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


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

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 Democrats of all ages, races, and education and levels support the policy by similar margins. BostonGlobe.com, "Elizabeth Warren’s wealth tax has wide support, except among one group - The Boston Globe," 1 Dec. 2019 Meanwhile, onshore flow in the low levels will bring some clouds, but those clouds won’t be able to develop vertically due to the dry air aloft. sun-sentinel.com, "Cool down coming to South Florida this week," 30 Nov. 2019 An average of 3,000 of the 25,000 Milwaukee children tested for lead each year have elevated lead levels, the Journal Sentinel previously reported. Sophie Carson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Milwaukee mayor calls for $2.2 million in block grant funds to go toward lead abatement efforts," 30 Nov. 2019 Putting up 42 despite going 3-of-11 from 3, Doncic showed the ability to score on all three levels, create pace and find teammates. Duane Rankin, azcentral, "Luka Doncic dominates with 42 points to lead Mavericks past Suns," 30 Nov. 2019 Inside the activities hall, at 16020 Carnival Ave., the O scale display spans a 16-by-24-foot area with an upper level. Catalina Righter, baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll, "Train gardens set for holiday-season openings throughout Carroll County: ‘It gets kids’ attention’," 30 Nov. 2019 Treatment lowered the girl’s sitosterol levels and helped her gain weight. Mark Johnson, USA Today, "In a Wisconsin village, the doctor makes house calls — and sees the rarest diseases on Earth," 29 Nov. 2019 Fine has been the face of the North Texan program the last few seasons but his swan song may not be as fulfilling as expected with UAB’s defense playing at an elite level and a division title on the line. Evan Dudley, al, "Position-by-position breakdown for UAB’s season finale at North Texas," 29 Nov. 2019 In addition to the smart features, the brush also has four modes with three intensity levels for each mode, giving you a completely customizable experience to suit your own needs. Chelsey Hamilton, Health.com, "This Kim Kardashian-Approved Philips Sonicare Electric Toothbrush Really Is Worth the Hype—and It’s on Sale All Weekend," 29 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb In one of the interview's biggest talking points, Prince Andrew vehemently denied accusations leveled against himself. Alex Ritman, The Hollywood Reporter, "Prince Andrew Under Fire After "Desperate, Toe-Curling" TV Interview About Jeffrey Epstein Links," 16 Nov. 2019 They also were found guilty in Manhattan state Supreme Court of assault charges for injuries to 13 people in the massive blast that leveled half a block in a crowded neighborhood filled with shops and restaurants. Washington Post, "3 convicted in East Village explosion that killed 2 men," 15 Nov. 2019 The blast left New Yorkers worried about vulnerabilities in the city’s infrastructure, coming almost exactly a year after a crack in a gas main caused an explosion in East Harlem that leveled two buildings and left eight people dead. New York Times, "An Illegal Gas Line, a Deadly Explosion and Now Guilty Verdicts," 15 Nov. 2019 With empathy, efficiency, and a willingness to adapt, the pair created a holy grail for adaptive rock climbers: A badass prosthetic foot that doesn’t just level the playing field, but dishes—if not super powers—a real sense of empowerment. Popular Mechanics, "How One Designer Created a Prosthetic Leg for Climbers," 5 Nov. 2019 By then, it had been bypassed by the Civil War and a deadly tornado that leveled Lower Peach Tree. Kelly Kazek | Kkazek@al.com, al, "Alabama mansion featured on ghost show has intriguing history," 25 Oct. 2019 Moments after the restart, Lars Ricken struck a crucial goal for Ottmar Hitzfeld's team that levelled the aggregate score, though Inter remained ahead on away goals, having triumphed 3-1 in North Rhine-Westphalia a fortnight prior. SI.com, "Inter vs Dortmund Preview: Where to Watch, Live Stream, Kick Off Time & Team News," 21 Oct. 2019 There have been numerous accusations leveled against them of human rights abuses and the imprisonment of journalists who criticized the regime. Mohammed Girma, Quartz Africa, "Ethiopia’s Abiy Ahmed has won the Nobel Prize but there are still big hurdles for peace at home," 11 Oct. 2019 Three years ago came Matthew, with its interior tornadoes that leveled entire communities, leaving few homes without the shelter of those blue tarps. Crystal A. Degregory, Time, "Here in the Bahamas, Every Generation Has Its Storm Stories. The Tale of Hurricane Dorian Is Still Being Written," 4 Sep. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective While Stripe works with many of the world’s biggest companies—Google, Amazon, Salesforce—Collison wants to give smaller businesses the tools to compete on level ground with the larger ones. Wired, "Stripe's Patrick Collison on Crypto, China, and Fixing the Web," 8 Nov. 2019 So, and other members of Pyongyang's inner circle meet with South Korean officials in the rivals' highest level face-to-face talks in five years. Fox News, "This Day in History: Oct. 4," 4 Oct. 2019 Star athletes make millions, and below that level wages drop off very quickly. Louis Menand, The New Yorker, "Is Meritocracy Making Everyone Miserable?," 23 Sep. 2019 That’s a five-touchdown blowout in nearly one-third of their conference contests, against foes on a supposedly level field. Doug Lesmerises, cleveland, "Inside Ohio State football’s win over Rutgers from the stands, from ‘So terrible’ to ‘I’m so happy’," 18 Nov. 2019 That means hardware has become a mostly level playing field, other than occasional promotions tied to switching from one carrier to another. Wired, "HBO Max Is the New $200 iPhone," 31 Oct. 2019 The playing field is not completely level, however. Glenn Peoples, Billboard, "Why Universal Music Group's Q3 Earnings Bode Well for the Rest of the Business," 18 Oct. 2019 All Texas Archery bow technicians are level two instructors but there’s also a dedicated instructor that comes weekends to give lessons to people. Alvaro Montano, Houston Chronicle, "Archery a year-round sport in northwest Houston," 7 Aug. 2019 Instead of a steady increase, experts now expect the prison population to remain fairly level or show a slight decline until mid-2021, said Linda Harrison, senior statistical analyst at the state Department of Public Safety. Elise Schmelzer, The Denver Post, "Colorado’s prison population was slated to set a record high. Now forecasters say that may not happen.," 23 July 2019

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

4 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Level.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/levelling. Accessed 11 December 2019.

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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.


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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More from Merriam-Webster on level

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for level

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with level

Spanish Central: Translation of level

Nglish: Translation of level for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of level for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about level

Comments on level

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heavy with or as if with moisture

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