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

degree, echelon, footing, place, position, rank, ranking, reach(es), rung, situation, standing, station, status, stratum

Synonyms: Verb

balance, equalize, equate, even

Synonyms: Adjective

even, flat, flush, plane, smooth

Antonyms: Adjective

bumpy, coarse, lumpy, rough, uneven, unsmoothed

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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


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?


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.


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

Menopause is one of those things everyone knows about on some level, but few actually talk about. Korin Miller, Health.com, "When Does Menopause Start—And How Long Does it Last?," 17 Sep. 2019 On to this week’s picks: Thursday’s game Buckhorn vs. Wetumpka, at Jacksonville State Buckhorn makes the trip to Jacksonville for a rare neutral-site game on the high school level. Josh Bean | Jbean@al.com, al, "Huntsville HS football picks: Can Sparkman, Austin and James Clemens stay hot?," 17 Sep. 2019 Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Tuesday that his country won’t negotiate with the U.S. on any level neither in New York or anywhere else. Fortune, "Saudi Arabia Has Few Options to Replace the Massive Drop in Oil Output From Its Attacked Plant," 17 Sep. 2019 On an individual level, De Gea has established himself as one of the best goalkeepers in the world during his time in England has been named United's Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year on a record four occasions, most recently in 2017/18. SI.com, "David de Gea Officially Signs 4-Year New Man Utd Contract Until 2023," 16 Sep. 2019 Initial reports indicate there was some kind of dispute or disturbance on the street level that continued into the station. Jamiel Lynch, CNN, "A gunman is on the run after a shooting in Seattle leaves one dead and 2 injured at a light rail station," 14 Sep. 2019 On a statewide level, more than 3,600 people died on Texas roadways in 2018, according to TxDOT. Rebecca Hennes, Houston Chronicle, "The deadliest roads surrounding the Houston area in 2018, according to TxDOT," 13 Sep. 2019 Four additional bedrooms lie on the third level for a total of five bedrooms and six bathrooms. Neal J. Leitereg, Los Angeles Times, "TV producer Michael Davies seeks $15 million for New York townhome," 13 Sep. 2019 On one level, scientists know what is causing the brightness. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "That Big Black Hole of Ours Sure Is Getting Hungry," 13 Sep. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

No, obviously what actually happened was that 14 minutes later David was done all ends up by some slo-mo skills, and Roberto Pereyra had fired the Hornets back level, sending Matteo to the online gallows. SI.com, "LOL: The Best Memes & Funnies From Around the Football World This Gameweek," 17 Sep. 2019 All the world said it in 1906, when the great quake and fire leveled much of the city. Christopher Reynolds, Los Angeles Times, "In San Francisco’s North Beach, pasta, poetry and a big helping of uncertainty," 14 Sep. 2019 On a third-and-goal play from the Los Gatos 3, Wildcats linebacker Jaden Mazzaferro leveled a big hit and Adam Garwood recovered the San Benito fumble on the Los Gatos 17-yard line, ending a 10-play drive. Phil Jensen, The Mercury News, "Football: Los Gatos doesn’t let go of momentum in win," 13 Sep. 2019 But some traditional businesses have argued that the mandate merely levels the playing field. Kate Conger, New York Times, "California’s Contractor Law Stirs Confusion Beyond the Gig Economy," 11 Sep. 2019 In 2008, when the Democrats took the House, the Senate, and the White House, labor leaders hoped that politicians would level the playing field. Caleb Crain, The New Yorker, "State of the Unions," 19 Aug. 2019 Official workouts begin Thursday at the school as Solis and her staff will welcome dozens of players at the varsity, JV and freshmen level. Robert Avery, Houston Chronicle, "Lady Eagles welcome new volleyball campaign with scrimmages Saturday, Monday," 31 July 2019 Under the order, which establishes oversight for 20 years, Facebook will be required to create an independent privacy committee at the board of directors level to make regular assessments of the company’s practices. Colin Lecher, The Verge, "Facebook will have to monitor its own privacy rules — and that’s likely not enough," 24 July 2019 They may be accomplished chefs who have little background running a business or successful food truck operators who want to level up. Roger Vincent, Los Angeles Times, "They can’t all be Grand Central Market: Does L.A. have too many food halls?," 12 Sep. 2019

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.

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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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Statistics for level

Last Updated

9 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for level

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

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More Definitions for level



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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with level

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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

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to be made up of

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