Definition of level in English:

level

noun

  • 1A horizontal plane or line with respect to the distance above or below a given point:

    ‘the front garden is on a level with this floor’
    • ‘Wherever we looked, at our level, above and below, there were exotic fish.’
    • ‘The exposed base of salt is generally no more than a metre or so below the level of the plateau to the south.’
    • ‘The land is nearly on a level with the water, the ground is marshy, and the sewers all open.’
    • ‘Manure in the stallion's stable was above the level of the door and the roof had partly fallen in.’
    • ‘Adjust the seat height so that your eyes are on a level with the top edge of the screen.’
    • ‘The building stands on a side hill so that the floor of the basement is on a level with the ground to the east.’
    • ‘I'm not sure whether the Tower is actually the city's highest point, but certainly we seemed on a level with the tops of the Suspension Bridge towers.’
    • ‘As they returned to their work Hector came to position himself between Kaye and I, squatting down so he was at our level.’
    • ‘Further back, a solitary girder stands upright about 2m above the general level of the wreck.’
    • ‘Stretching out on my belly to put my head on a level with his I said, conversationally, ‘What are you looking at?’’
    • ‘The croc was on our level, less than two leaps away and staring, it seemed, directly at me.’
    • ‘The pool is so designed that its end wall is on a level with the backwaters, conveying the illusion of stretching into infinity.’
    • ‘The speakers must be below the level of the windows.’
    • ‘The top of the wall ran on a level with the field behind it and was covered with flowers and small shrubs.’
    • ‘At the far side of the green there was a huge open pit full of mature trees whose tops emerged only a few metres above the level of the green.’
    • ‘When the front garden is flooded, the water reaches the brickwork of the walls of the house both below and above the level of the damp course.’
    • ‘The operators want to dig deeper seams within the quarry - up to 15 metres below the existing level.’
    • ‘The woodpeckers gain access to the nest either by enlarging the box entrance or by drilling through the side of the box on a level with the contents.’
    • ‘This would explain why we see only the fixed lights of the third window and a brightly-lit area of back wall on a level with these lights.’
    • ‘I was almost on a level with the river.’
    1. 1.1 A height or distance from the ground or another stated or understood base:
      ‘storms caused river levels to rise’
      • ‘If river levels sink too low, barges could be grounded and agriculture thrown into chaos.’
      • ‘There was a slight rise in the river level of a few inches.’
      • ‘As soon as flood levels start to drop water will be fed back into the river along the new water course.’
      • ‘In a matter of hours, the water levels had risen to his window.’
      • ‘Sea levels were low because water was frozen in ice sheets in Antartica.’
      • ‘Lower dam levels lead to lower amounts of hydro power.’
      • ‘Continuous rain in the first week saw river levels rise and temperatures drop.’
      • ‘Riverside homeowners were keeping one eye firmly on the clouds today as river levels rose even higher through the night.’
      • ‘Twelve trial holes were inspected last year to determine soil suitability and water table levels on the proposed site.’
      • ‘Water levels on the lake were very low and conditions have not been very favourable for angling with few anglers fishing the lakes.’
      • ‘Mr Stainer said part of the plan included raising the level of the land to guard against flooding.’
      • ‘Most North American cities will flood and sink when the polar ice caps melt and raise ocean levels.’
      • ‘During the summer months, decreases in river, lake and reservoir levels are likely to occur.’
      • ‘He sleeps three hours a night, wakes at six in the morning to monitor the state's reservoir levels.’
      • ‘Groundwater levels rose and fell over a period of about 45 minutes.’
      • ‘Flood levels in Ryedale were going down but yesterday's downpour could make it worse, experts claimed.’
      • ‘Water passes in and out through channels between the islands as ocean levels change.’
      • ‘My studies also demonstrated that the rainfall, river flow and groundwater levels are increasing.’
      • ‘The rise of sea levels with the release of glacial waters at the end of the last ice age flooded the plain between what is now the UK and Europe.’
      • ‘Reservoir levels may look alarmingly low but water chiefs are confident the region is not facing a crisis.’
      height, highness, altitude, elevation, distance upward
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2 A floor within a multistorey building.
      • ‘The new building has four levels, linked by a new lift as well as stairs.’
      • ‘Also at this level is a granny flat with a television room, kitchenette, bedroom and shower room.’
      • ‘The major landmarks of Paris are a bewitching sight from the various levels of the tower.’
      • ‘Glass walkways connected the buildings to their neighbours and to the central building at three levels.’
      • ‘A different architect has designed each floor, giving each level a very different feel.’
      • ‘The building will be joined at many levels to the main building.’
      • ‘The house had two levels and a flat roof, much like all the other buildings in the city.’
      • ‘It was not intended that there would be balconies at first floor level around the edges of the deck.’
      • ‘Wildlife often seek refuge from flood waters on upper levels of a home and may remain inside even after the water recedes.’
      • ‘Additionally, there are several new ‘malls,’ some of which are three or more levels with no parking facilities.’
      • ‘The first tidal wave caused damage to the bottom of the hotel, but it was the second wave, an hour and a half later, which wrecked the first few levels of the buildings.’
      • ‘It has three levels with three reception rooms and four bedrooms.’
      • ‘The ground floor shops and upper ground level occupy an area of 4,563 sq ft each.’
      • ‘The contractor is to arrange for the carpets to be lifted from the ground and first floor levels and removed off site prior to work starting.’
      • ‘There is a department store on the beach road, Ocean Plaza, which is still flooded at the lower level.’
      • ‘A woman died after jumping from the fifth level of a multi-storey car park.’
      • ‘Everything was spread out over five different levels with precious few staircases open to the public.’
      • ‘There are two bedrooms and a shower room on the upper level of the extension.’
      • ‘Being built on four levels with the ground floor reserved for secure parking, the flats will have panoramic views north across the Forth estuary to Fife.’
      • ‘Subterranean termites tunnel in moist soil to find wood, putting decks and lower levels of buildings at risk.’
      floor, storey, tier, deck
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  • 2A position on a scale of amount, quantity, extent, or quality:

