Hypertext Webster Gateway: "level"

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (web1913)

Level \Lev"el\ (l[e^]v"[e^]l), n. [OE. level, livel, OF. livel,
F. niveau, fr. L. libella level, water level, a plumb level,
dim. of libra pound, measure for liquids, balance, water
poise, level. Cf. {Librate}, {Libella}.]
1. A line or surface to which, at every point, a vertical or
plumb line is perpendicular; a line or surface which is
everywhere parallel to the surface of still water; -- this
is the true level, and is a curve or surface in which all
points are equally distant from the center of the earth,
or rather would be so if the earth were an exact sphere.

2. A horizontal line or plane; that is, a straight line or a
plane which is tangent to a true level at a given point
and hence parallel to the horizon at that point; -- this
is the apparent level at the given point.

3. An approximately horizontal line or surface at a certain
degree of altitude, or distance from the center of the
earth; as, to climb from the level of the coast to the
level of the plateau and then descend to the level of the
valley or of the sea.

After draining of the level in Northamptonshire.
--Sir M. Hale.

Shot from the deadly level of a gun. --Shak.

4. Hence, figuratively, a certain position, rank, standard,
degree, quality, character, etc., conceived of as in one
of several planes of different elevation.

Providence, for the most part, sets us on a level.

Somebody there of his own level. --Swift.

Be the fair level of thy actions laid As temperance
wills and prudence may persuade. --Prior.

5. A uniform or average height; a normal plane or altitude; a
condition conformable to natural law or which will secure
a level surface; as, moving fluids seek a level.

When merit shall find its level. --F. W.

6. (Mech. & Surv.)
(a) An instrument by which to find a horizontal line, or
adjust something with reference to a horizontal line.
(b) A measurement of the difference of altitude of two
points, by means of a level; as, to take a level.

7. A horizontal passage, drift, or adit, in a mine.

{Air level}, {a spirit level}. See {Spirit level} (below).

{Box level}, a spirit level in which a glass-covered box is
used instead of a tube.

{Carpenter's level}, {Mason's level}, either the plumb level
or a straight bar of wood, in which is imbedded a small
spirit level.

{Level of the sea}, the imaginary level from which heights
and depths are calculated, taken at a mean distance
between high and low water.

{Line of levels}, a connected series of measurements, by
means of a level, along a given line, as of a railroad, to
ascertain the profile of the ground.

{Plumb level}, one in which a horizontal bar is placed in
true position by means of a plumb line, to which it is at
right angles.

{Spirit level}, one in which the adjustment to the horizon is
shown by the position of a bubble in alcohol or ether
contained in a nearly horizontal glass tube, or a circular
box with a glass cover.

{Surveyor's level}, a telescope, with a spirit level
attached, and with suitable screws, etc., for accurate
adjustment, the whole mounted on a tripod, for use in
leveling; -- called also {leveling instrument}.

{Water level}, an instrument to show the level by means of
the surface of water in a trough, or in upright tubes
connected by a pipe.

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (web1913)

Level \Lev"el\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Leveled} (-[e^]ld) or
{Levelled}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Leveling} or {Levelling}.]
1. To make level; to make horizontal; to bring to the
condition of a level line or surface; hence, to make flat
or even; as, to level a road, a walk, or a garden.

2. To bring to a lower level; to overthrow; to topple down;
to reduce to a flat surface; to lower.

And their proud structures level with the ground.

He levels mountains and he raises plains. --Dryden.

3. To bring to a horizontal position, as a gun; hence, to
point in taking aim; to aim; to direct.

Bertram de Gordon, standing on the castle wall,
leveled a quarrel out of a crossbow. --Stow.

4. Figuratively, to bring to a common level or plane, in
respect of rank, condition, character, privilege, etc.;
as, to level all the ranks and conditions of men.

5. To adjust or adapt to a certain level; as, to level
remarks to the capacity of children.

For all his mind on honor fixed is, To which he
levels all his purposes. --Spenser.

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (web1913)

Level \Lev"el\ (l[e^]v"[e^]l), a.
1. Even; flat; having no part higher than another; having, or
conforming to, the curvature which belongs to the
undisturbed liquid parts of the earth's surface; as, a
level field; level ground; the level surface of a pond or

Ample spaces o'er the smooth And level pavement.

2. Coinciding or parallel with the plane of the horizon;
horizontal; as, the telescope is now level.

3. Even with anything else; of the same height; on the same
line or plane; on the same footing; of equal importance;
-- followed by with, sometimes by to.

Young boys and girls Are level now with men; the
odds is gone. --Shak.

Everything lies level to our wish. --Shak.

4. Straightforward; direct; clear; open.

A very plain and level account. --M. Arnold.

5. Well balanced; even; just; steady; impartial; as, a level
head; a level understanding. [Colloq.] `` A level
consideration.'' --Shak.

6. (Phonetics) Of even tone; without rising or falling
inflection. --H. Sweet.

{Level line} (Shipbuilding), the outline of a section which
is horizontal crosswise, and parallel with the rabbet of
the keel lengthwise.

{Level surface} (Physics), an equipotential surface at right
angles at every point to the lines of force.

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (web1913)

Level \Lev"el\, v. i.
1. To be level; to be on a level with, or on an equality
with, something; hence, to accord; to agree; to suit.

With such accommodation and besort As levels with
her breeding. --Shak.

2. To aim a gun, spear, etc., horizontally; hence, to aim or
point a weapon in direct line with the mark; fig., to
direct the eye, mind, or effort, directly to an object.

The foeman may with as great aim level at the edge
of a penknife. --Shak.

The glory of God and the good of his church . . .
ought to be the mark whereat we also level.

She leveled at our purposes. --Shak.

From WordNet (r) 1.7 (wn)

adj 1: having a horizontal surface in which no part is higher or
lower than another; "a flat desk"; "acres of level
farmland"; "a plane surface" [syn: {flat}, {plane}]
2: not showing abrupt variations; "spoke in a level voice";
"she gave him a level look"- Louis Auchincloss [syn: {unwavering}]
3: being on a precise horizontal plane; "a billiard table must
be level"
4: oriented at right angles to the plumb; "the picture is
n 1: a position on a scale of intensity or amount or quality: "a
moderate degree of intelligence"; "a high level of care
is required"; "it is all a matter of degree" [syn: {degree},
2: a relative position or degree of value in a graded group:
"lumber of the highest grade" [syn: {grade}, {tier}]
3: a specific identifiable position in a continuum or series or
especially in a process; "a remarkable degree of
frankness"; "at what stage are the social sciences?" [syn:
{degree}, {stage}, {point}]
4: height above ground: "the water reached ankle level"; "the
pictures were at the same level"
5: indicator that establishes the horizontal when a bubble is
centered in a tube of liquid [syn: {spirit level}]
6: a flat surface at right angles to a plumb line; "park the
car on the level" [syn: {horizontal surface}]
7: structure consisting of a room or set of rooms comprising a
single level of a multilevel building; "what level is the
office on?" [syn: {floor}, {storey}, {story}]
v 1: aim at; "level criticism or charges at somebody"
2: tear down so as to make flat with the ground; "The building
was levelled" [syn: {raze}, {rase}, {dismantle}, {tear
down}, {take down}, {pull down}] [ant: {raise}]
3: make level or straight; "level the ground" [syn: {even out},
4: direct into a position for use; "point a gun"; "He charged
his weapon at me" [syn: {charge}, {point}]
5: talk frankly with; lay it on the line; "I have to level with
6: become level or even; "The ground levelled off" [syn: {level

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