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

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

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Small business is the backbone of America, but they haven't been treated with the same level of respect that big business franchises have. Adam Reuter, Baltimore Sun, 17 May 2022 But the interest in anticipating insider threats in the private sector raises ethical questions about what level of monitoring nongovernmental employees should be subject to. Sarah Scoles, New York Times, 17 May 2022 Collecting and analyzing data allows for the level of consumer understanding required to serve the individual shopper's needs and wants effectively. Sampo Parkkinen, Forbes, 17 May 2022 Notes taken during a late March presentation about the project to an Anchorage economic development group detailed plans for a hotel built above the fourth level of a parking garage. Morgan Krakow, Anchorage Daily News, 17 May 2022 That level of investment is 10% below the district’s annual spending on facilities since 2017, despite the district having received $1.1 billion in pandemic relief funds. Byeli Cahan, ABC News, 17 May 2022 Most bras offer some level of padding to help maintain shape and to provide coverage. Lexie Sachs, Good Housekeeping, 17 May 2022 Research has also found that adults need at least three doses to have the same level of protection against the Omicron variant that vaccines had conferred for the earliest version of the virus. Joseph Walker, WSJ, 17 May 2022 Few movies have achieved the level of cultural saturation that Dirty Dancing has in the decades since its 1987 release. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, 17 May 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Saban’s known for being on the front edge of divisive topics like the transfer portal and his now-famous warnings of how the attempt to level the playing field would end up benefiting his program more than underdogs would like. Michael Casagrande | Mcasagrande@al.com, al, 17 May 2022 Put systems in place to level the playing field across the board. Alyson Watson, Forbes, 17 May 2022 While that has meant that Indian content has not yet achieved the exportability of Korean and Spanish-language content, the seismic shift has also helped to level the playing field within the country. Patrick Frater, Variety, 12 May 2022 Although criticized as a barrier, former party leaders say that slating was initially meant to level the playing field among Democratic candidates. Amelia Pak-harvey, The Indianapolis Star, 9 May 2022 Both Rayns and Conroy think that regulations on agricultural plastics would both benefit the environment, and level the playing field for farmers. Clarisa Diaz, Quartz, 29 Apr. 2022 Small-business owners want Congress to act: 86% believe the federal government should do more to level the playing field so small businesses are better able to compete with larger companies. Sarah Ewall-wice, CBS News, 25 Apr. 2022 Even those maps, however, wouldn't be enough to level the playing field, which is where New York comes in. David Daley, CNN, 22 Apr. 2022 About 20 years ago, many departments began implementing policies to level the playing field during the hiring and promotions processes. Matt Bruce, ajc, 2 Apr. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective That said – although there has been continued progress, the goal of a level playing field for all has not yet been achieved. Gene Maddaus, Variety, 5 May 2022 The legs are adjustable, so the ones inside the tub can be shorter than the outside legs, allowing the seat to be level. Washington Post, 18 Apr. 2022 For small companies, niche industries, new ventures, expansion efforts or businesses in undesirable locations, the door has suddenly opened to greater possibilities resulting in a level playing field for both employers and employees. Expert Panel®, Forbes, 15 Apr. 2022 But the 58-year-old prime minister’s right-wing Fidesz party dominated the vote, which was described by international observers as seemingly free of outright rigging, but as not having taken place on a level playing field. Laura Kingstaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 9 Apr. 2022 Most important to the 39-year-old is for men and women to be on a level playing field. Jonathan Hawkins And Zain Asher, CNN, 25 Mar. 2022 The measure is designed to monitor for unfair subsidies, prevent market-distorting practices and ensure a level playing field for American workers, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said in an interview on Wednesday. Eric Martin, Bloomberg.com, 23 Mar. 2022 It’s also always important as filmmakers to create a level playing field because the bar is always tilted toward the person holding the camera. Patrick Brzeski, The Hollywood Reporter, 17 Mar. 2022 The rules laid down by the election commission of India (EC) include a cap on the campaign expenditures of political parties to allow a level playing field. Niharika Sharma, Quartz, 16 Mar. 2022 See More

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.

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

Learn More About level

Time Traveler for level

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near level

levée en masse



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Statistics for level

Last Updated

20 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Level.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/level. Accessed 21 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for level


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

More from Merriam-Webster on level

Nglish: Translation of level for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of level for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about level


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