    ‘a high level of unemployment’
    ‘debt rose to unprecedented levels’
    • ‘The Environment Agency tested the water in Manor House Gardens pond and found oxygen levels to be well above safe levels.’
    • ‘Rainfall also dipped below the usual seasonal levels at 56 mm, or 60 per cent of the average.’
    • ‘And as unemployment rose to record levels, people have stopped spending so freely, causing prices to drop.’
    • ‘A priority is supporting regeneration in areas with high levels of social and economic difficulty.’
    • ‘The survey found that 47 per cent of consumers said they were suffering from above normal levels of stress.’
    • ‘Maintaining acceptable levels of water quality is important to human and environmental health.’
    • ‘The recession has resulted in unprecedented levels of unemployment and a dramatic increase in poverty.’
    • ‘In a separate development, air pollution at Eastleigh town centre has been found to be way above acceptable levels.’
    • ‘What will it take to keep oil imports at today's level in 2020?’
    • ‘For the first time last year, unemployment rose to an unprecedented level of 10 percent.’
    • ‘Their businesses are based on low levels of investment and are not especially labour intensive.’
    • ‘However, if the pressure in the reservoir tanks falls below a certain level, an alarm will sound for the driver.’
    • ‘Therefore when social, legal and administrative systems reach a certain level of complexity they cease functioning.’
    • ‘However, what's an acceptable level of unemployment?’
    • ‘Until 1998, female Army recruits were not expected to reach the same level of physical fitness as men.’
    • ‘Tests have found about one in seven UK lettuces with above approved levels of a pesticide, the Government announced yesterday.’
    • ‘He designed a safety valve to prevent the pressure of steam building up to dangerous levels.’
    • ‘The Minimum Income Guarantee gives out cash to those who are living below minimum levels set by the Government.’
    • ‘It should also have a healthy and vibrant economy with low levels of unemployment and deprivation, with an increase in quality homes.’
    • ‘Even low levels of weekly exercise drive down blood pressure and boost overall fitness.’
    quantity, amount, extent, measure, degree, volume, size
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1 An intellectual, social, or moral standard:
      ‘at six he could play chess at an advanced level’
      [mass noun] ‘women do better at degree level’
      • ‘The higher the skill level the greater their likelihood of getting and keeping a job.’
      • ‘Classes must also be given to all children from primary to college levels with the assistance of the Education Department.’
      • ‘In fact, students from low-income backgrounds could reach achievement levels comparable to their middle-class peers'.’
      • ‘So would he like to get behind the camera on a professional level at some point?’
      • ‘Many a girl drops out even at the primary level because of social compulsions.’
      • ‘Jared has been voracious since then, reading well above his level, and everything he can get his hands on.’
      • ‘Decent educational levels will automatically lessen social problems and crime as well as boosting self esteem and confidence.’
      • ‘The work is reflective of a level way above what a 13-year-old would usually do.’
      • ‘I think my performances have carried on at a level I am content with.’
      • ‘More than three-quarters of students at both levels secured an honour grade, while the numbers failing fell.’
      • ‘You may have always known his worth on an intellectual level, but now it becomes real to you.’
      • ‘The welfare of the people of Britain could not rise above a level set by the balance of people and land.’
      • ‘School-age children must go to school based on their appropriate levels.’
      • ‘In this decade the intellectual level of public debate was high.’
      • ‘Sean was happy with the honours English paper but thought the ordinary level maths paper was hard enough.’
      • ‘Qualifications at both A-level and below and degree level are above the national average.’
      • ‘We can learn a great deal about the moral level of the reigning intellectual culture of the West by observing the reaction to this demand.’
      • ‘One slip and you are in trouble, and let's face it, at our level it will happen constantly.’
      • ‘This year Paul took his hobby to a new level when he set his sights on the Olympic Games in Athens.’
      • ‘Science and mathematics levels are each based on results from two written papers.’
    2. 2.2 A position in a hierarchy:
      ‘a junior level of management’
      • ‘Important changes have also occurred in the middle levels of the class hierarchy.’
      • ‘Ideas matter to all of us who enter public life, particularly at the national level.’
      • ‘It seeks to inform and facilitate decisions appropriate to different levels of government and to private citizens at home and at work.’
      • ‘The rest are stuck at the lower and middle levels of the managerial hierarchy.’
      • ‘There were clear levels on the Roman social ladder, but not everyone could be - or wished to be - neatly categorised.’
      • ‘Though few have broken into the top echelons of power, the junior and middle management levels are full of women.’
      • ‘It has become a challenging issue for policymakers both at the national and international levels to deal with.’
      • ‘A spokesmen says, given the nature of the allegations, any inquiry would need to be at a national level.’
      • ‘Democratic practice has to occur at the local level if it is to have any chance at the national level.’
      • ‘This produces a mind-set that puts maids at the lowest level of the social structure.’
      • ‘Here in Scotland, we have no comparable political leadership below the level of the Executive.’
      • ‘All of the seniority levels recovered lower amounts in 1999 than the historical average.’
      • ‘At higher political levels, channels of communication are kept active and effective.’
      • ‘Authority in the firm is concentrated at senior levels of managerial hierarchies.’
      • ‘What does worry me personally is the trend away from engineers being employed at fairly high management levels.’
      • ‘At the lower levels of business activities within this sector are very small operations that employ as few as five employees at maximum.’
      • ‘Based on age, the children are divided into the primary, intermediate, junior and senior levels.’
      • ‘That has been the judgment rendered at the highest levels again within the last few weeks without any qualification.’
      • ‘The grain purchase programs determined at the national level were difficult to implement locally.’
      • ‘That is definitely below director level but above executive club member.’
      rank, standing, status, position
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  • 3Gaming
    (in a video game) each of a series of stages of increasing difficulty through which a player may progress, completing one stage in order to reach the next:

    ‘I've now reached level 106 on Candy Crush Saga’
    1. 3.1 (especially in a role-playing game) each of a number of steps in the development of a character, who progressively acquires enhanced skills and abilities within the game as the player advances by completing tasks and earning points:
      ‘you can easily take a character to level 20 in less than 15 hours and finish the campaign’
  • 4An instrument marked with a line parallel to the plane of the horizon for testing whether things are horizontal.

