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 levelling (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 levelly (audio) \ adverb
levelness \ ˈle-​vəl-​nəs How to pronounce levelness (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 Only six states and Washington, D.C. are currently seeing decreases, while 11 are level, according to the university’s data. Ben Leonard, baltimoresun.com, "With cases rising nationwide, Maryland reports 497 new coronavirus cases, four deaths," 19 Oct. 2020 As Pang points out, games provide a remarkably level ground for children and adults. Tom Vanderbilt, Wired, "‘Wait, Sylvie’s Dad Plays?!’ The Joy of Fortnite Parenting," 19 Oct. 2020 The new, lower level doesn’t go on a criminal record. WSJ, "As Covid-19 Roars Back in Europe, Governments Get Tougher on Rule Breakers," 19 Oct. 2020 Getafe moves level with Cadiz, Real Madrid and Granada at the top of the table. Ben Church, CNN, "Goals galore as European soccer experiences yet another wild weekend of action," 19 Oct. 2020 If the new bill is passed in December, the defence budget is slated to rise by SKr27.5bn ($4.3bn) between 2021 and 2025, a 40% boost that will bring expenditure to around 1.5% of GDP—the highest level in 17 years. The Economist, "Sweden embarks on its largest military build-up for decades," 19 Oct. 2020 To qualify for a credit, a household income needs to be 100% to 400% of the federal poverty level. Laura Hancock, cleveland, "Ohio insurance plans on the Obamacare exchange to remain nearly flat in 2021," 19 Oct. 2020 Meanwhile ministers failed to reach agreement with local leaders in Greater Manchester, northwest England, over plans for tighter restrictions -- raising the prospect that the highest Covid alert level will be imposed on the region. Emily Ashton, Bloomberg.com, "Wales Is Heading Into a Two-Week ‘Fire-Break’ Lockdown on Friday," 19 Oct. 2020 Sunday's 94 ventilators in use is the highest daily level since Sept. 10. Alison Steinbach, The Arizona Republic, "Arizona reports 748 new COVID-19 cases and 3 new known deaths, with relatively stable hospital metrics," 19 Oct. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Van Ness goes through a series of much simpler dance moves to level the playing field with Simone. Shelby Stewart, Houston Chronicle, "Simone Biles teams up with Jonathan Van Ness of 'Queer Eye' for new Uber Eats ad," 19 Oct. 2020 Republicans interpret this evasiveness as proof that Biden intends to pack the Court, but isn’t willing to level with the public about it for fear of alienating moderate swing voters. Gilbert Garcia, ExpressNews.com, "Garcia: Biden’s evasiveness on court-packing issue does him no favors," 9 Oct. 2020 And when Ronald Reagan was shot, in 1981, the White House went out of its way not to level with the American people about just how dire his condition was, instead portraying the President as still actively managing the country. Susan B. Glasser, The New Yorker, "“There Is Zero Reason to Panic”: On Trump’s Coronavirus Case and the Shredded Credibility of His White House," 2 Oct. 2020 The location of the cabin on permafrost prevented much gardening and required Mr. Adams to level the structure with a hydraulic jack each spring. Michael O’donnell, WSJ, "‘Silences So Deep’ Review: Northern Symphony," 2 Oct. 2020 Below, find some must-have products and services that will level up your sensation play. Jamie J. Leclaire, SELF, "9 Sensation Play Products You Should Try, According to Sex Educators," 30 Sep. 2020 For those Leslie Knope-esque waffle lovers out there, this deal is the perfect opportunity to level up your brunch game without shelling out the big bucks. Isabelle Kagan, USA TODAY, "Shoppers are obsessed with the Dash mini waffle maker—and it's only $10," 21 Sep. 2020 With the Series 6, Apple seems to be trying to level up in a noticeable way. refinery29.com, "I Tried The New Apple Watch Series 6 & It’s All About Wellness," 17 Sep. 2020 Sprinkle on spices, like amchur or chaat masala, to level up your flavors. Emma Wartzman, Bon Appétit, "You Don’t Need a Recipe to Make the Best Late-Summer Toasts," 31 Aug. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Discussions have so far produced little progress on a range of issues, including ensuring companies from both sides can compete on a level playing field, how to resolve any disputes in a binding way, and cooperation on law enforcement. Alberto Nardelli, Bloomberg.com, "EU Tells U.K. It’s Time to Commit to Key Elements of Trade Deal," 25 Sep. 2020 Education officials developed schedules giving students at each level multiple opportunities to watch their classes. Christopher Sherman, Star Tribune, "Mexican students start new school year from home," 24 Aug. 2020 Their EKGs are just like that (makes level/steady motion, laughter). Scott Patsko, cleveland, "Dee and Jimmy Haslam discuss protests, fans in the stands in conference call: Transcript," 16 Aug. 2020 While the statistics don’t reflect daily dominance, as 11 teams finished with more wins than the Mavericks’ 43, Dallas’ consistency reflected its ability to stay grounded and level, even with one of the NBA’s youngest groups of regular contributors. Callie Caplan, Dallas News, "5 things to know for Mavs-Clippers playoff series, including offensive history and Curry-Rivers family divide," 16 Aug. 2020 There’s flooring to keep things level with the sidewalk, and each of the four faux parklets for Fourth Street restaurants includes a customized paint job by West Berkeley artist Constance Scott. John King, SFChronicle.com, "Restaurants are taking over parking spaces. Here are 6 ways to make them look better," 3 Aug. 2020 Novices probably should not attempt it, but mid-level bakers could certainly give it a whirl. Tribune News Service, cleveland, "Kouigns amann may be the best pastry you will ever have," 11 Sep. 2020 And there is a question about whether all of the bars seeking to install food operations are on a level playing field. David Lyons, sun-sentinel.com, "Bars begin serving sandwiches, hot dogs and more to reopen during COVID-19," 5 Sep. 2020 An Apple spokesman referred to the comments Daniel Matray, head of App Store and media services in Europe, made in June, saying the policies ensure a level playing field for developers and ease-of-use for customers. Karin Matussek, Bloomberg.com, "Apple’s Clash With Fortnite Creator Rouses German Regulator," 1 Sep. 2020

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

22 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Level.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/level. Accessed 24 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for level


How to pronounce level (audio)

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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