Definition of leverage in US English:



  • 1The exertion of force by means of a lever or an object used in the manner of a lever.

    ‘my spade hit something solid that wouldn't respond to leverage’
    • ‘They are all about leverage rather than strength.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Mechanical advantage gained by using leverage.
      ‘use a metal bar to increase the leverage’
      • ‘He could have used a cluster of juniper bushes to gain leverage.’
      • ‘He gets good leverage and has adequate strength at the point of attack.’
      • ‘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 is able to get low and gain leverage, which allows him to move around even the biggest linemen.’
      • ‘I raised my foot flat against the door to gain some leverage and tugged as hard as I could.’
      • ‘There was no clear way for him to insert the bar and gain 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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘If you use longer crankarms than recommended, you'll gain leverage for pushing big gears but lose some pedaling speed.’
      • ‘He uses his strong legs to gain leverage and explode into defenders.’
      • ‘The angled head and 10-inch handle provide good leverage.’
      • ‘When nothing came, he backed up, charged the wall, and pushed off, gaining enough leverage to grab the top.’
      • ‘A platform and an offset handle are designed to provide additional leverage to ensure a quality, precise cut.’
      • ‘We scoured the aircraft for something to gain some leverage.’
    2. 1.2 The power to influence a person or situation to achieve a particular outcome.
      ‘the right wing had lost much of its political leverage in the Assembly’
      • ‘They are used by minorities to block legislation and to gain bargaining leverage with majorities.’
      • ‘The NFL also needs multiple cities competing to host the game in order to get maximum leverage in negotiations.’
      • ‘The US also had enormous economic leverage within the organisation.’
      • ‘Thus the US would have greater leverage in negotiations over trade, investments and so forth.’
      • ‘If you can't threaten someone with a vendetta, then you have very little leverage in negotiations.’
      influence, power, authority, weight, sway, control, say, ascendancy, dominance, advantage, pressure, edge, standing, prestige, rank
      View synonyms
  • 2Finance
    The ratio of a company's loan capital (debt) to the value of its common stock (equity).

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


[with object]
  • 1usually as adjective leveragedUse borrowed capital for (an investment), expecting the profits made to be greater than the interest payable.

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

    ‘the organization needs to leverage its key resources’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘While this trait is generally regarded as a weakness among us common folk, politicians can leverage it to their advantage.’
    • ‘This shift in call type represents a positive trend for companies seeking to leverage their call center resources.’
    • ‘The best candidates for Linux in the enterprise are organizations that can leverage their existing knowledge base.’
    • ‘The challenge for every business is how to leverage the maximum potential from these employees.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Some programs leverage PC technology to truly benefit students.’
    • ‘Look for ways to leverage existing architectures in different ways.’
    • ‘This partnership basically helps in leveraging resources and touching base with communities faster.’
    • ‘Shared information between supply chain partners can only be fully leveraged through process integration.’
    • ‘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?’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Application aware systems that leverage technologies such as fabric virtualization will change all that.’
    • ‘A number of agreements are being signed by various organisations to leverage the advantages of working together.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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?’
    • ‘This means the day-long event will provide quality information about how to leverage IT for competitive advantage.’
    • ‘Public policy also needs to leverage extra training resources from the private sector.’