noun \ˈle-vər, ˈlē-\

: a strong bar that is used to lift and move something heavy

: a bar or rod that is used to operate or adjust something on a machine, vehicle, device, etc.

: something used to achieve a desired result

Full Definition of LEVER

a :  a bar used for prying or dislodging something
b :  an inducing or compelling force :  tool <use food as a political leverTime>
a :  a rigid piece that transmits and modifies force or motion when forces are applied at two points and it turns about a third; specifically :  a rigid bar used to exert a pressure or sustain a weight at one point of its length by the application of a force at a second and turning at a third on a fulcrum
b :  a projecting piece by which a mechanism is operated or adjusted

Examples of LEVER

  1. They used their money as a lever to gain political power.

Illustration of LEVER

Origin of LEVER

Middle English, from Anglo-French levier, lever, from lever to raise, from Latin levare, from levis light in weight — more at light
First Known Use: 14th century

Other Mechanical Engineering Terms

centrifuge, differential, flange, lathe, linchpin, pinion, plenum, ratchet, traction

Rhymes with LEVER



: to lift or move (something) with a lever

le·veredle·ver·ing \ˈle-və-riŋ, ˈlē-; ˈlev-riŋ, ˈlēv-\

Full Definition of LEVER

transitive verb
:  to pry, raise, or move with or as if with a lever
:  to operate (a device) in the manner of a lever

Examples of LEVER

  1. He levered the rock out of the hole.
  2. <the workers used crowbars to lever the heavy stone block into its new position>

First Known Use of LEVER


Related to LEVER


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Simple machine used to amplify physical force. All early people used the lever in some form, for moving heavy stones or as digging sticks for land cultivation. Balance beams for weighing were probably used in Egypt c. 5000 BC; they consist of a bar pivoted at its center with weights on one end balancing the object on the other. As early as 1500 BC people were raising water and lifting soldiers over battlements using the swape or shadoof, a long lever pivoted near one end with a platform or container hanging from the short arm and counterweights attached to the long arm.


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