Definition of level in English:

level

noun

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

    1. 1.1A height or distance from the ground or another stated or understood base.
      ‘storms caused river levels to rise’
      • ‘There was a slight rise in the river level of a few inches.’
      • ‘Sea levels were low because water was frozen in ice sheets in Antartica.’
      • ‘Reservoir levels may look alarmingly low but water chiefs are confident the region is not facing a crisis.’
      • ‘Twelve trial holes were inspected last year to determine soil suitability and water table levels on the proposed site.’
      • ‘Lower dam levels lead to lower amounts of hydro power.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Mr Stainer said part of the plan included raising the level of the land to guard against flooding.’
      • ‘In a matter of hours, the water levels had risen to his window.’
      • ‘During the summer months, decreases in river, lake and reservoir levels are likely to occur.’
      • ‘If river levels sink too low, barges could be grounded and agriculture thrown into chaos.’
      • ‘He sleeps three hours a night, wakes at six in the morning to monitor the state's reservoir levels.’
      • ‘My studies also demonstrated that the rainfall, river flow and groundwater levels are increasing.’
      • ‘Continuous rain in the first week saw river levels rise and temperatures drop.’
      • ‘As soon as flood levels start to drop water will be fed back into the river along the new water course.’
      • ‘Water levels on the lake were very low and conditions have not been very favourable for angling with few anglers fishing the lakes.’
      • ‘Most North American cities will flood and sink when the polar ice caps melt and raise ocean levels.’
      • ‘Water passes in and out through channels between the islands as ocean levels change.’
      • ‘Riverside homeowners were keeping one eye firmly on the clouds today as river levels rose even higher through the night.’
      • ‘Flood levels in Ryedale were going down but yesterday's downpour could make it worse, experts claimed.’
      • ‘Groundwater levels rose and fell over a period of about 45 minutes.’
    2. 1.2A floor within a multistory building.
  • 2A position on a real or imaginary scale of amount, quantity, extent, or quality.

    ‘a high level of unemployment’
    ‘debt rose to unprecedented levels’
    • ‘A priority is supporting regeneration in areas with high levels of social and economic difficulty.’
    • ‘Therefore when social, legal and administrative systems reach a certain level of complexity they cease functioning.’
    • ‘Their businesses are based on low levels of investment and are not especially labour intensive.’
    • ‘And as unemployment rose to record levels, people have stopped spending so freely, causing prices to drop.’
    • ‘Tests have found about one in seven UK lettuces with above approved levels of a pesticide, the Government announced yesterday.’
    • ‘In a separate development, air pollution at Eastleigh town centre has been found to be way above acceptable levels.’
    • ‘Even low levels of weekly exercise drive down blood pressure and boost overall fitness.’
    • ‘Maintaining acceptable levels of water quality is important to human and environmental health.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The Minimum Income Guarantee gives out cash to those who are living below minimum levels set by the Government.’
    • ‘The survey found that 47 per cent of consumers said they were suffering from above normal levels of stress.’
    • ‘He designed a safety valve to prevent the pressure of steam building up to dangerous levels.’
    • ‘Until 1998, female Army recruits were not expected to reach the same level of physical fitness as men.’
    • ‘It should also have a healthy and vibrant economy with low levels of unemployment and deprivation, with an increase in quality homes.’
    • ‘Rainfall also dipped below the usual seasonal levels at 56 mm, or 60 per cent of the average.’
    • ‘The recession has resulted in unprecedented levels of unemployment and a dramatic increase in poverty.’
    • ‘However, if the pressure in the reservoir tanks falls below a certain level, an alarm will sound for the driver.’
    • ‘The Environment Agency tested the water in Manor House Gardens pond and found oxygen levels to be well above safe levels.’
    • ‘However, what's an acceptable level of unemployment?’
    quantity, amount, extent, measure, degree, volume, size
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1A social, moral, or intellectual standard.
      ‘at six he could play chess at an advanced level’
      • ‘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?’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Many a girl drops out even at the primary level because of social compulsions.’
      • ‘Classes must also be given to all children from primary to college levels with the assistance of the Education Department.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘This year Paul took his hobby to a new level when he set his sights on the Olympic Games in Athens.’
      • ‘The welfare of the people of Britain could not rise above a level set by the balance of people and land.’
      • ‘Science and mathematics levels are each based on results from two written papers.’
      • ‘In this decade the intellectual level of public debate was high.’
      • ‘One slip and you are in trouble, and let's face it, at our level it will happen constantly.’
      • ‘School-age children must go to school based on their appropriate levels.’
      • ‘Qualifications at both A-level and below and degree level are above the national average.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The higher the skill level the greater their likelihood of getting and keeping a job.’
      • ‘The work is reflective of a level way above what a 13-year-old would usually do.’
      • ‘Sean was happy with the honours English paper but thought the ordinary level maths paper was hard enough.’
      • ‘You may have always known his worth on an intellectual level, but now it becomes real to you.’
    2. 2.2A position in a real or notional hierarchy.
      ‘a fairly junior level of management’
      • ‘There were clear levels on the Roman social ladder, but not everyone could be - or wished to be - neatly categorised.’
      • ‘It seeks to inform and facilitate decisions appropriate to different levels of government and to private citizens at home and at work.’
      • ‘This produces a mind-set that puts maids at the lowest level of the social structure.’
      • ‘All of the seniority levels recovered lower amounts in 1999 than the historical average.’
      • ‘What does worry me personally is the trend away from engineers being employed at fairly high management levels.’
      • ‘The rest are stuck at the lower and middle levels of the managerial hierarchy.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘That has been the judgment rendered at the highest levels again within the last few weeks without any qualification.’
      • ‘Based on age, the children are divided into the primary, intermediate, junior and senior levels.’
      • ‘Here in Scotland, we have no comparable political leadership below the level of the Executive.’
      • ‘Important changes have also occurred in the middle levels of the class hierarchy.’
      • ‘Though few have broken into the top echelons of power, the junior and middle management levels are full of women.’
      • ‘Democratic practice has to occur at the local level if it is to have any chance at the national level.’
      • ‘At the lower levels of business activities within this sector are very small operations that employ as few as five employees at maximum.’
      • ‘At higher political levels, channels of communication are kept active and effective.’
      • ‘A spokesmen says, given the nature of the allegations, any inquiry would need to be at a national level.’
      • ‘Ideas matter to all of us who enter public life, particularly at the national level.’
      • ‘Authority in the firm is concentrated at senior levels of managerial hierarchies.’
      • ‘It has become a challenging issue for policymakers both at the national and international levels to deal with.’
  • 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’
  • 4A device consisting of a sealed glass tube partially filled with alcohol or other liquid, containing an air bubble whose position reveals whether a surface is perfectly level or plumb.

