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spirit level

noun, Surveying
a device for determining true horizontal or vertical directions by the centering of a bubble in a slightly curved glass tube or tubes filled with alcohol or ether.
Also called level.
Origin of spirit level
1760-70 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for spirit-level
Historical Examples
  • Searching the mate's room, I found a spirit-level, and laid it on the floor.

    John Whopper Thomas March Clark
  • A few trials with a spirit-level will cure any man of his conceit on this subject.

    Farm drainage Henry Flagg French
  • Place it lightly in a vice, and in such a position that a spirit-level on top shows the bubble exactly in the centre.

  • There is a sort of spirit-level in the ear, giving us our sense of balance.

  • The movement of the bulb was caused by the heat of the finger expanding the top of the spirit-level and causing it to bend.

  • A carpenter's spirit-level set on an adjustable stand will do as well.

    Getting Gold J. C. F. Johnson
  • The bar is then levelled by two screws placed near the inner end, and a spirit-level on its upper surface.

  • If level is important, take it yourself with spirit-level and plumb-line.

    Stained Glass Work C. W. Whall
  • Ross R. Rogers began surveying the ditch with a straight-edge and spirit-level.

  • The spirit-level of absolute honesty is hard to find, and, of course, Tom was no exception.

    The Wave Algernon Blackwood
British Dictionary definitions for spirit-level

spirit level

a device for setting horizontal surfaces, consisting of an accurate block of material in which a sealed slightly curved tube partially filled with liquid is set so that the air bubble rests between two marks on the tube when the block is horizontal
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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