    • ‘I even used a level to measure properly!’
    • ‘A level can be used to straighten out rows of bricks.’
    • ‘In place of an open rear sight on the barrel, a bubble level is fitted to help avoid canting the rifle.’
    • ‘Scrape the top layer smooth using a level to guide you.’
    1. 4.1Surveying An instrument for giving a horizontal line of sight.
      • ‘Generally, the most accurate beach survey data are obtained using a surveying level.’
      • ‘A laser level is the modern way of doing surveying.’
  • 5A flat tract of land:

    [in place names] ‘the Somerset Levels’
    • ‘The basin of the Peneus expands into a vast level towards the southeast.’
    • ‘The moors and levels are formed from a submerged and reclaimed landscape.’
    • ‘Between the water and the land is a vast, flat level of grassy mud.’

adjective

  • 1Having a flat, horizontal surface:

    ‘we had reached level ground’
    • ‘Once back on level ground, a two-mile road run to the finish saw my team cross the line hand in hand and fairly emotional.’
    • ‘Nordic walking is best practised on fairly smooth and level paths.’
    • ‘When we finally made it back to the gate the nice paved paths seemed an oasis of smooth level ground.’
    • ‘Slab sawing, flat sawing and floor sawing are done on reasonably level surfaces.’
    • ‘Suppose the ball lands not on level ground, but deep in the stands or off a facade.’
    • ‘When we reached the more level ground, it was as if we walked into another world.’
    • ‘The return to running should be gradual, starting at an easy pace on a level surface.’
    • ‘Beyond the bank on the seaward side is a yard or two of level ground.’
    • ‘The paths leading to the hides are of compacted gravel, generally on level ground and well maintained.’
    • ‘The surface should be level, free draining and, if possible, subject to frost prevention.’
    • ‘Transfer to the casserole dish and mix with the chicken and flatten to give a level surface for the topping.’
    • ‘I may not be the greatest rider of all time, but I do try to make a point of not falling off when going in a straight line over level ground.’
    • ‘Once she was on level ground, she grinned knowing she was finally out of the canyon.’
    • ‘He spread a clean handkerchief from his hip pocket on a level stretch of ground.’
    • ‘Row crops and plant nurseries on level terrain are well suited for surface irrigation.’
    • ‘Beyond that on level ground is an abundance of picnic sites where you can choose sun or shade.’
    • ‘Place your container on a level surface and pour the gel slowly and carefully down the side.’
    • ‘Make the terraces in your yard high enough so the land between them is fairly level.’
    • ‘Assemble the table on a level surface, turn the top wheel upside down and place the seat wheel on top of it.’
    • ‘The housing must be perfectly level and secure or else the fan may make excessive noise.’
    flat, smooth, even, uniform, plane, flush, plumb, regular, true
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    1. 1.1 (of a quantity of a dry substance) with the contents not rising above the brim of the measure:
      ‘a level teaspoon of salt’
      • ‘If the gravy lacks body, stir in 2 level teaspoons of cornflour for every ½ pint of liquid.’
      • ‘Put some olive oil in a shallow pan with a level dessertspoon of tomato purée.’
      • ‘Add a level tablespoon of dried mint to the soup when you reheat it.’
      • ‘Split each pitta in half horizontally, and spread each with one level tablespoon of passata.’
  • 2At the same height as someone or something else:

    ‘his eyes were level with hers’
    • ‘When I go to the doctor, the clinicians never position my arm level with my heart.’
    • ‘The kitchen has a range of eye and floor level units and is plumbed for a dishwasher and washing machine.’
    • ‘We were so high up we were level with the clouds.’
    • ‘The garden level accommodation is accessed separately from the front garden.’
    • ‘Even standing, her head only drew level with my chest.’
    • ‘Bringing his eyes level with Luke, Adam surveyed him calmly.’
    • ‘Behind it is a large street level parking lot accessible from Richmond Street.’
    • ‘His face was level with hers.’
    aligned, on the same level as, on a level, at the same height as, in line, balanced
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  • 3Having the same relative position; not in front of or behind:

    ‘the car backed rapidly until it was level with me’
    • ‘When we were level with the middle of the bridge, I realised where we were.’
    • ‘As we came level with the silver saloon, I was absolutely amazed to see the driver holding a camcorder to his face.’
    • ‘I quickened my pace so that I was level with her.’
    • ‘Ben slowed his pace until she drew level.’
    • ‘Racing to the third bend he gained on the leader and drew level coming out of it.’
    aligned, on the same level as, on a level, at the same height as, in line, balanced
    View synonyms
    1. 3.1British Having the same position or score in a contest:
      ‘the two teams finished level on points’
      • ‘A tense and low scoring first half left the teams level at the break.’
      • ‘He put over the ball for a great score to draw the teams level on three points each.’
      • ‘The Livingston attacks were now far more menacing and they drew level two minutes later.’
      • ‘The three games took one and a half hours to complete with both players level on numerous occasions.’
      • ‘The home side drew level ten minutes after the break.’
      • ‘The sides were level on 11 points each.’
      • ‘Both of these sides were level on points at the top of the table going into the game.’
      • ‘They drew level thanks to another questionable decision from the referee four minutes into the second half.’
      • ‘The teams were level at the interval.’
      • ‘The fact that the team were still level at half-time acted as a spur to them.’
      • ‘The final was a very close game and the teams were level at the end of normal time.’
      • ‘Three minutes later, the side were again level from another free.’
      • ‘Steve Bruce drew the teams level with a well-taken strike four minutes from the break.’
      • ‘After drawing level Tyrone were stunned when Down scored their fourth goal.’
      • ‘Shortly before half-time, a timely goal put the teams level at the break.’
      • ‘Once again the Walsh Island men drew level this time from a penalty.’
      • ‘All three teams are level on points.’
      • ‘The sides were level five minutes later when Brian Kaye rose at the back post to head home a Gavin Holligan cross.’
      • ‘The visitors drew level five minutes later.’
      • ‘Montgomery's conversion brought the teams level with 30 minutes to go.’
      equal, even, drawn, tied, balanced, all square, on a level, in a position of equality
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    2. 3.2 Not having risen or fallen; unchanged:
      ‘earnings were level at 17.5p a share’
      • ‘You can choose to receive a level income, or have your payouts rise in line with inflation.’
      • ‘Wages have been level since 1973.’
      • ‘Studios have seen level prices over the past three years with the average rental rate at €910 per month.’
      • ‘Shares were level from there and closed at $3.86.’
  • 4Calm and steady:

