• Level


    • UK IPA: /ˈlÉ›v.É™l/
    • Rhymes: -É›vÉ™l


    From Middle English level, from Old French livel, liveau, later nivel, niveau, from Latin libella ("a balance, a level"), diminutive of libra ("a balance, a level"); see libra, librate.

    Full definition of level



    1. The same height at all places; parallel to a flat ground.
      This table isn't quite level; see how this marble rolls off it?
      • Miltonthe smooth and level pavement
    2. At the same height as some reference; constructed as level with.
      • 1963, Margery Allingham, The China Governess Chapter 14, Nanny Broome was looking up at the outer wall. Just under the ceiling there were three lunette windows, heavily barred and blacked out in the normal way by centuries of grime. Their bases were on a level with the pavement outside, a narrow way which was several feet lower than the road behind the house.
    3. We tried to hang the pictures so that the bottom of the frames were level with the dark line in the wallpaper.
    4. Unvaried in frequency.
      His pulse has been level for 12 hours.
    5. Calm.
      He kept a level head under stress.
    6. In the same position or rank.
      • ShakespeareYoung boys and girls
        Are level now with men.
      • 2011, October 22, Sam Sheringham, Aston Villa 1 - 2 West Brom, After a poor start to the season, Roy Hodgson's men are now unbeaten in four matches and 10th in the Premier League table, level with Aston Villa on 11 points.
    7. Straightforward; direct; clear.
      • M. Arnolda very plain and level account
    8. Well balanced; even; just; steady; impartial.a level head; a level understanding
      • Shakespearea level consideration
    9. (phonetics) Of even tone; without rising or falling inflection.

    Related terms



    (plural levels)
    1. A tool for finding whether a surface is level, or for creating a horizontal or vertical line of reference.
      Hand me the level so I can tell if this is correctly installed.
    2. A distance relative to a given reference elevation.
      By the end of the day, we'd dug down to the level of the old basement floor.
    3. Degree or amount.
      • 1918, W. B. Maxwell, The Mirror and the Lamp Chapter 17, This time was most dreadful for Lilian. Thrown on her own resources and almost penniless, she maintained herself and paid the rent of a wretched room near the hospital by working as a charwoman, sempstress, anything. In a moment she had dropped to the level of a casual labourer.
      • 2013-05-17, George Monbiot, Money just makes the rich suffer, In order to grant the rich these pleasures, the social contract is reconfigured.   The public realm is privatised, the regulations restraining the ultra–wealthy and the companies they control are abandoned, and Edwardian levels of inequality are almost fetishised.
    4. The sound level is much too high; this hurts my ears.   We've reached a new level of success.
    5. In an Internet post, an indication of the number of previous replies at which a portion of text was written.
    6. (gaming) One of several discrete segments of a game generally increasing in difficulty. Often numbered. Often, each level occupies different physical space (levels don't require any direct physical relationship to each other, e.g. vertically stacked, horizontally chained, etc).
      It took me weeks to get to level seven.   Watch out for the next level; the bad guys there are really overpowered.
    7. (gaming) A numeric value that quantifies a character's experience and power.
      My half-orc barbarian reached fifth level before he was squashed by a troll.
    8. A floor of a multi-storey building.
      Take the elevator and get off at the promenade level.
    9. (British) an area of almost perfectly flat land.


    1. To adjust so as to make as flat or perpendicular to the ground as possible.
      You can level the table by turning the pads that screw into the feet.
    2. To destroy by reducing to ground level; to raze.
      The hurricane leveled the forest.
      • John Dryden (1631-1700)He levels mountains and he raises plains.
    3. (gaming) To progress to the next level.
      I levelled after defeating the dragon.
    4. To aim or direct (a weapon, a stare, an accusation, etc).
      He levelled an accusation of fraud at the directors.
      The hunter levels the gun before taking a shot.
      • StowBertram de Gordon, standing on the castle wall, levelled a quarrel out of a crossbow.
      • 1879, Richard Jefferies, The Amateur Poacher Chapter 1, But then I had the massive flintlock by me for protection. ¶...The linen-press and a chest on the top of it formed, however, a very good gun-carriage; and, thus mounted, aim could be taken out of the window , and a 'bead' could be drawn upon Molly, the dairymaid, kissing the fogger behind the hedge, little dreaming that the deadly tube was levelled at them.
    5. (sports, games) To make the score of a game equal.
      • 2012, April 9, Mandeep Sanghera, Tottenham 1-2 Norwich, Holt was furious referee Michael Oliver refused to then award him a penalty after Ledley King appeared to pull his shirt and his anger was compounded when Spurs immediately levelled.
    6. (nonstandard, rare) To levy.
      • 2007, Mary Jacoby, EU investigators endorse charges against Intel, Wall Street Journal Europe (17 Jan 07, p. 32, col 5),Ultimately, Ms. Kroes Union Antitrust Commissioner could level a fine and order Intel to change its business practices.
    7. (figurative) To bring to a common level or plane, in respect of rank, condition, character, privilege, etc.
      to level all the ranks and conditions of men
    8. To adjust or adapt to a certain level.
      to level remarks to the capacity of children
      • Edmund Spenser (c.1552–1599)For all his mind on honour fixed is,
        To which he levels all his purposes.
    © Wiktionary