Definition of leverage in English:



  • 1The exertion of force by means of a lever.

    ‘my spade hit something solid that wouldn't respond to leverage’
    • ‘The design, now standard equipment on all Top Fuel dragsters, used leverage over brute force to apply more downforce with less drag, and the results were immediate.’
    • ‘Try inserting the handle at an angle, catching a raised portion of the cutter blade, and using leverage to turn it clockwise or counter-clockwise.’
    • ‘They are all about leverage rather than strength.’
    • ‘He stresses the importance of getting out of one's stance quickly while maintaining good balance and leverage.’
    • ‘This is the flexible or efficient use of balance, leverage, and movement in the performance of Judo throws and other skills.’
    grip, purchase, hold, grasp
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    1. 1.1Mechanical advantage gained by leverage.
      ‘use a metal bar to increase the leverage’
      • ‘Players use their arms for leverage when they jump, but that's no excuse for swinging their elbows with the intention of injuring an opponent.’
      • ‘When nothing came, he backed up, charged the wall, and pushed off, gaining enough leverage to grab the top.’
      • ‘The fruit goes in cut side down, and the handle gives you plenty of leverage to extract all the juice, turning the peel inside out in the process.’
      • ‘I raised my foot flat against the door to gain some leverage and tugged as hard as I could.’
      • ‘They have hind limbs that are at least four times as long as their front legs, and the foot bones are often fused into a single long cannon bone, which gives the animal greater leverage for jumping.’
      • ‘He gets good leverage and has adequate strength at the point of attack.’
      • ‘If you use longer crankarms than recommended, you'll gain leverage for pushing big gears but lose some pedaling speed.’
      • ‘There was no clear way for him to insert the bar and gain leverage.’
      • ‘The angled head and 10-inch handle provide good leverage.’
      • ‘We scoured the aircraft for something to gain some leverage.’
      • ‘A platform and an offset handle are designed to provide additional leverage to ensure a quality, precise cut.’
      • ‘He is able to get low and gain leverage, which allows him to move around even the biggest linemen.’
      • ‘He could have used a cluster of juniper bushes to gain leverage.’
      • ‘He uses his strong legs to gain leverage and explode into defenders.’
    2. 1.2The power to influence a person or situation.
      ‘the right wing had lost much of its political leverage in the Assembly’
      • ‘Thus the US would have greater leverage in negotiations over trade, investments and so forth.’
      • ‘The NFL also needs multiple cities competing to host the game in order to get maximum leverage in negotiations.’
      • ‘If you can't threaten someone with a vendetta, then you have very little leverage in negotiations.’
      • ‘They are used by minorities to block legislation and to gain bargaining leverage with majorities.’
      • ‘The US also had enormous economic leverage within the organisation.’
      influence, power, authority, weight, sway, control, say, ascendancy, dominance, advantage, pressure, edge, standing, prestige, rank
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  • 2Finance
    The ratio of a company's loan capital (debt) to the value of its ordinary shares (equity); gearing.

    1. 2.1The use of credit or borrowed capital to increase the earning potential of shares.
      • ‘In summary, duration leverage can be a useful tool, but it must be used with moderation.’
      • ‘Reckless companies used leverage to do $3 trillion of mergers and acquisitions in 2006, at the top of the market.’
      • ‘They are free to pursue or abandon any investing strategy they want, including the use of leverage to pump up investment returns.’


  • 1Use borrowed capital for (an investment), expecting the profits made to be greater than the interest payable.

    ‘a leveraged takeover bid’
    • ‘The hedge fund and leveraged speculating community have seen massive inflows and taken on unparalleled leverage.’
    • ‘They pile more debt, and more risk of default, on businesses that the equity firms leveraged when they bought them in the first place.’
    • ‘It was inevitable, because highly leveraged and overextended lenders and speculators lead to eventual ruin.’
    • ‘This is a big business that can be leveraged in a few interesting ways.’
    • ‘Long-term incentives and capital accumulation are heavily leveraged and tied to the creation of shareholder value.’
    • ‘The consumers are stretched thin, and most of the companies are highly leveraged.’
    • ‘At the highly leveraged and exposed Wall Street firms, the cost of insurance is even cheaper.’
    • ‘Tracker bonds are leveraged investment funds that track the performance of a stock market index or a basket of indices.’
    • ‘For a system so leveraged and commanded by speculative finance, there is little room for error.’
    • ‘Hedge funds are usually highly leveraged, which multiplies the amount an investment can make in a rising market.’
    • ‘Interestingly, he also finds that the outcomes vary more for highly leveraged firms.’
    • ‘Nevertheless, many traders insist on using tight stops on highly leveraged positions.’
    • ‘This is partly because the company's performance is more heavily leveraged to the equity markets.’
    • ‘Households in this country are so leveraged that they cannot afford higher per capita taxation of any type.’
    • ‘You know, the people talk about leveraged buy-outs, but this is a leveraged environmental deal.’
    • ‘The more an investment can be leveraged the more attractive it becomes, provided the cost of money remains the same.’
    • ‘The mighty leveraged speculating community has ballooned amazingly in 12 years.’
    • ‘Still, the property companies are not heavily leveraged and no major case of insolvency seems imminent.’
    • ‘The global economy is in the process of becoming one leveraged speculating casino.’
    • ‘Forex also allows highly leveraged trading with low margin requirements relative to its equity counterparts.’
  • 2Use (something) to maximum advantage.

    ‘the organization needs to leverage its key resources’
    • ‘This shift in call type represents a positive trend for companies seeking to leverage their call center resources.’
    • ‘The content worlds (publishing, music, etc.) shall be revolutionized by corporations leveraging the Internet.’
    • ‘How can these technologies be leveraged to help promote the common goals of humanity?’
    • ‘Shared information between supply chain partners can only be fully leveraged through process integration.’
    • ‘One of the primary reasons organizations fail to leverage their existing data and business systems when they move to the Web is they feel it will take too much time.’
    • ‘Some programs leverage PC technology to truly benefit students.’
    • ‘The best candidates for Linux in the enterprise are organizations that can leverage their existing knowledge base.’
    • ‘Look for ways to leverage existing architectures in different ways.’
    • ‘Public policy also needs to leverage extra training resources from the private sector.’
    • ‘This means the day-long event will provide quality information about how to leverage IT for competitive advantage.’
    • ‘The challenge for every business is how to leverage the maximum potential from these employees.’
    • ‘While this trait is generally regarded as a weakness among us common folk, politicians can leverage it to their advantage.’
    • ‘This partnership basically helps in leveraging resources and touching base with communities faster.’
    • ‘Even events of the most serious nature get overshadowed by the political squabbles that will result as both sides attempt to leverage the issue to their advantage.’
    • ‘Building a number of independent portals will not serve these diverse needs and may not allow the institution to leverage the power of integrated systems to its advantage.’
    • ‘The government should announce an annual award for the department or entity that best leverages IT for good governance, transparency and the maximum welfare impact for citizens.’
    • ‘If not, why do we not spend every waking moment thinking about how to direct all of our individual and collective efforts to leverage health gain?’
    • ‘Application aware systems that leverage technologies such as fabric virtualization will change all that.’
    • ‘While there were many new tools available, most people reverted to old processes using new tools rather than changing the process to leverage new tools to advantage.’
    • ‘A number of agreements are being signed by various organisations to leverage the advantages of working together.’