    ‘the cold, level gaze he had given her’
    • ‘He said it in a calm, level tone, but the icy look he gave me told me what he was thinking.’
    • ‘Fixing him with a level gaze, he opened his mouth to speak.’
    • ‘He was simply looking straight back into this musician's eyes, with a perfectly level gaze.’
    • ‘She gave him a level gaze, which drew his attention away from the air lane briefly.’
    • ‘‘Maybe not every time,’ said the leader, in a perfectly level tone.’
    • ‘That was said in a low, level voice and I suddenly realised how she might be construing this.’
    • ‘Philip kept a level gaze on him.’
    • ‘He speaks with the calm, level voice of a professional scientist.’
    • ‘They found his level, intense stare more than somewhat unnerving.’
    • ‘She returned it with a level gaze, betraying none of the anxiety she felt inside.’
    unchanging, steady, unvarying, stable, even, uniform, regular, consistent, constant
    View synonyms

verb

  • 1[with object] Give a flat and even surface to:

    ‘contractors started levelling the ground for the new power station’
    • ‘Bushes were cleared, the land was levelled and strengthened by filling it up with rubble.’
    • ‘It will take so long because the site has a slope and the ground needs to be levelled.’
    • ‘The ground has been leveled and they are firming the soil.’
    • ‘Once the digging there has been completed, the land will be levelled and the bypass will be 10 meters below the current ground level.’
    • ‘By early afternoon the ground was leveled, smoothed over and trimmed.’
    • ‘Then she mixed up a batch of cement in a bucket, poured it into the pie tins and leveled it off.’
    • ‘Pour the batter into the cake pan, leveling the surface with a spatula.’
    • ‘However, the contractors have continued their work of levelling the land for allotment of sites.’
    • ‘The site for the bus station and car park has been levelled and contractors will move in early in May and finish next summer.’
    • ‘The ground which has been levelled is now being left until July to settle and consolidate.’
    • ‘The work is expected to take about a year during which time the surface will be levelled, drained and reseeded and flood lighting installed.’
    • ‘The bulldozers moved in and the grounds were levelled and that was that.’
    • ‘When I was about eight or nine they levelled it off and built blocks of flats there.’
    • ‘Finally, the groove is filled with more paste and the surface is leveled.’
    • ‘They move soil sideways and level the land by filling low spots and knocking down ridges.’
    • ‘Two fields have been bought, levelled and surfaced to be used as car parks for the duration of the Games.’
    • ‘It is heartbreaking to see all of the trees in Princes Road felled and the ground being levelled.’
    • ‘Once the cement was mixed up, she scooped it into the trench and leveled it off at ground level.’
    • ‘Tap on a work surface to level the mixture, then put in the freezer.’
    • ‘It's never been properly levelled so water always stands on the surface when it rains.’
    make level, level out, level off, make even, even off, even out, make flat, flatten, smooth, smooth out, plane, make uniform, make regular, regularize
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Demolish (a building or town):
      ‘bulldozers are now waiting to level their home’
      • ‘Luxurious waterfront houses were levelled and smaller houses that lined the town's canals were blown into the water.’
      • ‘One hundred and thirty mile per hour winds and waves 15 feet high leveled the town.’
      • ‘One report stated that approximately 90 per cent of the buildings were leveled.’
      • ‘At one point, there was some concern about the need to level the four buildings.’
      • ‘The explosion reportedly leveled two buildings, one of them a restaurant on a town on the Mexican side of the border.’
      • ‘Whole neighborhoods and districts were leveled in ferocious street fighting with tanks, rockets, and artillery.’
      • ‘Already entire streets of flats have been levelled to make way for more than 700 new homes, two new schools and a state-of-the-art health centre.’
      • ‘Around 80,000 people died immediately from the effects of the blast, and much of the city was leveled.’
      • ‘Fires still burned, but homes were charred and had been levelled to the ground.’
      • ‘As well as levelling the town, the quake has also destroyed what remained of the ancient city and its sixteenth century citadel.’
      • ‘Yet there have also been recent earthquakes that have leveled entire villages, wiping out hundreds of children and families.’
      • ‘A third house was levelled in the nearby town of Dura.’
      • ‘Everything was leveled to the ground, everything but what he had on his back.’
      • ‘A massive explosion in the air sent shockwaves through the town and leveled the few buildings that had survived.’
      • ‘Two earlier strikes levelled buildings and hit a car park.’
      • ‘Towns were levelled by tidal waves which left bodies wedged in trees as the waters receded, Indonesian officials and witnesses said.’
      • ‘Much of the town was leveled, and eight people were killed.’
      • ‘The hotel was the first to reopen after the 1906 earthquake and fires leveled every hotel in the city.’
      • ‘All that do not have rounded roofs will be levelled to the ground.’
      • ‘It leveled the entire town and over 300 people were killed.’
      raze, raze to the ground, demolish, flatten, gut, topple, lay waste, destroy, wipe out, blow up, blow to bits, bomb
      View synonyms
  • 2level off/out[no object] Begin to fly horizontally after climbing or diving:

