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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
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

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. 2014.
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Examples for levee
  • The day on the levee had more a sense of détente than of harmony.
  • Explore this interactive map and ten signs of trouble for the levee system.
  • It could have addressed levee failure, which probably puts more people at risk of flooding each year than dam failure.
  • In the upper portions of the city the levee is low, but is able to hold three feet more water.
  • The city is gradually sinking lower below sea level and becoming more dependent on its extensive levee system to keep water out.
  • In the wake of the catastrophe, other communities may need to reevaluate their own levee protections.
  • Coastal communities, many protected by small levee systems, already feel the brunt.
  • The fragile, worn-out levee system threatens to give way and cause catastrophic flooding if it is not upgraded soon.
  • Also called levee or floodgate storm surge: noun: abnormal rise in sea level accompanying a hurricane or other intense storm.
  • It's also a levee bottling up a torrent of content that can be sold and delivered over those devices.
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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Encyclopedia Article for levee

any low ridge or earthen embankment built along the edges of a stream or river channel to prevent flooding of the adjacent land. Artificial levees are typically needed to control the flow of rivers meandering through broad, flat floodplains. Levees are usually embankments of dirt built wide enough so that they will not collapse or be eroded when saturated with moisture from rivers running at unusually high levels. Grass or some other matlike vegetation is planted on the top of the levee's bank so that its erosion will be kept to a minimum.

Learn more about levee with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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