level(redirected from levels)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Financial, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
find (one's) (own) level
To reach one's level of proficiency, comfort, or competancy in a particular area. I'm so impressed with the interns—they've really found their level now. It takes time to find your own level as a teacher, but you'll get there—we all do.
at sea level
at the level of the surface of the ocean. It is easier to breathe at sea level than in the mountains. Boats on the ocean are at sea level, but those on rivers are not.
find one's own level
Fig. to find the position or rank to which one is best suited. You cannot force new clerks to be ambitious. They will all find their own level. The new student is happier in the beginning class. It was just a question of letting her find her own level.
level a charge against someone
Fig. to place a charge against someone; to accuse someone of something. The neighbors leveled a disturbance of the peace charge against us. The cops leveled an assault charge against Max.
[for variation or fluctuation in the motion of something] to diminish; [for a rate] to stop increasing or decreasing. The plane leveled off at 10,000 feet. After a while the workload will level off. Things will level off after we get through the end of the month.
[for something that was going up and down] to assume a more level course or path. The road leveled out after a while and driving was easier. As we got down into the valley, the land leveled out and traveling was easier.
level playing field
Fig. a situation that is fair to all; a situation where everyone has the same opportunity. If we started off with a level playing field, everyone would have an equal chance.
level something at someone or something
to direct something at someone or something; to aim a remark at someone. The sheriff leveled his rifle at the fleeing bandit. Why did you think you had to level that barrage of words at me? I didn't make the problem. Sam leveled an acid comment or two at the committee.
level something down
to make something level or smooth. The soil is very uneven in this part of the garden. Would you please level it down? The huge earth-moving machines leveled the hill down in preparation for the building of the highway.
level something off
to make something level or smooth. You are going to have to level the floor off before you put the carpet down. Please level off the floor.
level something out
to cause something to assume a more level course or path. Level this path out before you open it to the public. They have to level out this roadway.
level something to the ground
to crush or demolish something down to the ground. They were forced to level the building to the ground, because they could not afford to maintain it. The house was leveled to the ground by the tornado.
level something up
to move something into a level or plumb position. Use a piece of wood under the table's leg to level it up. I will level up the table.
level the (playing) field
Fig. to create a state where everyone has the same opportunity. (See also a level playing field.) Let's level the playing field and give everyone a chance.
level with someone (about someone or something)
Fig. to be straightforward with someone about something; to be sincere or truthful about someone or something. The police encouraged the criminal to level with them about the crime. Level with me, and tell me what you thought of my cake.
lower oneself to some level
Fig. to bring oneself down to some lower level of behavior. I refuse to lower myself to your level. Has TV news lowered itself to the level of the tabloids?
on the level
honest; straightforward. Come on now, on the level, tell me the truth. Is the ad on the level?
someone's level best
one's very best effort. I will do my level best to find your husband. Don't go to a whole lot of trouble. Your level best is good enough.
(strictly) on the level
honest; dependably open and fair. How can I be sure you're on the level? You can trust Sally. She's strictly on the level.
to stop increasing or being reduced The price of gas has finally leveled off after going up for several months. Television ratings had leveled off and then dropped slightly.
level with somebody
to tell someone the truth If our leaders don't level with us, we lose faith in our government.
Usage notes: usually said about information that may be unpleasant
on the level
honest or true We are there when the inspections are done, so we know that everything is on the level.
level the playing field
to give everyone the same advantages or opportunities It was an effort to level the playing field and achieve greater equality between the sexes. Government funding can level the playing field for political candidates without money.Related vocabulary: have a fighting chance
Etymology: based on a comparison with a sports competition played on a field that is not level, putting one side at a disadvantage
a level playing field
a fair situation There are calls for less restrictive laws in order to allow them to compete on a level playing field (= in a way that is fair) with other financial institutions.
be level pegging(British & Australian)
if two people or groups who are competing in a race or election are level pegging, they are equal and it is not certain who will win With three weeks to go to the election, Labour and the Alliance are still level pegging.
be on the level(old-fashioned)
to be honest or true The offer seems too good to be true. Are you quite sure the man's on the level?
do your level best
to try very hard to do something (often + to do sth) Tickets are quite hard to come by but I'll do my level best to get you one.
do one's best
Also, do one's level best or one's damnedest . Perform as well as one can, do the utmost possible, as in I'm doing my best to balance this statement, or She did her level best to pass the course, or He did his damnedest to get done in time. The first term dates from the 16th century, but the addition of level, here meaning "very," occurred only in the mid-1800s; the variant dates from the late 1800s.
see under do one's best.
Move toward stability or consistency, as in Prices have leveled off. This idiom transfers a physical flattening to a figurative one. [Mid-1900s]
level with someone
Speak frankly and openly to someone, as in His companions advised him to level with the customs inspector. [Colloquial; early 1900s] Also see on the level.
on the level
Honest, straightforward, sincere, as in You can believe her-she's on the level. This expression may have come from Freemasonry, where the carpenter's level symbolizes integrity. [Late 1800s]
To direct something toward someone or something: The reporter leveled charges of corruption at the committee. The robber leveled the gun at the victim's head.
1. To come to follow an even, flat path after rising or falling to some level: The airplane leveled off at 5,000 feet.
2. To stop changing after rising or falling to some level: Milk prices leveled off at $2 per gallon.
3. To make something smooth or flat: The carpenter used a plane to level off the top of the cabinet. I placed the uneven piece of molding in the vise and leveled it off with a file.
1. To make something even or equal: One more goal from the visiting team leveled up the score. I used a scraper to level the wet cement up.
2. To advance to the next level. Used especially of role-playing and video games: The scenarios became more complex and difficult as I leveled up. After solving the first puzzle, my character leveled up to level 2.
n. one’s very best effort. I will do my level best to find your husband.
level the locksand level one’s locks
tv. to comb one’s hair. (Streets.) Just give me a minute to level my locks.
level one’s locksverb
See level the locks
level with someone
in. to speak truly and honestly with someone. Okay, I’m gonna level with you. This thing is a steal at this price!
on the level
mod. honest; straightforward. Come on now. Be on the level with me.
(one's) level best
The best one can do in an earnest attempt: I did my level best in math class.
on the levelInformal
Without deception; honest.