    ‘he quickly levelled off at 1500 ft’
    • ‘Just above the ground, each plane would level off, heading toward show center.’
    • ‘Just as everybody's life finished flashing before their eyes, the jet began to level out as the wheels hit the runway with a sharp jolt.’
    • ‘These aircraft were pulled into the air nose first by a large propeller and when airborne would level out into horizontal flight.’
    • ‘Relieved, I leveled off and once again began dealing with those knotty little details like useless gauges - both my airspeed and my fuel gauge read zero.’
    • ‘Once the plane leveled off, drinks were served.’
    • ‘After levelling off at 4,000 feet, the plane began to sink.’
    • ‘Climbing through 100 feet, I started my turn and leveled off at 400 feet.’
    • ‘Just minutes earlier, the plane had leveled off after a steep corkscrew ascent.’
    • ‘The captain made an announcement that the plane was now leveling out, and it was safe to move about.’
    • ‘The planes levelled off at 5 feet above the ground and slowly pitched up.’
    • ‘He began to level off at 5,500 ft, directed the copilot to declare an emergency and obtain an altitude block of airspace.’
    • ‘They heard a loud bang as the plane levelled out after completing a series of aerobatics.’
    • ‘We completed a climbing right turn, leveling out at 2,000 feet - right into the heart of the missile threat.’
    • ‘The aircraft immediately began to level out from its spiral.’
    • ‘He felt the tail of his aircraft go down sharply, perhaps as much as 30 degrees, then almost as quickly level out again.’
    • ‘About a second and a half later, I got my hand back on the stick, and began pushing over to level off at 600 feet.’
    • ‘A small, slightly run-down craft barreled through the small opening, then leveled out quickly a few hundred yards above the ground.’
    • ‘At 34,000 feet, it levels off smoothly before diving down to 24,000 feet, with a maximum descent angle of about 30 degrees.’
    • ‘Casey shut her eyes and waited until the plane had levelled out and was cruising before opening them again.’
    • ‘The pressure released as the plane leveled out.’
    1. 2.1 (of a path, road, or incline) cease to slope:
      ‘the track levelled out and there below us was the bay’
      • ‘The slope of the hill leveled off before I reached the bushes.’
      • ‘The track then levelled out and became somewhat cattle-churned near a farm.’
      • ‘The paved road beneath our feet is leveling out from the downhill, the effort required to maintain forward motion is increasing.’
      • ‘Finally the path levelled out.’
      • ‘And where the hill levelled out to an even ground, a stonewall with walkways for sentries was built.’
      • ‘As they walked, the ground gradually began to level out and the trees thinned.’
      • ‘Where the track levels out, head left over a stile beside a wooden gate.’
      • ‘He rejoined us at the crest of the first ridge, where the wall leveled out and began a more gradual ascent to the peak.’
      • ‘When the path levels out at a grassy section, after 100 yards look for a grass path to the left, leading to Stair Bridge.’
      • ‘As the brightness increases, the floor of the passageway also begins to level out.’
      • ‘The path zig-zags on, levelling off before the summit.’
      • ‘The path levels out to provide expansive seaward views.’
      • ‘The path slowly leveled off and they came to a large plateau.’
      • ‘After this the path levels out for about 400m before sloping down to a small car park by the side of the road.’
      • ‘At the foot of the hill, as the path levels out and enters a fringe of larches, leave the narrow footpath and drop down to your right.’
      • ‘Where the stony track turns sharp left and levels out, head straight on through a gate up along a track climbing to reach another gate at the top of the hill.’
      • ‘As the valley began to level out at the bottom, Lily started yelling as loud as she could.’
      • ‘After about twenty feet of a steep hill, it sort of leveled out, into a narrow dirt road.’
      • ‘They stopped at the lip of the gorge, just before the slope leveled out.’
      • ‘The incline leveled out and the grass grew shorter.’
    2. 2.2 Remain at a steady level after falling or rising:
      ‘inflation has levelled out at an acceptable rate’
      • ‘The numbers of people on Earth will grow at an ever-diminishing rate, level off, then begin shrinking.’
      • ‘Salaries dropped by an average of 5 to 7 per cent across the board in the past eight months, but are now beginning to level off.’
      • ‘He would eventually reach 215 pounds, but then leveled off at about 190.’
      • ‘Within months, the market had soared and is only now beginning to level out.’
      • ‘House prices in North Yorkshire are levelling out.’
      • ‘Cannabis use was levelling off and even beginning to go down.’
      • ‘Test scores began leveling off a couple of years ago.’
      • ‘Still, after soaring for years, the company's annual growth rate has begun to level off at about 30%.’
      • ‘House price growth had begun to level out as a direct result of diminishing affordability.’
      • ‘Rents appear to have levelled off and are now holding steady in all locations.’
      • ‘And most important, the precipitous rise in fatherless households has finally begun to level off.’
      • ‘In contrast, wages have leveled off or fallen over the same period.’
      • ‘The sharp increase in the percentage of children living with single parents that began around 1960 has leveled off and was about the same in 2003 as it had been in 1990.’
      • ‘What they show is that the rapid influx of mothers with young children into the workplace has leveled off and fallen, slightly.’
      • ‘After leveling off in the 1980s, crime fell sharply in the mid-1990s.’
      • ‘I think house prices are going to level off and just stay steady but it depends on the interest rate.’
      • ‘Across the city there has been a levelling off in growth because the supply is now beginning to catch up with the demand.’
      • ‘Soon global population will level off and then likely fall for a protracted period of time.’
      • ‘Now that house prices have begun to level off, people who have purchased in the last year may find themselves facing negative equity if they are forced to sell their property.’
      • ‘The growth is still much less than last year with prices beginning to level out.’
  • 3British [with object] Make (something, especially a score in sport) equal or similar:

