lev·​el | \ˈle-vəl \

Definition of level 

(Entry 1 of 3)

1 : a device for establishing a horizontal line or plane by means of a bubble in a liquid that shows adjustment to the horizontal by movement to the center of a slightly bowed glass tube

2 : a measurement of the difference of altitude of two points by means of a level

3 : horizontal condition especially : equilibrium of a fluid marked by a horizontal surface of even altitude water seeks its own level

4a : an approximately horizontal line or surface taken as an index of altitude Charts were arranged at eye level.

b : a practically horizontal surface or area (as of land) the level of the plateau

5 : a position in a scale or rank (as of achievement, significance, or value) funded at the national level the job appeals to me on many levels

6a : a line or surface that cuts perpendicularly all plumb lines that it meets and hence would everywhere coincide with a surface of still water

b : the plane of the horizon or a line in it

7 : a horizontal passage in a mine intended for regular working and transportation

8 : a concentration of a constituent especially of a body fluid (such as blood) a normal blood-sugar level

9 : the magnitude of a quantity considered in relation to an arbitrary reference value broadly : magnitude, intensity a high level of hostility

on the level


leveled or levelled; leveling or levelling\ ˈle-​və-​liŋ , ˈlev-​liŋ \

Definition of level (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

1 : to make (a line or surface) horizontal : make flat or level level a field level off a house lot

2a : to bring to a horizontal aiming position

b : aim, direct leveled a charge of fraud

3 : to bring to a common level or plane : equalize love levels all ranks— W. S. Gilbert

4a : to lay level with or as if with the ground : raze

b : to knock down leveled him with one punch

5 : to make (something, such as color) even or uniform

6 : to find the heights of different points in (a piece of land) especially with a surveyor's level

intransitive verb

1 : to attain or come to a level the plane leveled off at 10,000 feet

2 : to aim a gun or other weapon horizontally

3 : to bring persons or things to a level

4 : to deal frankly and openly



Definition of level (Entry 3 of 3)

1a : having no part higher than another : conforming to the curvature of the liquid parts of the earth's surface

b : parallel with the plane of the horizon : horizontal

2a : even or unvarying in height

b : equal in advantage, progression, or standing

c : proceeding monotonously or uneventfully

d(1) : steady, unwavering gave him a level look

(2) : calm, unexcited spoke in level tones

3 : reasonable, balanced arrive at a justly proportional and level judgment on this affair— Sir Winston Churchill

4 : distributed evenly level stress

5 : being a surface perpendicular to all lines of force in a field of force : equipotential

6 : suited to a particular rank or plane of ability or achievement top-level thinking

7 : of or relating to the spreading out of a cost or charge in even payments over a period of time

level best

: very best

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Other Words from level


levelly \ ˈle-​və(l)-​lē \ adverb
levelness \ ˈle-​vəl-​nəs \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for level


level, flat, plane, even, smooth mean having a surface without bends, curves, or irregularities. level applies to a horizontal surface that lies on a line parallel with the horizon. the vast prairies are nearly level flat applies to a surface devoid of noticeable curvatures, prominences, or depressions. the work surface must be flat plane applies to any real or imaginary flat surface in which a straight line between any two points on it lies wholly within that surface. the plane sides of a crystal even applies to a surface that is noticeably flat or level or to a line that is observably straight. trim the hedge so it is even smooth applies especially to a polished surface free of irregularities. a smooth skating rink


level, flat, and even mean having a surface without bends, curves, or interruptions. level is used especially for a surface or a line that does not slant up or down. We traveled a level road between two hills. flat is used for a surface that is free from curves or bumps or hollows whether or not it is parallel to the ground. I need a flat work surface. even is used when there is a lack of breaks or bumps in a line or surface. Dad trimmed the hedge to make it even.

Examples of level in a Sentence


The pictures were hung on the wall at eye level. The pictures were hung at different levels. There was a high level of alcohol in his blood. a normal level of intelligence Prices have risen to a new level. She rose to the level of manager. She has reached a rare level of financial success. These problems affect people at all levels of society. Can this problem be dealt with at a national level or must it be addressed at an international level?


