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

In a round table here Friday, the Ohio senator turned to a popular critique by the president’s critics of his levies on Chinese steel, which sparked retaliatory tariffs from Beijing on American soybeans. Joshua Jamerson, WSJ, "In a Sign of the Challenge to Democrats, Brown Faces Skepticism in Iowa," 2 Feb. 2019 Unofficial results from the Lorain County Board of Elections show 92.9 percent of precincts reporting with overwhelming approval of the two renewal levies. Linda Gandee/special To Cleveland.com, cleveland.com, "Avon voters approve two ongoing levies in primary election," 8 May 2018 At the Commerce Department, officials have been overwhelmed with pleas from U.S. companies for waivers from levies on foreign steel and aluminum that the president introduced in March. David J. Lynch, chicagotribune.com, "Flood of U.S. companies seek relief on tariffs," 20 June 2018 For years, the unincorporated areas of the county have had an anemic local law enforcement presence, the result of a general lack of support for public safety levies. Noelle Crombie, OregonLive.com, "State police at 'breaking point' with drop in troopers on patrol, superintendent says," 25 May 2018 For example, the Department of Senior and Adult Services receives 85 percent of its funding from the levy. Guest Columnist/cleveland.com, cleveland.com, "Cuyahoga County budget underscores importance of health and human service levy: Will Tarter (Opinion)," 25 Feb. 2018 But in fact, there is very little city money in the project, and none of it coming directly from the tax levy. Steve Lord, Aurora Beacon-News, "Aurora finalizes Transportation Center project, including pedestrian bridge over Fox River," 12 Jan. 2018 That's significantly more than the $860,000 total that former mayor Ed Murray cited in proposing the levy, and quadruple comparable national averages, the paper reported. Gregg Re, Fox News, "Seattle struggling to pay for bike lanes, as costs for 'visionary' project balloon to $12 million per mile: report," 23 May 2018 The Trump administration levies are aimed at pressuring Mexico and Canada to accept White House demands for revising the North America Free Trade Agreement. Kevin Mccoy, USA TODAY, "Trump's tariff gains could cause Tyson Foods, Costco pain," 6 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

But the reports highlight the level of complexity Russian groups employed to exploit already existing tensions in the US, and, as the Atlantic’s David Graham notes, amplify attacks already being levied by Donald Trump as a candidate. P.r. Lockhart, Vox, "How Russia exploited racial tensions in America during the 2016 elections," 17 Dec. 2018 So, Holmes is out as CEO, Theranos laid off the majority of its staff, bankruptcy is an imminent threat, and there are now criminal charges levied against officers or directors. Polina Marinova, Fortune, "Term Sheet -- Monday, June 18," 18 June 2018 German authorities handed Volkswagen a €1bn ($1.2bn) fine for cheating emissions tests, one of the biggest-ever penalties levied against a company in Germany. The Economist, "Business this week," 14 June 2018 The $1,019,766 fine was the sixth-largest fine levied against a nursing home nationally in the last three years, according to the most recent update of the Nursing Home Compare by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Harold Brubaker, Philly.com, "The Springs at the Watermark nursing home fined $1 million," 4 June 2018 China responded in kind by announcing penalties on $50bn of American goods, which prompted Mr Trump to threaten to levy additional tariffs on goods worth $400bn. The Economist, "Business this week," 23 June 2018 South Korea put the kibosh on ICOs, too, and has threatened to levy major taxes on exchanges. Robert Hackett, Fortune, "The Video Cloud video is not playable.," 26 Feb. 2018 Only $313,592 is raised by each mill levied in the parish, a reflection of its relatively low real estate values. Mark Schleifstein, NOLA.com, "East bank levee authority could return drainage, pump operations to St. Bernard Parish," 17 May 2018 He was convicted in March 2016 and sentenced to 10 years hard labor, about a week after Warmbier’s conviction — both sentences were handed down shortly after the U.S. had levied steeper sanctions against North Korea in response to missile testing. Feliz Solomon, Time, "Who Are the Three Americans That Have Been Released by North Korea?," 10 May 2018

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

18 May 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

a strong desire or propensity

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Challenging Vocabulary Quiz Returns!

  • stylized drawing of woman pole vaulting across gap to get trophy
  • Which is a synonym of fuliginous?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

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!