lev·​i·​gate | \ ˈle-və-ˌgāt How to pronounce levigate (audio) \
levigated; levigating

Definition of levigate

transitive verb

1 : polish, smooth
2a : to grind to a fine smooth powder while in moist condition
b : to separate (fine powder) from coarser material by suspending in a liquid

Other Words from levigate

levigation \ ˌle-​və-​ˈgā-​shən How to pronounce levigate (audio) \ noun

The Origin of Levigate

Levigate comes from Latin levigatus, the past participle of the verb levigare ("to make smooth"). Levigare is derived in part from levis, the Latin word for "smooth." Alleviate and levity can also be traced back to a Latin levis, and the levi- root in both words might suggest a close relationship with levigate. This is not the case, however. The Latin levis that gives us alleviate and levity does not mean "smooth," but "light" (in the sense of having little weight).

First Known Use of levigate

1612, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for levigate

borrowed from Latin lēvigātus, past participle of lēvigāre "to make smooth," from lēvis "smooth, free from surface irregularity, of even consistency" + -igāre, causative and factitive suffix; lēvis perhaps going back to pre-Latin *lēiw-i-, going back to a u-stem adjective *lēi̯-u-, going back to Indo-European *leh1-u-, whence also, from a thematized *leh1iu̯o-, Greek leîos "smooth" — more at fumigate

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The first known use of levigate was in 1612

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leviathan stitch



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Cite this Entry

“Levigate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/levigate. Accessed 27 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for levigate


transitive verb
lev·​i·​gate | \ ˈlev-ə-ˌgāt How to pronounce levigate (audio) \
levigated; levigating

Medical Definition of levigate

: to grind to a fine smooth powder while in moist condition by first levigating the zinc oxide with a small amount of glycerin a smooth paste is obtainedArt of Compounding

Other Words from levigate

levigation \ ˌlev-​ə-​ˈgā-​shən How to pronounce levigate (audio) \ noun


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