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 The malfunction prevented the water from returning to its normal level so the city lowered the water levels about 3 feet and closed Gates 3 and 4 so that there was enough water in the area for the Go Rio river boats to operate, Kapaun Saunders said. Taylor Pettaway, ExpressNews.com, "Water levels for the downtown portion of the San Antonio River are lower than usual. Here's why.," 14 Jan. 2021 The financial adviser who blew the whistle on his firm says the new rules will surely dissuade some insiders at his level from stepping forward. Lydia Depillis, ProPublica, "The SEC Undermined a Powerful Weapon Against White-Collar Crime," 13 Jan. 2021 Treasury yields also continued to rise, pushing the yield on the 10-year Treasury note to its highest level in about a year. Tom Krisher, Star Tribune, "GM charges up new unit to sell electric delivery vans, gear," 12 Jan. 2021 None of his former assistants have been able to come close to his level as a head coach. Brent Schrotenboer, USA TODAY, "How to break up Nick Saban's monopoly at Alabama to improve college football," 12 Jan. 2021 In the third quarter of 2020, the dollar’s share of global foreign-exchange reserves slipped to its lowest level in almost a quarter of a century. Mike Bird, WSJ, "The Dollar’s Decline in Global Reserves: Fact or Fiction?," 12 Jan. 2021 The policy reversal comes as the average rate of daily new cases hit its highest level so far, with more than 246,000 new cases confirmed each day over the past week. David Hogberg, Washington Examiner, "To fix vaccine rollout, Trump administration will release available doses and recommend vaccinating all vulnerable people," 12 Jan. 2021 Our national debt is now at its highest level relative to our economy since the end of World War II. Washington Post, "Trump’s most enduring legacy could be the historic rise in the national debt," 11 Jan. 2021 All those apps are free (for non-commercial use), and are easy to navigate around no matter what your level of networking know-how. David Nield, Popular Science, "How to keep people from stealing your Wi-Fi," 7 Jan. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The latest chapter of the Monsterverse has arrived to level yet another city. Angela Watercutter, Wired, "26 Movies We Want to See in 2021—One Way or Another," 5 Jan. 2021 Our new backyard neighbor just erected a 6-foot concrete wall to level their new backyard. oregonlive, "Need help hiding new neighbor’s big concrete wall? Ask an expert," 27 Dec. 2020 Instead, stir your flour, spoon it into the measuring cup, then level it off. Dana Holmes, CNN Underscored, "Christmas cookie recipes that are simply irresistible," 21 Dec. 2020 The goal is not to level the playing field, but to tilt it toward sustainability. Andrew Stuttaford, National Review, "The Fed Joins the Climate Club," 15 Dec. 2020 Each blast in Guadalupe Canyon releases puffs of dust as workers level land to make way for 30-foot-tall steel columns near the New Mexico line. Anita Snow, The Christian Science Monitor, "As mountains give way to border wall, where does wildlife go?," 18 Dec. 2020 Each blast in Guadalupe Canyon releases puffs of dust as workers level land to make way for 30-foot-tall (9-meter-tall) steel columns near the New Mexico line. The Arizona Republic, "Damage from border wall: blown-up mountains, toppled cactus," 17 Dec. 2020 Efforts to reduce the cost of medical care could help level out the spending trajectory of federal health-care entitlements. Andrew Stuttaford, National Review, "The Capital Letter: Week of December 7," 12 Dec. 2020 Maxime Chanot headed down a corner kick to level the score in the eighth minute, cutting short the Lions’ lead after only three minutes. Julia Poe, orlandosentinel.com, "Orlando City earns wild playoff win over NYCFC in penalty kicks," 21 Nov. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Tighter regulations could be good news if Beijing is going to lay out clear boundaries and rules, helping create a level playing field. Jacky Wong, WSJ, "Ant’s Regulatory Nightmare Could Torment Other Chinese Tech Giants, Too," 28 Dec. 2020 But ironically, the federal antitrust law actually prohibits news publishers from working together to seek a level playing field. David Chavern, National Review, "Shielding Goliath from David: Congress Must Give Local News Publishers a Fighting Chance," 28 Dec. 2020 Fair competition and a level playing field are supposed to be sacrosanct in sports, the Olympics in particular. Nancy Armour, USA TODAY, "Opinion: It was the Russians who doped and IOC president Thomas Bach who enabled them," 18 Dec. 2020 If no compromise proves possible on the level playing field, the outcome is likely to be that there will be no trade deal in place when the transition period comes to an end on December 31st. The Economist, "Last tango in Brussels A thin, last-minute Brexit trade deal is better than no deal at all," 12 Dec. 2020 People may ask how the Hoosiers keep a level head coming off of such a big win, taking to the road to face Rutgers. Jon Blau, The Indianapolis Star, "After big win, Hoosiers willing to accept responsibility for mistakes, too," 27 Oct. 2020 But what shone at West Point was his level head and emotional maturity. Arkansas Online, "OPINION | DAVID VON DREHLE: Memorial to leadership," 19 Sep. 2020 Even if 2020 closes out with no salary bump on the horizon, keep a level head and don’t necessarily jump at a better offer or annoy your boss by pushing for more. Adam Blenford, Bloomberg.com, "Ways to Kickstart Your Career in What’s Left of 2020," 29 Aug. 2020 If movie theaters competing on a level playing field with home video can provide an experience attractive enough to draw a sustaining customer base, more power to them. Eric Zorn, chicagotribune.com, "Column: Thanks, Warner Bros., from those of us who prefer watching movies at home," 8 Dec. 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

20 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Level.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/level. Accessed 21 Jan. 2021.

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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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