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

Keep scrolling for more

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

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


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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun And many guns now have a secondary fire option, greatly increasing the level of personal tuning by offering new pros and cons. Kyle Orland, Ars Technica, "Borderlands 3 is a lot more Borderlands, in ways both good and bad," 17 Sep. 2019 In addition, being an American citizen had recently taken on a new level of importance, thanks to FDR’s New Deal public-assistance programs. Olivia B. Waxman, Time, "Citizenship Day Used to Be Called 'I Am an American Day.' Here's How It Came to Be—and Why It Changed," 17 Sep. 2019 Roughly one in four have participated in a walkout, attended a rally, or written to a public official to express their views on global warming — remarkable levels of activism for a group that has not yet reached voting age. BostonGlobe.com, "Meanwhile, the number of teenagers who say they’re being taught in school how to mitigate climate change appears to be on the decline. Fourteen percent say they have learned ‘‘a lot’’ about the subject, down from 25 percent in 2010, when the Yale Project on Climate Change asked a similar question.," 17 Sep. 2019 Oil production has plateaued at an average level of 12.37 million barrels a day since recovering from the impact of Hurricane Barry at the end of July. Fortune, "Saudi Arabia Has Few Options to Replace the Massive Drop in Oil Output From Its Attacked Plant," 17 Sep. 2019 The organization recognizes several levels of achievement based on student performances on AP Exams. Sergio Carmona, sun-sentinel.com, "Scheck Hillel students honored with 52 scholar awards," 17 Sep. 2019 In May, Science magazine reported that the Trump administration eliminated NASA’s Carbon Monitoring System, which determines levels of heat-trapping carbon dioxide and methane in the atmosphere. Bill Bigelow, Teen Vogue, "Textbooks Are Lying To Students About Climate Change," 16 Sep. 2019 Rising levels of carbon dioxide are cast as part of a natural cycle reaching back to the ice age, while human emissions are described as being indirect effects of oil drilling. Adam Aton, Scientific American, "Drilling Could Cause Extinctions in Alaskan Refuge, Government Plan Says," 16 Sep. 2019 If anything, Balvin has embraced the idea of taking Spanish to new levels of global-pop prominence. John Adamian, courant.com, "Our picks for seven of this week’s can’t-miss concerts in Connecticut," 16 Sep. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Michael Bell, Lord and seven other people were injured when Monday’s explosion leveled the two-story building that housed LEAP, a nonprofit that serves people with cognitive and intellectual disabilities. Washington Post, "Worker who herded people out before explosion is called hero," 18 Sep. 2019 Atlanta wide receiver Russell Gage sustained a concussion on the game’s final drive when he was leveled by safety Harrison Smith. SFChronicle.com, "Player unrest among Dolphins after loss to Ravens," 8 Sep. 2019 Dorian, a slow-moving Category 5 storm, has killed at least five people in the Bahamas and injured 21, in addition to leveling homes, tearing off roofs, submerging airports and destroying cars. Hannah Natanson, Twin Cities, "Woman took 97 rescue dogs into her Bahamas home to protect them from Hurricane Dorian," 3 Sep. 2019 Dorian, a slow-moving Category 5 storm, has killed at least five people in the Bahamas and injured 21, in addition to leveling homes, tearing off roofs, submerging airports and destroying cars. Hannah Natanson, BostonGlobe.com, "Woman took 97 rescue dogs into her Bahamas home to protect them from Hurricane Dorian," 3 Sep. 2019 The shipments increased even after one of the companies, Purdue Pharma, was leveled with a $635 million federal fine in 2007 for falsely claiming its drug, OxyContin, was not as addictive as earlier opioids. CBS News, "Opioid shipments ballooned as an addiction crisis grew, data shows," 17 July 2019 Peru, which defeated defending champion Chile in the last four, had threatened to spoil the party earlier in the tie when Paolo Guerrero leveled at 1-1 from the penalty spot. James Masters, CNN, "Copa America: Jair Bolsonaro takes center stage as Brazil seals title," 8 July 2019 But understanding the ties between zip code and health can help local lawmakers, public-health officials and community representatives begin to level the playing field for their residents, the NYU researchers argue. Time, "Your Zip Code Could Affect Your Lifespan. These Maps Show How," 17 June 2019 Then came Maria, which ravaged Puerto Rico last September, knocking out the island’s power grid, leveling homes and businesses, and killing thousands. Erin Ailworth, WSJ, "FEMA Was Overwhelmed by Hurricanes and Wildfires in 2017, GAO Says," 4 Sep. 2018 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective 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 Frida Maanum pulled Norway back on level terms shortly after the half-time break as England threw away a lead for the second time in as many games. SI.com, "Norway 2-1 England: Lionesses Suffer World Cup Revenge After Georgia Stanway Screamer," 3 Sep. 2019 Several roads are built without curbs, so that all forms of transportation mix on level ground, a European tactic proven to slow down cars. Matt Mcfarland, CNN, "Scooters are a huge problem for cities. No one knows how to solve it yet," 30 Aug. 2019 Now there will be a far more level playing field for trade with China. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Econometer: Should the U.S. cut ties with China?," 30 Aug. 2019 Tammy Abraham's third-minute opener was quickly cancelled out by Todd Cantwell 155 seconds later, while goals from Mason Mount and Teemu Pukki ensured the sides went into half-time on level terms. SI.com, "Super Frank: Twitter Reacts as Tammy Abraham Nets Twice in Lampard's First-Ever Win as Chelsea Boss," 24 Aug. 2019 There is not the competitive, level playing-field described in textbooks: in sector after sector, there are a few dominant firms that create almost insurmountable barriers to entry. K.n.c., The Economist, "If capitalism is broken, maybe it’s fixable," 8 July 2019 Higher level deputy city attorneys will receive immediate pay hikes of 7.5 percent. San Diego Union-Tribune, "San Diego approves raises of at least 7.5 percent for deputy city attorneys," 25 June 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about level

Statistics for level

Last Updated

6 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for level

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

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


something of little or no value

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Pass the Little Ribbons: A Pasta Word Quiz

  • rotelle pasta
  • Match the pasta to its meaning in English: Rotelle
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!