levy

noun
\ ˈle-vē How to pronounce levy (audio) \
plural levies

Definition of levy

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : the imposition or collection of an assessment The government imposed a levy on gasoline.
b : an amount levied
2a : the enlistment or conscription of men for military service
b : troops raised by levy turned green levies into fighting soldiers

levy

verb
levied; levying

Definition of levy (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to impose or collect by legal authority levy a tax
b : to require by authority
2 : to enlist or conscript for military service
3 : to carry on (war) : wage

intransitive verb

: to seize property

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from levy

Verb

levier noun

Synonyms for levy

Synonyms: Noun

assessment, duty, imposition, impost, tax

Synonyms: Verb

conscribe, conscript, draft

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of levy in a Sentence

Noun

the legislators approved a new levy on imported cattle to help protect American ranchers

Verb

They levied a tax on imports. The government will levy a fine on the company.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Singh said district officials look for new construction that could be added to the tax rolls each year when evaluating whether to increase their property tax levy. Rick Kambic, chicagotribune.com, "As wait continues for formal plan to redevelop Hawthorn Mall, officials in Vernon Hills gear up for negotiations over tax incentives," 3 July 2019 Portlanders have consistently renewed a five-year property tax levy to fund its public schools. oregonlive.com, "Adult store near N. Portland middle school shutters, local teen makes the cut for ‘Jeopardy!’ tourney: The week in education," 15 June 2019 Many Texas Democrats have ripped into Trump over his Mexico levies. Tom Benning, Dallas News, "Top Texas Republicans push back on Trump's Mexico tariffs, but how far will they go?," 5 June 2019 Durkan built some momentum in November, as the council passed her police-union contract and her first budget and as voters approved her $600 million-plus education levy. Daniel Beekman, The Seattle Times, "State of the City: Durkan praises Seattle snow response, touts free ORCA passes," 20 Feb. 2019 Canada over the weekend imposed tariffs on $12.6 billion in U.S. goods in retaliation for U.S. levies on steel and aluminum. Rachel Van Dongen, Washington Post, "The Daily 202: Trump's trade war is getting very real," 3 July 2018 In the face of calls for higher levies on private-equity and hedge-fund billionaires who often pay taxes at a lower rate than their secretaries, Schwarzman famously compared Barack Obama’s tax proposals to Hitler invading Poland. Will Bunch, Philly.com, "Stephen Schwarzman's billionaire lottery won't save public schools. But Oklahoma might | Will Bunch," 8 Apr. 2018 Here's why many Chinese tourists are skipping the U.S.: Trade war The Trump administration has slapped a 25% tariff on $250 billion in Chinese imports and is threatening to impose a similar levy on the remaining $300 billion in shipments from China. Yan Zhang, USA TODAY, "As the trade war with China heats up this summer, who is feeling the chill?," 18 June 2019 When the online system wouldn't accept his payments, instead of helping, the state put a levy on his bank account. Russ Wiles, azcentral, "Sales taxes go uncollected, businesses slip through cracks under Arizona's business-friendly efforts," 13 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