    • ‘A level can be used to straighten out rows of bricks.’
    • ‘I even used a level to measure properly!’
    • ‘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.
      • ‘A laser level is the modern way of doing surveying.’
      • ‘Generally, the most accurate beach survey data are obtained using a surveying level.’
  • 5A flat tract of land.

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

adjective

  • 1Having a flat and even surface without slopes or bumps.

    ‘we had reached level ground’
    • ‘The surface should be level, free draining and, if possible, subject to frost prevention.’
    • ‘Beyond that on level ground is an abundance of picnic sites where you can choose sun or shade.’
    • ‘Once she was on level ground, she grinned knowing she was finally out of the canyon.’
    • ‘The paths leading to the hides are of compacted gravel, generally on level ground and well maintained.’
    • ‘When we reached the more level ground, it was as if we walked into another world.’
    • ‘Make the terraces in your yard high enough so the land between them is fairly level.’
    • ‘When we finally made it back to the gate the nice paved paths seemed an oasis of smooth level ground.’
    • ‘He spread a clean handkerchief from his hip pocket on a level stretch of ground.’
    • ‘Slab sawing, flat sawing and floor sawing are done on reasonably level surfaces.’
    • ‘Place your container on a level surface and pour the gel slowly and carefully down the side.’
    • ‘The housing must be perfectly level and secure or else the fan may make excessive noise.’
    • ‘Nordic walking is best practised on fairly smooth and level paths.’
    • ‘Beyond the bank on the seaward side is a yard or two of level ground.’
    • ‘Assemble the table on a level surface, turn the top wheel upside down and place the seat wheel on top of it.’
    • ‘Suppose the ball lands not on level ground, but deep in the stands or off a facade.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Row crops and plant nurseries on level terrain are well suited for surface irrigation.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The return to running should be gradual, starting at an easy pace on a level surface.’
    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’
      • ‘Split each pitta in half horizontally, and spread each with one level tablespoon of passata.’
      • ‘Put some olive oil in a shallow pan with a level dessertspoon of tomato purée.’
      • ‘If the gravy lacks body, stir in 2 level teaspoons of cornflour for every ½ pint of liquid.’
      • ‘Add a level tablespoon of dried mint to the soup when you reheat it.’
  • 2At the same height as someone or something else.

