noun (1)
le·​vee | \ ˈle-vē How to pronounce levee (audio) ; lə-ˈvē, -ˈvā \

Definition of levee

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : a reception held by a person of distinction on rising from bed
2 : an afternoon assembly at which the British sovereign or his or her representative receives only men
3 : a reception usually in honor of a particular person the years of levees and parades and other suave peacetime occasions— Gladys B. Stern


noun (2)
lev·​ee | \ ˈle-vē How to pronounce levee (audio) \

Definition of levee (Entry 2 of 3)

1a : an embankment for preventing flooding
b : a river landing place : pier
2 : a continuous dike or ridge (as of earth) for confining the irrigation areas of land to be flooded


lev·​ee | \ ˈle-vē How to pronounce levee (audio) \
leveed; leveeing

Definition of levee (Entry 3 of 3)

transitive verb

: to provide with a levee

First Known Use of levee

Noun (1)

1672, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun (2)

circa 1720, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1832, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for levee

Noun (1)

French lever, from Middle French, act of arising, from (se) lever to rise

Noun (2)

French levée, from Old French, act of raising, from lever to raise — more at lever

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Cite this Entry

“Levee.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/levee. Accessed 25 Feb. 2021.

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More Definitions for levee


le·​vee | \ ˈle-vē How to pronounce levee (audio) \

Kids Definition of levee

: a bank built along a river to prevent flooding

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