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 And the level — and length — of protection may vary from one person to the next, especially given the increasing spread of more contagious mutations of the virus. Kate Santich, orlandosentinel.com, "After getting COVID vaccine, when can our lives go back to ‘normal’?," 21 Feb. 2021 Third-party testing can also confirm that the dosage level on the packaging is accurate. Jennifer Blair, chicagotribune.com, "The best CBD bath salt," 20 Feb. 2021 Take note: sound pressure level, measured in decibels (dB), is not strictly the same thing as loudness. Annie White, Car and Driver, "The Loudest Cars Ever Tested from Every Segment," 20 Feb. 2021 Once the vehicle is operating at the right temperature, climate control should be set to full defrost rather than bi-level, but it should not be turned on full blast right away. Mckenzie Sadeghi, USA TODAY, "Fact check: Pouring hot water on your windshield could cause cracked or shattered glass," 19 Feb. 2021 The eligibility and amount of the benefit vary, based on a worker’s income level and family size. Pamela Wood, baltimoresun.com, "Maryland senators advance tax credit for non-citizens left out of the RELIEF Act," 19 Feb. 2021 Air quality is expected to worsen Friday evening, reaching the orange level, or unhealthy for sensitive groups. Star Tribune Staff, Star Tribune, "Weekend air quality alert issued for east-central, southern Minnesota," 19 Feb. 2021 The number of people needing treatment in intensive-care units because of the disease also declined, to 13,045, the lowest level since Nov. 12. WSJ, "Covid-19 Live Updates: Hospitalizations Continue to Fall in the U.S.," 19 Feb. 2021 With the exceptions of the Lansing and Jackson areas, most of the state is now at risk level D on the MI Safe Start Map, which means some visitation could be allowed if the long-term care facility meets all the other requirements. Kristen Jordan Shamus, Detroit Free Press, "Answers to your questions about COVID-19 vaccines," 19 Feb. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Republicans said the measure is intended to level the playing field between wealthier counties that can afford to provide weekend voting hours and poorer rural counties that can’t. Amy Gardner, Anchorage Daily News, "In states, a new push for voting restrictions," 20 Feb. 2021 Taylor is the book's heroine, a personal trainer trying to level up by conquering the world of Instagram fitness culture. Maureen Lee Lenker, EW.com, "See the cover for Farrah Rochon's fake-dating fitness guru rom-com The Dating Playbook," 7 Dec. 2020 Many in the artistic community say a stronger effort needs to be made to level the backstage playing field for nonwhite theater makers — and an obvious way to do that is through mentorships, consultant roles, internships and other training. Matthew J. Palm, orlandosentinel.com, "‘It’s about opportunity': Diversifying Orlando’s arts scene requires pathways for people of color," 19 Oct. 2020 This leaves little room for manipulation by insurers, hence the ability to hold plans more accountable and level the playing field for everyone. Darrell Steinberg, STAT, "New California law should serve as a national model for mental health care reform," 14 Oct. 2020 Near the end of her career, Love tried to level the playing field for Black applicants. Jeff Pegues, CBS News, "Former Black special agents say FBI's culture is "not conducive to minorities"," 7 Oct. 2020 Google has said its products expand competition and level the playing field for small businesses. Karen Langley, WSJ, "The Stock Market’s Leaders Appear Most Vulnerable to Biden’s Tax Plan," 4 Oct. 2020 Technology startups see broader acceptance of a work-from-anywhere strategy as a way to level the playing field. Jackie Crosby, Star Tribune, "Why some Minnesota companies are ditching the office and going remote, forever," 30 Jan. 2021 The fresh funding will help Zuoyebang level the playing field with major rival Yuanfudao. Coco Liu, Bloomberg.com, "China Online Education Startup Draws Alibaba in $1.6 Billion Funding Round," 28 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Part of the federal government's role is to actively create a level playing field. CNN, "We need an equal opportunity economy that supports Black businesses, too," 22 Feb. 2021 This allows a level playing field where children with special needs can hit, run and catch. Sheila D. Grissett, NOLA.com, "Theater continues, Miracle League registration underway and Fish Frys about to start," 8 Feb. 2021 Here, Kyagulanyi can only hope that the electoral commission ensures a level playing field. Geoffrey Ssenoga, Quartz Africa, "Social media gave a voice to democracy in Uganda so the government shut it down—again," 12 Jan. 2021 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

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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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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Statistics for level

Last Updated

25 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Level.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/level. Accessed 28 Feb. 2021.

Style: MLA
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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.

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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