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

District-level staff pulled surveillance footage connected to the incident, as required by the use-of-force policy adopted two years ago, before identifying the incident for review by SIRT and eventually the state’s attorney. Talia Richman, baltimoresun.com, "'I only ever wanted justice,' says 18-year-old allegedly assaulted by Baltimore officer," 14 July 2018 The high-level talks precede Monday's summit in Helsinki between Putin and U.S. President Donald Trump, who are set to discuss the Iranian presence in Syria. Vladimir Isachenkov, Fox News, "Iran has no intention to leave Syria, top official says," 13 July 2018 The Harris County District Attorney's office will host its second Make it Right! event on Saturday, allowing people to clear their records of pending warrants for low-level misdemeanor crimes. Brian Rogers, Houston Chronicle, "Harris DA to host Make it Right event to resolve open misdemeanor warrants," 13 July 2018 Denise Holland of New York University’s Environmental Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, who was collecting data about sea-level change from climate change, took video of the event June 22. Bart Jansen, USA TODAY, "Massive iceberg looms off Greenland coast, threatening tiny village," 13 July 2018 But the girls’ three-level backyard—with lounge furniture, a swing set, a slide, and a basketball court—is clearly visible from the backyard of several neighbors. Jean Guerrero, Glamour, "We've Seen Pictures of Undocumented Boys in Government Facilities. Where Are the Girls?," 13 July 2018 Both teams will have NFL-level talent on defense to challenge the front five. Conor Orr, SI.com, "An NFL Fan’s Viewing Guide to the 2019 College Football Season," 13 July 2018 Gioia said the county will tap into reserve funds from AB109, a 2011 bill that realigned the state’s criminal justice system by transferring the incarceration of lower-level offenders from state prisons to county jails. Otis R. Taylor Jr., SFChronicle.com, "Honduran woman deported from Contra Costa jail is glad to hear ICE is getting booted," 12 July 2018 But Mundy is planning renovation of the park that will include a stone, two-level area and more benches. Steve Lord, Aurora Beacon-News, "With Water Street Mall work finished, Aurora looks to renovate Mundy Park," 12 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

This means that, in fields levelled by ploughing, crops growing over archaeological remains have access to more water and better nutrients. The Economist, "Dry weather is helping archaeologists discover ancient sites," 12 July 2018 Kendrick Meek, perhaps the most recent prominent example of an African-American candidate seeking statewide office, won the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate in 2010 despite accusations of corruption leveled by Greene, who opposed him in that race. Elizabeth Koh And Kirby Wilson, miamiherald, "Tallahassee mayor's path to Governor's mansion runs through Florida's black community," 28 June 2018 Facebook and Twitter have been sensitive to charges leveled by conservatives about liberal bias on their platforms, holding a secret meeting recently with Trump aides and Republican leaders to hear their concerns. Kevin Kelleher, Fortune, "72% of Americans Say Facebook and Twitter Actively Censor Political Views," 28 June 2018 Prah told the Tribune that his lawyer advised him against talking about the allegations leveled by Fenner. Hal Dardick, chicagotribune.com, "Police superintendent's wife files complaint with department over alleged cheating on exam," 7 June 2018 One can assume the soundscape meant something quite different to the people of that part of the world, where the woods saw hand-to-hand combat in World War II and the cities were leveled by Allied bombs. Charles Desmarais, San Francisco Chronicle, "Janet Cardiff, George Bures Miller bring ‘Forest’ sounds to UC Santa Cruz," 17 Apr. 2018 The group's holistic approach to helping struggling people level-up in life has resonated with thousands of fans all over the world. refinery29.com, "Queer Eye Season 3 Will Tackle A Whole New Part Of America," 13 July 2018 Set against this are the pleasures of making things by hand and looking more closely at the natural world: Berg learns how to level a chisel, and to know the rates at which various species of wood dry. John Williams, New York Times, "Can Handiwork Save Your Soul? A Quiet Novel Suggests It Can," 10 July 2018 Manuel Uribe missed by smashing his effort against the crossbar to level things up, then Pickford dived to keep out Carlos Bacca, pawing the ball away with his trailing left hand. Martin Rogers, USA TODAY, "22 years later, the weight of the world is off England's shoulders," 3 July 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

11 Sep 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

What made you want to look up level? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to deposit or conceal in a hiding place

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