    ‘Woods sliced the ball into the net to level the score’
    [no object] ‘Ardsley deservedly levelled with two minutes remaining’
    • ‘Disappointment was transferred instantly to points as the scores were levelled through another try in the corner.’
    • ‘A series of well-placed shots saw her level the scores and keep up the momentum to win the fourth game.’
    • ‘His vital try, which levelled the scores at Dewsbury with 12 minutes to go, was his 21st of the season in his 21st appearance.’
    • ‘His second conversion levelled the match.’
    • ‘Neither country has retained the Ashes by levelling the score at The Oval.’
    • ‘Carling's conversion levelled the scores at 10-10 at half-time.’
    • ‘The fly half had two attempts at levelling the scores with long range penalties from inside his own half which drifted wide.’
    • ‘He called 23 lets, eight no lets and 10 strokes, as Hopwood eventually levelled the match.’
    • ‘After levelling the scores they took the lead for the first time on the last end to take the game 26-20 with a four.’
    • ‘He smashed the ball to the back of the net to level the scores yet again.’
    • ‘The visitors levelled the scores with a try and penalty.’
    • ‘New Zealand went close to levelling the score soon after the restart.’
    • ‘It was his fine play which levelled the scores for the Wasps early on.’
    • ‘Ten minutes into the second half he landed a penalty to level the scores.’
    • ‘He insisted the second try - which levelled the scores in injury time - was short of the line.’
    • ‘He levelled the scores from the penalty spot.’
    • ‘The captain missed a penalty which would have levelled the scores.’
    • ‘The hosts retook the lead on half-time with another converted try but the scores were levelled on 52 minutes.’
    • ‘After levelling the scores just three minutes into the second half, City looked the side most likely to go on and claim victory.’
    • ‘They were unlucky to go into half-time without levelling the score.’
    equalize, make equal, equal, even, even up, make level
    View synonyms
    1. 3.1level something up/down Increase or reduce something in order to remove a disparity.
      • ‘All too often, what that means is levelling skills down rather than encouraging the most talented players to forge ahead and realise their potential.’
      • ‘Admittedly I have to pay a fair amount of tax but do not pay a stamp so that levels it up a little.’
      • ‘It also shows the potential for workers doing the same job across different companies to link up their battles, and ensure pay and conditions are levelled up.’
      • ‘The solution to rising poverty rates isn't to level incomes down so that half the median is easier for low skilled workers to reach.’
      • ‘By forcing the internet to be accessible to everyone, there is a risk that we are levelling it down, reducing its potential to suit many competing, latent, unrealised needs.’
      • ‘The Court's insistence on equal retirement ages in occupational pension schemes forced Britain to level ages up or down.’
      • ‘The European Union has always been sold as an integration in which living standards would be leveled up, not down.’
      make equal, make even, even off, even out, even up, make level, level off, level up, make uniform, make the same, make consistent, regularize, standardize, bring into line, balance, square, match
      View synonyms
  • 4[with object] Aim (a weapon):

    ‘he levelled a pistol at us’
    • ‘The young man levelled his rifle again and fired.’
    • ‘The yob threw the man to the floor and again levelled the weapon at his head, but then the gang fled with a haul of just £2,000.’
    • ‘Instinctively Lee levels his rifle at the three enemy soldiers and orders them to leave or he will shoot.’
    • ‘The pipers of the Highland division sound their battle hymns, bayonets are levelled - and the Eighth Army is swallowed up in the darkness and confusion of battle.’
    • ‘The businessman and his family were enjoying a steak lunch when the hit man pulled up outside the restaurant, lowered the car window and levelled a machine gun.’
    • ‘The two grunted angrily, leveling their weapons at her.’
    • ‘When they were within range he leapt up, levelled a pistol at the helpless group and demanded cash.’
    • ‘He levelled the gun at me and without any further warning fired it straight at me from about 10 feet away.’
    • ‘When the rustlers spin round and glare at you, levelling their pistols in your direction, whistle nonchalantly.’
    • ‘The guards leveled their weapons, and everybody shut up.’
    • ‘She immediately levels her shotgun at the boy, who makes a quick dash away.’
    • ‘He walked over to Justin and leveled a gun at his chest.’
    • ‘The anti-anticraft guns were turned not to aim into the air but were leveled to spray the ground with rapidly fired rounds.’
    • ‘The eight men were leveling their weapons at the truck.’
    • ‘‘I'll give you one more chance’ he spat out, leveling his gun at her head.’
    • ‘Adam leveled the rifle at the rider, willing his hands not to shake.’
    • ‘Soldiers levelled guns at people left with no food or water in soaring temperatures.’
    • ‘He leveled the gun at a young woman who slowed her car.’
    • ‘He leveled his pistol and fired, hitting one of the men in the shoulder.’
    • ‘The man backed away from view as she leveled her rifle again.’
    aim, point, direct, train, sight, focus, turn, beam, zero in on, draw a bead on
    View synonyms
    1. 4.1 Direct (a criticism or accusation):
      ‘accusations of corruption had been levelled against him’
      • ‘One criticism that might be levelled at him is that he is too soft.’
      • ‘The only criticism that could be levelled against him is a lack of patience.’
      • ‘The outrage was levelled in equal measure against the investigators, for believing their own data, and the journal for publishing it.’
      • ‘All sorts of bizarre accusations have been levelled at me.’
      • ‘A lot of criticism was levelled at the legislation when it was introduced in 2000.’
      • ‘The steward concerned is extremely upset that this accusation has been levelled against him.’
      • ‘No criticism has been levelled at the councillor who withdrew her nomination for mayor and subsequently changed her vote.’
      • ‘That is a criticism that has been levelled at us and it is wrong.’
      • ‘Maybe the criticism should be levelled at the designer of the cover rather than the photographer?’
      • ‘Care should be taken with the manner in which criticism was levelled at other countries' leaders.’
      • ‘Despite all the council's flaws, and the criticisms that can be levelled at it, the organization has considerable achievements to its name.’
      • ‘Let us begin by reviewing one of the oldest accusations leveled at economic growth.’
      • ‘If those accusations were levelled at the other councillor it would be understandable.’
      • ‘In some cases, the people being accused were not even aware that an accusation had been levelled against them!’
      • ‘Some of the accusations being levelled at individuals and institutions are of the worst kind - rape, bullying, neglect, incompetence.’
      • ‘There are a lot of little individual criticisms that can be levelled against the album, but overall, it works and it works well.’
      • ‘If any criticism is to be levelled at him it is that he played far too much injury time at the end of the game.’
      • ‘Criticism was often levelled at the medical profession for the manner in which the information was given.’
      • ‘Criticism was levelled at each of the professions involved.’
      • ‘This has led to all sorts of unfair and unsubstantiated accusations being leveled against me.’
  • 5level withinformal [no object] Be frank or honest with (someone):

