lev·​el | \ ˈle-vəl How to pronounce level (audio) \

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 How to pronounce level (audio) , 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 How to pronounce level (audio) \ adverb
levelness \ ˈle-​vəl-​nəs How to pronounce level (audio) \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for level

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

Synonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Adjective

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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

Examples of level in a Sentence

Noun 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? Verb 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. Adjective 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 Then–secretary of state Mike Pompeo established it to advise him at the level of principle, on re-grounding U.S. human-rights policy in American Founding principles. Nina Shea, National Review, "Secretary Blinken, Don’t Downplay the Importance of Religious Freedom," 11 Apr. 2021 Natarajan’s way of defeating the computer, at some level, had been to take a policy question and strip it of all its meaningful specifics. Benjamin Wallace-wells, The New Yorker, "The Limits of Political Debate," 11 Apr. 2021 The dearth of staff at every level, according to child-welfare experts, is one of the main reasons that, on average, only about 300 minors a day are being released, creating a frantic race for new bed space as more children cross the border. New York Times, "‘I Have No Idea Where My Daughter Is’: Migrant Parents Are Desperate for News," 9 Apr. 2021 The college basketball industry is not large, certainly not at the level UC aspires to inhabit. Paul Daugherty, The Enquirer, "Doc: UC basketball is a white-hot mess now and for the foreseeable future," 9 Apr. 2021 More than half the students at each level are in the building with 81% of the elementary school population, 71% of the middle school population and 61% of the high schoolers, according to data provided by Cindy McCabe, chief of schools for CCPS. Kristen Griffith, baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll, "Nearly three-fourths of Carroll County Public Schools students attending in person," 9 Apr. 2021 Each of those three men has more than 15 years working at this level. Chris Sims, The Indianapolis Star, "Where IU basketball currently stands under Mike Woodson," 8 Apr. 2021 In the wake of a cultural reckoning since the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, Black Americans have been fighting — in life and in business — at every level for justice, equity and inclusion. Kimberly Wilson, Essence, "Diddy Pens Letter To Corporate America Demanding Change," 8 Apr. 2021 The American economy is awash in capital at every level. Steve Vassallo, Forbes, "Party Of Startups," 8 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Byron has Bennett crank up the simulation to level ten, which maximizes real-world variants. Jessica Goldstein, Vulture, "Made For Love Recap: Reality Check," 8 Apr. 2021 To that end, the General Assembly has unanimously passed legislation to level the playing field for small businesses. Jon Styf, Washington Examiner, "Bill to even playing field for Tennessee small businesses heads to Lee's desk," 31 Mar. 2021 What’s less clear is whether forgiveness would be the best way to level the economic playing field. Kelly Field, The Christian Science Monitor, "College affordability, loan forgiveness, and a path to the future," 31 Mar. 2021 And the same Republican Senators now blocking a higher minimum will strongly oppose legislative efforts to level the playing field for unions. Richard Mcgahey, Forbes, "Republicans In Washington Block Biden’s Vital Minimum Wage Increase," 27 Feb. 2021 Use this time to level up your skills that were lagging or upskill. NBC News, "Pivoting careers during the pandemic? 5 unexpected things to consider if you're over 50," 26 Mar. 2021 With more time on their hands, your team can focus on vital strategies to help your company level up and expand. Allan Dib, Forbes, "How To Put A Business System Together," 17 Mar. 2021 In Tuesday’s 2-1 state semifinal shootout victory over Trinity Christian-Addison, John Paul junior Fitch Torres converted a penalty kick as regulation time expired to level the score at 1-1 and force overtime. Randy Jennings, Dallas News, "Notable storylines to know about Dallas-area soccer teams ahead of Friday’s TAPPS championship matches," 4 Mar. 2021 Biden during the campaign proposed imposing a border carbon adjustment as a way to level the playing field to keep U.S. products competitive with those produced in countries that don’t have strong climate policies. Josh Siegel, Washington Examiner, "Daily on Energy: Kerry versus oil CEOS at world’s largest industry conference," 2 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The study will also recommend strategy to create a level playing field for minority- and woman-owned businesses. William Thornton | Wthornton@al.com, al, "Birmingham looking for feedback on business survey," 1 Apr. 2021 But Biden is perhaps the first US President to be facing a China which sees itself as on a level playing field with the US, and is not content to play the role of junior partner. James Griffiths, CNN, "Alaska dispute between US and Chinese officials an inauspicious start to a new era of relations," 19 Mar. 2021 In 2007, mid-level prospect Mark Reynolds burst onto the scene to hit 17 homers in 366 at-bats. Nick Piecoro, The Arizona Republic, "Arizona Diamondbacks welcoming low expectations in 2021, hoping history repeats itself," 29 Mar. 2021 Many households using robotic vacuums in multi-level homes only clean the downstairs with it, which tends to be the most high-traffic area of the house, and vacuum the upstairs manually. Lauren Corona, chicagotribune.com, "What are robotic vacuums best for?," 28 Mar. 2021 Delfre said that the family is considering future uses for that lot, which could be apartments or a multi-level parking deck. Eric Heisig, cleveland, "Cleveland Landmarks Commission OKs renovation to add apartments in Liberty Textile building in Warehouse District," 26 Mar. 2021 Both models also offer neat features like tilt-shift and the new Hasselblad Pro Mode, which is a camera UI that gives the user pro-level controls over things like exposure, white balance, and so on. Zach Epstein, BGR, "OnePlus 9 Pro vs. OnePlus 9 review: Comparing 2021’s most impressive Androids," 23 Mar. 2021 Other mid-level seeds to watch: USC (6), Oregon (7), UConn (7) and Texas Tech (6). Marcus Fuller, Star Tribune, "Sixteen sweet tips for your picks in your NCAA men's tournament pool from Marcus Fuller," 17 Mar. 2021 Some two dozen low- and mid-level officials were detained as part of an ongoing investigation, but victims’ families are demanding accountability for more senior figures. Rania Abouzeid, The Atlantic, "After the Blast," 12 Mar. 2021

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

Noun and Verb

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

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Time Traveler for level

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for level

Last Updated

14 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Level.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/level. Accessed 16 Apr. 2021.

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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 How to pronounce level (audio) \

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.

Choose the Right Synonym for level


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.


lev·​el | \ ˈlev-əl How to pronounce level (audio) \

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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