    ‘his eyes were level with hers’
    • ‘We were so high up we were level with the clouds.’
    • ‘When I go to the doctor, the clinicians never position my arm level with my heart.’
    • ‘The garden level accommodation is accessed separately from the front garden.’
    • ‘Even standing, her head only drew level with my chest.’
    • ‘The kitchen has a range of eye and floor level units and is plumbed for a dishwasher and washing machine.’
    • ‘His face was level with hers.’
    • ‘Bringing his eyes level with Luke, Adam surveyed him calmly.’
    • ‘Behind it is a large street level parking lot accessible from Richmond Street.’
    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 braked suddenly, then backed rapidly until it was level with me’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘When we were level with the middle of the bridge, I realised where we were.’
    aligned, on the same level as, on a level, at the same height as, in line, balanced
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    1. 3.1British Having the same position or score in a contest.
      ‘the two teams finished level on points’
    2. 3.2Unchanged; not having risen or fallen.
      ‘earnings were level at 57 cents a share’
      • ‘Wages have been level since 1973.’
      • ‘You can choose to receive a level income, or have your payouts rise in line with inflation.’
      • ‘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.

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

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

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

    • ‘They heard a loud bang as the plane levelled out after completing a series of aerobatics.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The pressure released as the plane leveled out.’
    • ‘The planes levelled off at 5 feet above the ground and slowly pitched up.’
    • ‘He felt the tail of his aircraft go down sharply, perhaps as much as 30 degrees, then almost as quickly level out again.’
    • ‘The aircraft immediately began to level out from its spiral.’
    • ‘Climbing through 100 feet, I started my turn and leveled off at 400 feet.’
    • ‘The captain made an announcement that the plane was now leveling out, and it was safe to move about.’
    • ‘At 34,000 feet, it levels off smoothly before diving down to 24,000 feet, with a maximum descent angle of about 30 degrees.’
    • ‘He began to level off at 5,500 ft, directed the copilot to declare an emergency and obtain an altitude block of airspace.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Just minutes earlier, the plane had leveled off after a steep corkscrew ascent.’
    • ‘We completed a climbing right turn, leveling out at 2,000 feet - right into the heart of the missile threat.’
    • ‘After levelling off at 4,000 feet, the plane began to sink.’
    • ‘A small, slightly run-down craft barreled through the small opening, then leveled out quickly a few hundred yards above the ground.’
    • ‘These aircraft were pulled into the air nose first by a large propeller and when airborne would level out into horizontal flight.’
    • ‘Casey shut her eyes and waited until the plane had levelled out and was cruising before opening them again.’
    • ‘Once the plane leveled off, drinks were served.’
    • ‘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.’
    1. 2.1(of a path, road, or incline) cease to slope upward or downward.
      ‘the track leveled out, and there below us was the bay’
      • ‘He rejoined us at the crest of the first ridge, where the wall leveled out and began a more gradual ascent to the peak.’
      • ‘The path levels out to provide expansive seaward views.’
      • ‘The incline leveled out and the grass grew shorter.’
      • ‘As the brightness increases, the floor of the passageway also begins to level out.’
      • ‘After about twenty feet of a steep hill, it sort of leveled out, into a narrow dirt road.’
      • ‘The path slowly leveled off and they came to a large plateau.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The slope of the hill leveled off before I reached the bushes.’
      • ‘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 they walked, the ground gradually began to level out and the trees thinned.’
      • ‘And where the hill levelled out to an even ground, a stonewall with walkways for sentries was built.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Finally the path levelled out.’
      • ‘They stopped at the lip of the gorge, just before the slope leveled out.’
      • ‘The path zig-zags on, levelling off before the summit.’
      • ‘Where the track levels out, head left over a stile beside a wooden gate.’
      • ‘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.’
    2. 2.2Cease to fall or rise in number, amount, or quantity.
      ‘inflation has leveled out at an acceptable rate’
      • ‘Test scores began leveling off a couple of years ago.’
      • ‘I think house prices are going to level off and just stay steady but it depends on the interest rate.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The numbers of people on Earth will grow at an ever-diminishing rate, level off, then begin shrinking.’
      • ‘House price growth had begun to level out as a direct result of diminishing affordability.’
      • ‘What they show is that the rapid influx of mothers with young children into the workplace has leveled off and fallen, slightly.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘In contrast, wages have leveled off or fallen over the same period.’
      • ‘The growth is still much less than last year with prices beginning to level out.’
      • ‘Cannabis use was levelling off and even beginning to go down.’
      • ‘Still, after soaring for years, the company's annual growth rate has begun to level off at about 30%.’
      • ‘He would eventually reach 215 pounds, but then leveled off at about 190.’
      • ‘Soon global population will level off and then likely fall for a protracted period of time.’
      • ‘Rents appear to have levelled off and are now holding steady in all locations.’
      • ‘After leveling off in the 1980s, crime fell sharply in the mid-1990s.’
      • ‘Within months, the market had soared and is only now beginning to level out.’
      • ‘And most important, the precipitous rise in fatherless households has finally begun to level off.’
      • ‘Across the city there has been a levelling off in growth because the supply is now beginning to catch up with the demand.’
      • ‘House prices in North Yorkshire are levelling 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’
    equalize, make equal, equal, even, even up, make level
    View synonyms
    1. 3.1[with object]Increase or reduce the amount, number, or quantity of something in order to remove a disparity.
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The European Union has always been sold as an integration in which living standards would be leveled up, not down.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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 Court's insistence on equal retirement ages in occupational pension schemes forced Britain to level ages up or down.’
      • ‘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.’
  • 4[with object] Aim (a weapon)