    ‘when are you going to level with me?’
    • ‘The Government should cease interfering with the judiciary and start levelling with the citizenry.’
    • ‘Ministers said they were levelling with voters on this issue.’
    • ‘Governments will lay aside the soft soap and start levelling with us.’
    • ‘You're not levelling with me, sweetheart.’
    • ‘But the image of him taking control and levelling with people in an honest and compassionate way has been burned into the American psyche.’
    • ‘The Prime Minister is having to draw on his last reserves of personal conviction, and convince us that he is levelling with the country.’
    • ‘That would require levelling with the American people about unpleasant realities and the difficult choices that lie ahead.’
    • ‘As mentioned I have leveled with her and am prepared to do all I can to win her trust back.’
    • ‘It will be key for the Democrats to force the matter and tie it to the broader issue of the president's lack of credibility and fear of levelling with the American people.’
    • ‘Why does the Administration have such difficulty in leveling with the American people?’
    • ‘I don't understand at all why he is not levelling with the Opposition in terms of what's going on here.’
    • ‘He isn't levelling with his constituents.’
    be frank, be open, be honest, be above board, tell the truth, tell all, hide nothing, keep nothing back, be straightforward, put all one's cards on the table
    View synonyms
  • 6Surveying
    [with object] Ascertain differences in the height of (land).

Phrases

  • do one's level best

    • Make all possible efforts:

      ‘a pupil must do his level best to please his master’
      • ‘The defense forces are doing their level best to look for those people who were involved in this sad event.’
      • ‘They do their level best to raise funds, but they are desperate.’
      • ‘We will do our level best to resolve this issue and avoid any disruption for our customers.’
      • ‘Do not worry, we are doing our level best to find him and we will.’
      • ‘He does his level best to form correct opinions about the issues of the day.’
      • ‘As journalists, we do our level best to cover all sides, all issues in any situation, in a timely, accurate and fair way.’
      • ‘I will do my level best to conclude this inquest as soon as I possibly can.’
      • ‘The people here are doing their level best to help sort out the problems facing farmers.’
      • ‘Everyone here did their level best to meet productivity levels to international standards and beyond.’
      • ‘But when you're in the final, you want to win it and we'll be doing our level best.’
  • find its (own) level

    • 1(of a liquid) reach the same height in containers which are interconnected:

      ‘water in the pipes finds its own level’
      • ‘This is a gentle, natural process, like water finding its own level when poured on the ground.’
      • ‘In a similar fashion to water finding its own level, cold air behaves in similar ways.’
      • ‘Water finds its own level - it's all about gravity.’
      • ‘Long before an infant understands that milk finds its own level he or she learns to up-end the bottle to feed.’
      • ‘Water automatically finds its level; you could say that it longs for it; looks for it; runs to it.’
      • ‘After about 5-10 minutes the water has found its level and the gates can easily be opened.’
      • ‘In this manner, the water element of the body finds its level in the seat, groin and feet.’
      • ‘We all realise that water finds its own level and if there is a leak it will move on to the next weakest spot.’
      • ‘Once the coolant found its level the car ran fine.’
      • ‘Like water finding its level, information seeps through the tiniest cracks to those seeking it.’
      1. 1.1Reach a stable level, value, or position without interference:
        ‘she believed it was better to leave the currency to find its own level’
        • ‘The view that everything would find its own level in the commercial jungle was automatically accepted.’
        • ‘The national market was finding its own level without any dramatic fluctuation.’
        • ‘The rupee will find its level.’
        • ‘The market's going to find its own level without being influenced.’
        • ‘Far better, he says, to gradually withdraw subsidies and let farming find its own level in the market place.’
        • ‘One good thing about market forces is that every institution or sector finds its own level.’
        • ‘Regardless of whether the currency's strength is sustainable or not, what is seriously needed is for it to find its level and to stabilise.’
        • ‘A floating exchange rate is one that is allowed to find its own level according to the forces of supply and demand.’
        • ‘Like anything, a new upheaval just finds its level.’
        • ‘The currency was allowed to find its own level and deflation, not inflation, was identified as the major enemy.’
  • find one's (own) level

    • (of a person) reach a position that seems appropriate in relation to one's associates:

      ‘they were happy for members of the family to come into the business and find their own level’
      • ‘This is their chance to start from scratch, find their level and accept a few home truths.’
      • ‘He will set no time limit for their possible emergence into the senior squad at Maine Road, preferring to allow them to find their own level.’
      • ‘They seem to have found their level now they have entered the full national leagues.’
      • ‘There, he found his level, playing at Gateshead until February 1997, scoring two goals in 10 games.’
      • ‘Also the learning curve is very smooth: complexity increases because you gain resources and can do more in a time unit; you find your own level.’
      • ‘Unkind commentators might suggest that in choosing such opponents, the Irish had found their own level.’
      • ‘Pessimists will be inclined to predict that Scotland have found their level.’
      • ‘Do you think he's found his level within the peloton?’
      • ‘Within that broad framework people could find their own level.’
      • ‘The bottom-line is, if you are good enough, you will find your own level.’
  • level of attainment

    • A rating of the ability of a school pupil, on a scale of 1 to 10.

