Meaning of “level” in the English Dictionary

"level" in British English

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levelnoun [ C ]

us uk /ˈlev.əl/

level noun [ C ] (HEIGHT)

B2 the height of something:

The water level in the lake is much higher after heavy rain.

B2 the amount or number of something:

Inflation is going to rise two percent from its present level.
Chess requires a very high level of concentration.
There is some danger of low level (= a continuing small amount of) radiation.

More examples

  • Fish struggle for survival when the water level drops in the lake.
  • The top of Mount Everest is 8,848 m above sea level.
  • "How tall is he next to you?" "Oh, about so big, " she said, indicating the level of her neck.
  • The grass has grown nearly to the level of the windows!
  • The bullet entered the body at chest level.

level noun [ C ] (ABILITY)

A2 someone's ability compared to other people:

a class for advanced level students
Students at this level require a lot of help.
The exam can be taken at three levels.

More examples

  • He reached a reasonable level of competence in his English.
  • Gymnastics is a sport that requires a considerable level of coordination.
  • A teacher's got to pitch a lesson at the right level for the students.
  • She reached a high level on the piano.
  • All these students are beginner level.

level noun [ C ] (FLOOR)

a floor in a large building:

The library has three levels, with a conference centre at ground level.
The exhibition is on level three of the building.

More examples

  • The toilets are on the next level.
  • The garage has five levels.
  • Kitchen goods are on level three.
  • Go down a level to find the academic books.
  • He works on a different level from me.

level noun [ C ] (RANK)

C1 a position within a system in which people are arranged according to their importance:

These are subjects for discussion at management level.
at local/national level

relating to a particular area of the country/the whole of the country:

These sorts of policies are made at local level.

More examples

  • On a personal level, they came to be cordially disliked.
  • E-commerce is presenting a lot of new jobs at entry level.
  • The new law met with a good deal of opposition at local level.
  • He reached ministerial level in the Diplomatic Service.
  • The central office sets/establishes the parameters which guide policy at the local level.


us uk /ˈlev.əl/

level adjective (AT SAME HEIGHT)

[ after verb ] at the same height:

The top of the tree is level with his bedroom window.

More examples

  • The water was level with the edge of the bowl.
  • The top of the screen should be level with your eyes.
  • The trees are level with the window.
  • The mixture should be level with the sides of the dish.
  • The oil should be level with this mark.

level adjective (FLAT)

B2 flat or horizontal:

Make sure the camera is level before you take the picture.
Before I bang the nails in, would you say this picture was level?
level spoonful/cupful

an amount of a liquid or substance that fills a spoon/cup but does not go above the edges, used as a measure in cooking

More examples

  • Is this painting level?
  • His glasses were never level.
  • Make sure the cake mixture is level.
  • We looked for a level piece of land to pitch our tent.
  • This table isn't level.

level adjective (EQUAL)

having the same value, amount, number of points, etc.:

Pieretti would have to win the next three stages in order to draw level with (= reach the same position as) Le Sage in the Tour de France.
mainly UK The unions are fighting to keep wages level (US usually even) with inflation.
adverb us uk /-i/

He looked levelly (= calmly and without excitement) across at me.

levelverb [ T ]

us uk /ˈlev.əl/ -ll- or US usually -l-

(Definition of “level” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"level" in American English

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us /ˈlev·əl/

level adjective (HORIZONTAL)

(of a surface) not rising or falling or higher on one side, but even in all directions; horizontal or flat:

The table wobbles because the floor is not level.

Something that is level with something else is at the same height:

The top of the tree is level with his bedroom window.

A level spoon or cup is filled with something just to the top edge.

If you speak in a level voice, you speak in a calm and controlled way.


us /ˈlev·əl/

level noun (POSITION)

[ C/U ] a particular position, degree, or amount of something, esp. compared with other possible positions, degrees, or amounts:

[ C ] The water level in the lake is higher after a heavy rain.
[ U ] The big debate is whether more decisions should be made at the local level or at the national level.
[ C ] He achieved a high level of skill as an interpreter.

[ C/U ] A level is also one of several floors at different heights in a building:

[ C ] The reception area is on the ground level.

level noun (HORIZONTAL)

[ C ] a tool containing a tube of liquid with an air bubble in it, which shows whether a surface is horizontal by the position of the bubble

levelverb [ T ]

us /ˈlev·əl/

level verb [ T ] (AIM)

to aim or direct something at someone or something:

Soldiers leveled their weapons.
Criticism of the program was leveled by a number of politicians.

level verb [ T ] (HORIZONTAL)

to make something level:

We had to level the backyard before putting up the pool.

To level buildings or other structures is to destroy them by causing them to fall down:

Her grandfather survived the 1906 earthquake that leveled San Francisco.

Phrasal verb(s)

(Definition of “level” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"level" in Business English

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uk /ˈlevəl/ us

[ C ] the amount of something that exists, especially when it is counted or measured:

Unions are calling for pay increases above the current level of inflation.
We must reduce the risks to an acceptable level.
a high/low level of sth The city has high levels of unemployment.
The FTSE 100 index rose to its highest level since July 2009.
increase/raise/reduce the level of sth This policy reduces the level of demand in the economy.
There are increased levels of consumer debt.
Staff currently receive the minimum level of pay allowable by law.

[ C or U ] a degree or standard of something:

a high/low level of sth We provide a high level of customer support.
an advanced/basic/minimum level of sth Users expect a basic level of service.
achieve/reach a level We hope to achieve improved levels of performance.

[ C or U ] a position or rank within an organization or a system:

at a high/low/senior level (within sth) Candidates must have significant experience at a senior level.
Training is available to staff at all levels within the organization.
Managers at every level are tasked with cutting costs.
These decisions are made at board level.

[ C or U ] one of the floors in a building:

The rest rooms are situated at ground level.
at/on (a) global/local/national, etc. level

relating to a particular area in which something happens:

We carry out research at a regional level.
Many quality standards are set at European level.
These policies can have positive effects on a global level.


uk /ˈlevəl/ us

having the same value, amount, etc. as before, or as something else:

Interest rates are expected to remain level for the next six months.
level with sth Overall, sales were level with those for the same period last year.

(Definition of “level” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)