[lev-er-ij, lee-ver-]
the action of a lever, a rigid bar that pivots about one point and that is used to move an object at a second point by a force applied at a third.
the mechanical advantage or power gained by using a lever.
power or ability to act or to influence people, events, decisions, etc.; sway: Being the only industry in town gave the company considerable leverage in its union negotiations. advantage, strength, weight; clout, pull.
the use of a small initial investment, credit, or borrowed funds to gain a very high return in relation to one's investment, to control a much larger investment, or to reduce one's own liability for any loss.
verb (used with object), leveraged, leveraging.
to use (a quality or advantage) to obtain a desired effect or result: She was able to leverage her travel experience and her gift for languages to get a job as a translator.
to provide with leverage: The board of directors plans to leverage two failing branches of the company with an influx of cash.
to invest or arrange (invested funds) using leverage.
to exert power or influence on: It was Joe who leveraged her to change her habits.

1715–25; lever + -age

nonleveraged, adjective
unleveraged, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
leverage (ˈliːvərɪdʒ, -vrɪdʒ, ˈlɛv-)
1.  the action of a lever
2.  the mechanical advantage gained by employing a lever
3.  power to accomplish something; strategic advantage
4.  the enhanced power available to a large company: the supermarket chains have greater leverage than single-outlet enterprises
5.  US word for gearing
6.  the use made by a company of its limited assets to guarantee the substantial loans required to finance its business

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

1724, "action of a lever," from lever + -age. Meaning "power or force of a lever" is from 1830s; figurative sense from 1858. The noun in the financial sense is attested by 1937, Amer.Eng.; the verb by 1957. Related: Leveraged; leverages; leveraging.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

leverage definition

The amount in which a purchase is paid for in borrowed money. The greater the leverage, the greater the possible gain or potential loss.

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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Example sentences
Price leveraged this fact while comparing more than a thousand ancient wombat teeth held in museums around the world.
Colleges, in turn, have leveraged that awareness to raise money for preservation projects.
Easy to conceive of how these sorts of scientific models could be leveraged in public policy discussions.
One thing that will help is that your donations are leveraged.
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