They will level the field. We need to level the garden before we plant anything. The earthquake leveled the city. He leveled his opponent with a right hook. The robber leveled a gun at his head. Several complaints have been leveled at the store. Criticism has been leveled against the government for not responding to this crisis.


We pitched the tent on level ground. an airplane in level flight Interest rates have remained level.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The Labor Department reported this week that one inflation measure, the Consumer Price Index, had increased 2.9 percent in 12 months — the highest level in six years. Patricia Cohen, BostonGlobe.com, "Paychecks lag as profits soar, and prices erode wage gains," 14 July 2018 The air show also has several levels of reserved seating packages, available for purchase which feature convenient access to parking, food and beverage concessions, and private restrooms. Elaine Rewolinski, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Summer Guide July 15-21: Festivals and free concerts," 14 July 2018 Many of those attempting to cross the border are families from Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador, three countries in Central America suffering high levels of poverty, with violence rates higher than those of many countries at war. Sarah Kinosian, Teen Vogue, "Reunification Proves Complicated for Families Separated at the U.S.-Mexico Border," 14 July 2018 Kushner's lack of SCI access suggests that the CIA has not signed off on him receiving that level of intelligence, security experts said. Carol D. Leonnig, Anchorage Daily News, "Limits still remain on security clearance for Trump son-in-law Kushner," 13 July 2018 Incentive payments required following a detailed set of environmentally friendly landscaping practices to ensure projects achieved a heightened level of sustainability. Pomerado News, "Water agencies increase incentives to replace turf," 13 July 2018 June Producer Price Index came in at 3.4 percent - the highest level since 2011. Kathy Orton, chicagotribune.com, "Mortgage rates settle in for the summer," 12 July 2018 Get some former basketball stars — too old to play at the game's highest level yet too young to completely retire from competition — for a healthy run once a week during the summer. Kirkland Crawford, Detroit Free Press, "Who wins if Detroit Pistons, Michigan, MSU created localBig3 league?," 11 July 2018 The percentage of workers quitting their jobs reached 2.4 percent in May, the highest level since April 2001. Christopher Rugaber, The Seattle Times, "American workers’ willingness to quit hits 17-year high," 10 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The charges, brought after a months-long, multi-agency investigation, leveled against him are a little out of the ordinary. Madeleine Marr, miamiherald, "He said he was with Homeland Security. Something didn't seem right, cops say.," 20 June 2018 Nevertheless, Guess was unable to conclusively determine the veracity of the allegations leveled against Marciano in its investigation. Natasha Bach, Fortune, "Model Kate Upton Accused Paul Marciano of Sexual Harassment. Now the Guess Co-Founder Has Left the Company," 13 June 2018 American officials have for years voiced concerns that ZTE equipment may be used by the Chinese government for espionage or network disruption, an allegation also leveled against the firm’s main Chinese rival, Huawei. Raymond Zhong, New York Times, "China’s ZTE, Saved by U.S., Has a Checkered Past and Shaky Future," 8 June 2018 Charges similar to those leveled against his former aids Michael Flynn and Paul Manafort. NBC News, "Meet the Press - June 3, 2018," 3 June 2018 Cobb’s refusal to sell complicates certain accusations recently leveled against him. Michael Lapointe, The Atlantic, "The Twisted Tale of the World’s Largest Pearl," 11 May 2018 That could blunt charges of hypocrisy Braun has levelled against Donnelly, a longtime outsourcing critic who sold stock in a family business after the AP reported the company owned a factory in Mexico. Brian Slodysko, Indianapolis Star, "Senate candidate Mike Braun's rhetoric, business record don't line up," 1 May 2018 The flipside of that, though, is that Weiss, Stephens, Roiphe et al need to come down from their mountain and actually listen to and consider the criticism leveled against them. Danielle Tcholakian, Longreads, "It’s Never Too Late to Apologize," 17 Feb. 2018 Introductory fees on Swoop currently start at $29 USD one way, but will level out to around $75. Katherine Lagrave, Condé Nast Traveler, "Swoop, Canada's New Ultra-Low-Cost Carrier, Takes to the Skies," 20 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

