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1. To make something, like a surface, level or even. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "level" and "off." If you aren't careful to level off the floor, it will slope downward.
2. To reach a state of stability after a period of fluctuation. I recently went through a growth spurt, but the doctor thinks my height will level off now. Will taxes in this area ever level off? I can't afford another increase!
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
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.
[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.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
Move toward stability or consistency, as in Prices have leveled off. This idiom transfers a physical flattening to a figurative one. [Mid-1900s]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.