What is different about Delaware’s push for healthier beverages is that it cannot be viewed as a money grab, as in places where a soda tax was levied. USA TODAY, "Kacey Musgraves, sneaker flap, skiing in July: News from around our 50 states," 3 July 2019 That's because taxing items directly can't be done at the federal level, which explains why property taxes are levied only by states. Irina Ivanova, CBS News, "A rallying cry for the Democratic presidential candidates: "Soak the rich"," 26 June 2019 This isn’t the first time this claim has been levied against Huawei. Jane Li, Quartz, "A Chinese tech columnist is disputing that Huawei’s new phone can, literally, shoot the moon," 18 June 2019 Only the six states mentioned in the previous column — Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Nebraska, New Jersey and Pennsylvania — have an inheritance tax, which is levied on the person who inherits. Liz Weston | Nerdwallet.com, oregonlive.com, "Liz Weston: Estate and inheritance taxes are not the same," 16 June 2019 Mere weeks after the biting accusation and suspension were levied, Fall faced off with Louisville in the Open Cup while his suspension in league play was ongoing and scored the game-winning goal. Patrick Brennan, Cincinnati.com, "FC Cincinnati's Emmanuel Ledesma to Louisville City: 'Go back home and don't talk too much'," 13 June 2019 The filing does not say whether a tax penalty has been levied by Panamanian authorities. Heather Vogell, ProPublica, "Trump Companies Accused of Tax Evasion in Panama," 3 June 2019 The new Florida laws require paid petition gatherers to register with the secretary of state, prohibit payments based on the number of signatures collected and levy fines if petitions aren’t turned in within 30 days. Washington Post, "GOP lawmakers create hurdles for citizen ballot initiatives," 22 June 2019 Meanwhile, the Federal Trade Commission is investigating Facebook’s failure to protect the privacy of its users and is expected to levy a multi-billion-dollar fine. Hiawatha Bray, BostonGlobe.com, "Facebook’s digital currency would be great — if it didn’t come from Facebook," 18 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'levy.' 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 levy

Noun

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for levy

Noun and Verb

Middle English, from Anglo-French levé, literally, raising, from lever to raise — more at lever

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about levy

Statistics for levy

Last Updated

13 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for levy

The first known use of levy was in the 13th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for levy

levy

noun

Financial Definition of levy

What It Is

A levy is the seizure of property in order to repay debt. In the U.S., the IRS has the authority to levy. (For everybody else, this is called foreclosure or repossession.)

How It Works

Let’s assume John Doe owns a house in the country and hasn't filed a tax return for five years. The IRS catches up to him and sends him a $45,000 tax bill. John has fallen on hard times lately, and is unable to pay the taxes. Accordingly, the IRS levies the house.

Levies can be on property, wages, bank accounts or anything else of value. A levy is not the same as a lien. A levy actually takes the property; a lien just places a restriction on the sale or transfer of the property.

Why It Matters

Taxing authorities are always anxious to get their money, but they must give written notice to a taxpayer before levying a taxpayer's assets. States also have the authority to impose levies for the lack of payment of state income taxes.

Source: Investing Answers

levy

noun

English Language Learners Definition of levy

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: an amount of money that must be paid and that is collected by a government or other authority

levy

verb

English Language Learners Definition of levy (Entry 2 of 2)

: to use legal authority to demand and collect (a fine, a tax, etc.)

levy

noun
\ ˈle-vē How to pronounce levy (audio) \
plural levies

Kids Definition of levy

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: something (as taxes) collected by authority of the law

levy

verb
levied; levying

Kids Definition of levy (Entry 2 of 2)

: to collect legally levy taxes

Keep scrolling for more

levy

noun
\ ˈle-vē How to pronounce levy (audio) \
plural levies

Legal Definition of levy

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : an act of levying: as
a : the imposition or collection of a tax
b : the seizure according to a writ of execution of real or personal property in a judgment debtor's possession to satisfy a judgment debt
2 : an amount levied : tax providing for a levy of 3% on income up to $10,000— D. Q. Posin

levy

verb
levied; levying

Legal Definition of levy (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to impose or collect (as a tax or fine) with authority allow it to levy stiffer penalties for some safety violationsNational Law Journal
2 : to enforce or carry into effect (a writ of execution) — compare attach, garnish

intransitive verb

: to enforce a writ of execution or attachment specifically : to make a seizure of real or personal property in a judgment debtor's possession they might as a last resort levy on his merchandise — J. J. White and R. S. Summers

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on levy

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with levy

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for levy

Spanish Central: Translation of levy

Nglish: Translation of levy for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of levy for Arabic Speakers

Comments on levy

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

WORD OF THE DAY

characterized by aphorism

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Dictionary Devil

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

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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