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[lev-ee] /ˈlɛv i/
noun, plural levies.
an imposing or collecting, as of a tax, by authority or force.
the amount owed or collected.
the conscription of troops.
the troops conscripted.
verb (used with object), levied, levying.
to impose (a tax):
to levy a duty on imports.
to conscript (troops).
to start or wage (war).
verb (used without object), levied, levying.
to seize or attach property by judicial order.
Origin of levy
late Middle English
1375-1425; late Middle English leve(e) < Middle French, noun use of feminine past participle of lever to raise < Latin levāre, akin to levis light; cf. levee2
Related forms
relevy, verb (used with object), relevied, relevying.
self-levied, adjective
unlevied, adjective
Can be confused
levee, levy.
6. draft, enlist, callup.


[lee-vee, lev-ee for 1; lee-vee, -vahy for 2] /ˈli vi, ˈlɛv i for 1; ˈli vi, -vaɪ for 2/
Uriah Phillips, 1792–1862, U.S. naval commander.
a male given name. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for levy
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Well, that was all right, but a little later I saw Latham and levy joining in a game with two other men, both strangers to me.

    Local Color Irvin S. Cobb
  • Mr. Benjamin looked at his father gravely, and Mr. levy shook his head.

    The New Tenant E. Phillips Oppenheim
  • "I've called about a little bit of business, miss," said Mr. levy, when they were alone.

    Can You Forgive Her? Anthony Trollope
  • They levy toll from every one who descends these long flights of stairs.

    The Critic in the Orient George Hamlin Fitch
  • The consuls held the levy with much greater care than usual.

British Dictionary definitions for levy


verb (transitive) levies, levying, levied
to impose and collect (a tax, tariff, fine, etc)
to conscript troops for service
to seize or attach (property) in accordance with the judgment of a court
noun (pl) levies
  1. the act of imposing and collecting a tax, tariff, etc
  2. the money so raised
  1. the conscription of troops for service
  2. a person conscripted in this way
Derived Forms
levier, noun
Word Origin
C15: from Old French levée a raising, from lever, 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 levy

early 13c., "act of raising or collecting," from Anglo-French leve, from Old French levée "act of raising," noun use of fem. past participle of lever "to raise" (see lever). Originally of taxes, later of men for armies (c.1500). Related: Levied; levying.


"an act of levying," early 15c., from Anglo-French leve, Old French levée "a raising, lifting; levying," noun use of fem. past participle of lever "to raise" (see lever).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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levy in the Bible

(1 Kings 4:6, R.V.; 5:13), forced service. The service of tributaries was often thus exacted by kings. Solomon raised a "great levy" of 30,000 men, about two per cent. of the population, to work for him by courses on Lebanon. Adoram (12:18) presided over this forced labour service (Ger. Frohndienst; Fr. corvee).

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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