And Finish Line is doubling the size of its store by moving into a 6,000-square-foot spot on the lower level Sears wing. Ben Brasch, ajc, "Cobb mall H&M is expanding to two floors, tripling in size," 19 May 2018 Bret Benson, owner of Scooters & More Factory Outlet in Blue Ridge, said business for scooters and installing lifts for elderly clients was up more than 20% last year from the level five years ago. Cameron Mcwhirter, WSJ, "Forget Florida: More Northern Retirees Head to Appalachia," 15 May 2018 The manual’s advice is kind of funny: Position the motorcycle on level ground in the full upright position. Angelo Cocci, USA TODAY, "Review: Indian Scout Bobber is an eye-catching motorcycle with classic style," 24 Feb. 2018 Perfect fit: Most walls lean out of square and are not perfectly level. Dan Argo, Houston Chronicle, "GHBA: Contact glass specialist when buying shower doors," 15 Apr. 2018 Iceland was level four minutes later, however, when Alfred Finnbogason scored after Argentina goalkeeper Willy Caballero pushed a low cross into the forward’s path for a volley from eight yards. Washington Post, "Messi misses penalty, Iceland holds Argentina to 1-1 draw," 16 June 2018 Benevento were back level five minutes into the second half when Diabate rose higher than defender Medhi Benatia to head home a corner. Emmeline Moore, chicagotribune.com, "Serie A Recap: Dybala nets hat trick as Juve win at Benevento," 7 Apr. 2018 It was probably deserved, but United was level seven minutes later when Lukaku slotted home his 13th league goal of the season. SI.com, "WATCH: Romelu Lukaku Shines as Man United Comes From Behind to Beat Chelsea," 25 Feb. 2018 Level 11 could feel like your cruising downhill, while level 12 or 13 would instantly plant you on a medium hill. Grace Dickinson, Philly.com, "Which Philly-area spin studio classes are worth the hype and heavy price tag?," 29 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'level.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of level


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for level


Middle English, plumb line, from Anglo-French livel, from Vulgar Latin *libellum, alteration of Latin libella, from diminutive of libra weight, balance


see level entry 1

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Statistics for level

Last Updated

6 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for level

The first known use of level was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for level



English Language Learners Definition of level

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: a specific height

: a part of a building that is at a specific height

: an amount of something



English Language Learners Definition of level (Entry 2 of 3)

: to make (something) flat or level

: to knock (someone or something) down to the ground

: to point (a weapon) at someone



English Language Learners Definition of level (Entry 3 of 3)

: having a flat or even surface

: not going up or down

: having the same height as something else


lev·​el | \ˈle-vəl \

Kids Definition of level

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : a horizontal line or surface usually at a named height Hold it at eye level.

2 : a step or stage in height, position, or rank She rose to the level of manager.

3 : a device used (as by a carpenter) to find a horizontal line or surface


leveled or levelled; leveling or levelling

Kids Definition of level (Entry 2 of 3)

: to make or become horizontal, flat, or even



Kids Definition of level (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : having a flat even surface Find a level place to set up the tent.

2 : horizontal entry 1 … the bridge, instead of rising, went across just level— Anna Sewell, Black Beauty

3 : of the same height or rank : even

4 : steady and cool in judgment The rescuers kept level heads.


lev·​el | \ˈlev-əl \

Medical Definition of level 

1 : a characteristic and fairly uniform concentration of a constituent of the blood or other body fluid a normal blood-sugar level

2a : a degree of ability or aptitude or measure of performance

b : a grade of mental and emotional development or maturity evidence as to levels of personality development (e.g., anal, oral)— G. P. Murdock

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Comments on level

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playful or foolish behavior

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