    ‘he leveled a long-barreled pistol at us’
    • ‘The eight men were leveling their weapons at the truck.’
    • ‘The guards leveled their weapons, and everybody shut up.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He leveled his pistol and fired, hitting one of the men in the shoulder.’
    • ‘She immediately levels her shotgun at the boy, who makes a quick dash away.’
    • ‘Soldiers levelled guns at people left with no food or water in soaring temperatures.’
    • ‘The young man levelled his rifle again and fired.’
    • ‘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 anti-anticraft guns were turned not to aim into the air but were leveled to spray the ground with rapidly fired rounds.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘‘I'll give you one more chance’ he spat out, leveling his gun at her head.’
    • ‘He leveled the gun at a young woman who slowed her car.’
    • ‘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 man backed away from view as she leveled her rifle again.’
    • ‘Adam leveled the rifle at the rider, willing his hands not to shake.’
    • ‘The two grunted angrily, leveling their weapons at her.’
    • ‘He walked over to Justin and leveled a gun at his chest.’
    • ‘Instinctively Lee levels his rifle at the three enemy soldiers and orders them to leave or he will shoot.’
    aim, point, direct, train, sight, focus, turn, beam, zero in on, draw a bead on
    View synonyms
    1. 4.1Direct (a criticism or accusation)
      ‘accusations of corruption had been leveled against him’
      • ‘Maybe the criticism should be levelled at the designer of the cover rather than the photographer?’
      • ‘Criticism was often levelled at the medical profession for the manner in which the information was given.’
      • ‘There are a lot of little individual criticisms that can be levelled against the album, but overall, it works and it works well.’
      • ‘A lot of criticism was levelled at the legislation when it was introduced in 2000.’
      • ‘That is a criticism that has been levelled at us and it is wrong.’
      • ‘The only criticism that could be levelled against him is a lack of patience.’
      • ‘The steward concerned is extremely upset that this accusation has been levelled against him.’
      • ‘In some cases, the people being accused were not even aware that an accusation had been levelled against them!’
      • ‘This has led to all sorts of unfair and unsubstantiated accusations being leveled against me.’
      • ‘Criticism was levelled at each of the professions involved.’
      • ‘Despite all the council's flaws, and the criticisms that can be levelled at it, the organization has considerable achievements to its name.’
      • ‘The outrage was levelled in equal measure against the investigators, for believing their own data, and the journal for publishing it.’
      • ‘If those accusations were levelled at the other councillor it would be understandable.’
      • ‘All sorts of bizarre accusations have been levelled at me.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Let us begin by reviewing one of the oldest accusations leveled at economic growth.’
      • ‘Care should be taken with the manner in which criticism was levelled at other countries' leaders.’
      • ‘Some of the accusations being levelled at individuals and institutions are of the worst kind - rape, bullying, neglect, incompetence.’
      • ‘One criticism that might be levelled at him is that he is too soft.’
      • ‘No criticism has been levelled at the councillor who withdrew her nomination for mayor and subsequently changed her vote.’
  • 5informal [no object] Be frank or honest with (someone)

