levy.

levee2

[lev-ee, le-vee] /ˈlɛv i, lɛˈvi/
noun
1.
(in Great Britain) a public court assembly, held in the early afternoon, at which men only are received.
2.
a reception, usually in someone's honor:
a presidential levee at the White House.
3.
History/Historical. a reception of visitors held on rising from bed, as formerly by a royal or other personage.
Origin
1665-75; < French levé, variant spelling of lever rising (noun use of infinitive) < Latin levāre to raise; see levee1
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for levee

levee1

/ˈlɛvɪ/
noun (US)
1.
an embankment alongside a river, produced naturally by sedimentation or constructed by man to prevent flooding
2.
an embankment that surrounds a field that is to be irrigated
3.
a landing place on a river; quay
Word Origin
C18: from French, from Medieval Latin levāta, from Latin levāre to raise

levee2

/ˈlɛvɪ; ˈlɛveɪ/
noun
1.
a formal reception held by a sovereign just after rising from bed
2.
(in Britain) a public court reception for men, held in the early afternoon
Word Origin
C17: from French, variant of lever a rising, from Latin levāre to raise
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 levee
n.

1719, "natural or artificial embankment to prevent overflow of a river," from New Orleans French levée "raising, lifting; embankment," from French, originally fem. past participle of lever "to raise," from Latin levare "to raise" (see lever).

"morning assembly held by a prince or king (upon rising from bed)," 1670s, from French lever "a raising," noun use of verb meaning "to raise" (see levee (n.1)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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levee in Science
levee
  (lěv'ē)   
  1. A long ridge of sand, silt, and clay built up by a river along its banks, especially during floods.

  2. An artificial embankment along a rivercourse or an arm of the sea, built to protect adjoining land from inundation.


The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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