      • ‘Almost all pupils were achieving appropriate national levels of attainment.’
      • ‘Nearly a quarter of special needs students in Bedfordshire are reaching levels of attainment considered at least average by mainstream school standards.’
      • ‘Children join the school with below-average levels of attainment and make good progress so that standards in English, mathematics and science are above average by the time they leave.’
      • ‘Staff at the college, in Hulme, have worked hard to raise levels of attainment reached by students.’
      • ‘He said: ‘Tackling truancy and bad behaviour in our schools is crucial to improving levels of attainment for all pupils, improving their life chances and improving our communities as a whole.’’
      • ‘The council is committed to driving up levels of attainment in York and, as part of this, to ensuring that our children have the right environment in which to learn.’
      • ‘How do pupils’ levels of attainment compare with their standards on entry or with national standards?’
      • ‘There are extremely strong links between levels of absence at a school and levels of attainment.’
      • ‘From time to time teachers might also wish to set a test to confirm their judgment of an individual's level of attainment.’
      • ‘The report notes that not enough time is allocated in the curriculum to science, affecting pupils' levels of attainment in the subject.’
  • be level pegging

    • Be equal in score or achievement during a contest:

      ‘the two were level pegging after three heats’
      • ‘The sides went into the final quarter level pegging once again.’
      • ‘With a well taken goal the sides were level pegging.’
      • ‘The two candidates had been level pegging in opinion polls.’
      • ‘We are level pegging with them and I think the side with the greater will to win will come through it.’
      • ‘At the end of the first round of specialist subject questions, Daniel was level pegging with Sophie, with 16 points and no passes.’
      • ‘However, their bowlers were unable to make the final breakthrough and the resulting draw leaves the two sides level pegging at the foot of the division.’
      • ‘All three of them are level pegging with 33 dismissals each.’
      • ‘This was a close encounter with the sides level pegging for most of the game.’
      • ‘In their first round on Thursday last, they answered all of their questions correctly and after five questions they were level pegging with their opponents.’
      • ‘Motorists in Waterford city and county are almost level pegging in the penalty points league following the most recent analysis carried out at the end of October.’
      equal, even, drawn, tied, balanced, all square, on a level, in a position of equality
      View synonyms
  • a level playing field

    • A situation in which everyone has a fair and equal chance of succeeding:

      ‘they are still not providing a level playing field in terms of opportunities for women’
      • ‘This also embarrasses me because it implies that people like me can't compete in the job market on a level playing field.’
      • ‘When it comes to access to information, not everyone's looking for a level playing field.’
      • ‘Girls and boys are finally equal and studying together on a level playing field.’
      • ‘This would create a level playing field and make the system fairer.’
      • ‘There is perhaps no more level playing field in business than the Internet.’
      • ‘It will be interesting to go to the new circuit as it puts everyone back on a level playing field.’
      • ‘Like most athletes, I want to know that I'm competing on a level playing field.’
      • ‘Sport places the poor on a level playing field with rich nations since talent is all that matters.’
      • ‘It's about citizens demanding a level playing field in our political arena.’
      • ‘The imposition of a salary cap and other technical measures are explicitly designed to ensure a level playing field.’
  • on the level

    • informal Honest; truthful:

      ‘Eddie said my story was on the level’
      • ‘In fact, all those insults come from real guests who think the show is on the level.’
      • ‘I realize we weren't totally on the level, but it's not like it was an actual scam.’
      • ‘I can only assume that she's on the level.’
      • ‘I think this guy is on the level, Gus.’
      • ‘The average person wants to be on the level, and also knows that an accountant who takes chances puts all of his or her clients in danger of audit.’
      genuine, straight, honest, above board, fair, true, legitimate, sincere, straightforward, proper, honest-to-goodness
      upfront, kosher
      on the up and up
      View synonyms
  • on a level with

    • Equal with:

      ‘they were treated as menials, on a level with cooks’
      • ‘I'm a big believer in travelling country wide to play teams who are on a level with you.’
      • ‘I can run on a level with thousands of other runners.’
      • ‘‘To be compared with those guys and to be put on a level with them, that's an honor,’ says Martin, who has never rushed for fewer than 1,150 yards in a season.’
      • ‘‘The prices being charged are on a level with those you might pay in Vienna or New York to hear some of the finest singers and orchestras in the world,’ he said.’
      • ‘Property prises in Copenhagen are on a level with many European cities but properties are relatively large.’
      • ‘They were restless men who ‘put themselves on a level with princes’.’
      • ‘The lawyer's fees from these movie-star deals have escalated to the point where the town's top lawyers sustain an exotic standard of living on a level with their prize clients.’
      • ‘Wagner, whose significance to our culture is on a level with Shakespeare or Da Vinci, was a composer whose opinions were neither modest nor moderate.’
      • ‘The city council hopes that the new project will put Prague on a level with Vienna, with its many top museums and art galleries.’
      • ‘We've got a lot of goalscorers in our squad and we are putting ourselves on a level with everyone else in this division.’
      as good as, comparable with, in the same class as, in the same league as, equivalent to, much the same as, equal to, a match for, on a level with, on an equal footing with, of the same standard as
      View synonyms
  • take something to the next level

    • Further improve or develop something that is already successful:

      ‘five years after founding my software company, I'm ready to take it to the next level’
      • ‘Coaching is a special process that takes the dancer to the next level.’
      • ‘But it did give them a head start if they felt ready to take their music to the next level.’
      • ‘Some gallery owners have taken speaking events to the next level and put them on par with their other business ventures.’
      • ‘The studio has taken the dinosaurs to the next level and made them as real as you can get.’
      • ‘And live, visually, it's taking things to the next level as well.’
      • ‘His character should fully irritate you but, at least, he'll make you laugh and his screaming certainly takes the classic zombie moan to the next level.’
      • ‘"We are committed to providing our dealers with the tools they need to take their business to the next level," said Marco.’
      • ‘He doesn't want to take it to the next level - he is just happy to play it safe.’
      • ‘Lillehoj has recently been awarded a $270,000 National Research Initiative competitive grant to take the research to the next level.’
      • ‘You need to be prepared to take things to the next level.’
      • ‘Now it's time to take it to the next level, bring in a wider audience!’
      • ‘Basically, he needs to push himself and try and take his music to the next level.’
      • ‘We can sit back and enjoy the ride, or we can take the company to the next level.’

Phrasal Verbs

  • level up

    • 1(especially in a role-playing game) progress to the next level:

      ‘you can collect runes and use them as you level up to increase the power of your weapons’
      1. 1.1(in a role-playing game) advance one's character to the next level of development:
        ‘build your army, level up your hero, purchase equipment, and challenge your friends to massive battles’

Origin

Middle English (denoting an instrument to determine whether a surface is horizontal): from Old French livel, based on Latin libella, diminutive of libra scales, balance.

Pronunciation:

level

/ˈlɛv(ə)l/