    ‘when are you going to level with me?’
    • ‘Why does the Administration have such difficulty in leveling with the American people?’
    • ‘Ministers said they were levelling with voters on this issue.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘But the image of him taking control and levelling with people in an honest and compassionate way has been burned into the American psyche.’
    • ‘I don't understand at all why he is not levelling with the Opposition in terms of what's going on here.’
    • ‘The Prime Minister is having to draw on his last reserves of personal conviction, and convince us that he is levelling with the country.’
    • ‘He isn't levelling with his constituents.’
    • ‘That would require levelling with the American people about unpleasant realities and the difficult choices that lie ahead.’
    • ‘The Government should cease interfering with the judiciary and start levelling with the citizenry.’
    • ‘As mentioned I have leveled with her and am prepared to do all I can to win her trust back.’
    • ‘Governments will lay aside the soft soap and start levelling with us.’
    • ‘You're not levelling with me, sweetheart.’
    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
    Ascertain differences in the height of (land)

Phrases

  • do one's level best

    • Do one's utmost; make all possible efforts.

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

    • 1(of a liquid) reach the same height in containers that are interconnected.

      • ‘Water automatically finds its level; you could say that it longs for it; looks for it; runs to it.’
      • ‘Long before an infant understands that milk finds its own level he or she learns to up-end the bottle to feed.’
      • ‘In this manner, the water element of the body finds its level in the seat, groin and feet.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘After about 5-10 minutes the water has found its level and the gates can easily be opened.’
      • ‘Like water finding its level, information seeps through the tiniest cracks to those seeking it.’
      • ‘This is a gentle, natural process, like water finding its own level when poured on the ground.’
      • ‘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.’
      1. 1.1Reach a stable level, value, or position without interference.
        • ‘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.’
        • ‘The rupee will find its level.’
        • ‘The national market was finding its own level without any dramatic fluctuation.’
        • ‘Like anything, a new upheaval just finds its level.’
        • ‘The market's going to find its own level without being influenced.’
        • ‘A floating exchange rate is one that is allowed to find its own level according to the forces of supply and demand.’
        • ‘One good thing about market forces is that every institution or sector finds its own level.’
        • ‘The view that everything would find its own level in the commercial jungle was automatically accepted.’
        • ‘Far better, he says, to gradually withdraw subsidies and let farming find its own level in the market place.’
        • ‘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 or competency that seems appropriate and natural in relation to one's associates.

      • ‘Within that broad framework people could find their own level.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Do you think he's found his level within the peloton?’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The bottom-line is, if you are good enough, you will find your 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.’
      • ‘Unkind commentators might suggest that in choosing such opponents, the Irish had found their own level.’
      • ‘This is their chance to start from scratch, find their level and accept a few home truths.’
      • ‘Pessimists will be inclined to predict that Scotland have found their level.’
  • a level playing field

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

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

    • Equal with.

      ‘they were treated as menials, on a level with cooks’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘‘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.’
      • ‘The city council hopes that the new project will put Prague on a level with Vienna, with its many top museums and art galleries.’
      • ‘I'm a big believer in travelling country wide to play teams who are on a level with you.’
      • ‘‘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.’
      • ‘I can run on a level with thousands of other runners.’
      • ‘They were restless men who ‘put themselves on a level with princes’.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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
  • on the level

    • informal Honest; truthful.

      ‘Eddie said my story was on the level’
      • ‘I think this guy is on the level, Gus.’
      • ‘I can only assume that she's on the level.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I realize we weren't totally on the level, but it's not like it was an actual scam.’
      • ‘In fact, all those insults come from real guests who think the show is on the level.’
      genuine, straight, honest, above board, fair, true, legitimate, sincere, straightforward, proper, honest-to-goodness
      upfront, kosher
      on the up and up
      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’
      • ‘You need to be prepared to take things to the next level.’
      • ‘Coaching is a special process that takes the dancer to the next level.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Now it's time to take it to the next level, bring in a wider audience!’
      • ‘Some gallery owners have taken speaking events to the next level and put them on par with their other business ventures.’
      • ‘Basically, he needs to push himself and try and take his music to the next level.’
      • ‘And live, visually, it's taking things to the next level as well.’
      • ‘He doesn't want to take it to the next level - he is just happy to play it safe.’
      • ‘But it did give them a head start if they felt ready to take their music 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.’
      • ‘The studio has taken the dinosaurs to the next level and made them as real as you can get.’
      • ‘We can sit back and enjoy the ride, or we can take the company to the next level.’
      • ‘Lillehoj has recently been awarded a $270,000 National Research Initiative competitive grant to take the research 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

/ˈlevəl/