levity

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noun lev·i·ty \ˈle-və-tē\

Definition of levity

  1. 1 :  excessive or unseemly frivolity She would tolerate no levity in the classroom.

  2. 2 :  lack of steadiness :  changeableness the levity … of the brisk fire — Charles Dickens

Examples of levity in a Sentence

  1. They managed to find some levity in the situation.

  2. the teachers disapprove of any displays of levity during school assemblies

Recent Examples of levity from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'levity'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Levity Was Once a Scientific Term

Levity originally was thought to be a physical force exactly like gravity but pulling in the opposite direction, like the helium in a balloon. As recently as the 19th century, scientists were still arguing about its existence. Today levity refers only to lightness in manner. To stern believers of some religious faiths, levity is often regarded as almost sinful. But the word, like its synonym frivolity, now has an old-fashioned ring to it and is usually used only half-seriously.

Origin and Etymology of levity

Latin levitat-, levitas, from levis light in weight — more at light


First Known Use: 1564


LEVITY Defined for English Language Learners

levity

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noun

Definition of levity for English Language Learners

  • : a lack of seriousness

  • : an amusing quality



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