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Webster 1913 Edition


Lever

Lev′er

(lē′vẽr)
,
Adj.
[Old compar. of
leve
or
lief
.]
More agreeable; more pleasing.
[Obs.]
Chaucer.
To be lever than
.
See
Had as lief
, under
Had
.

Lev′er

,
adv.
Rather.
[Obs.]
Chaucer.
For
lever
had I die than see his deadly face.
Spenser.

Le′ver

(lē′vẽr or lĕv′ẽr; 277)
,
Noun.
[OE.
levour
, OF.
leveor
, prop., a lifter, fr. F.
lever
to raise, L.
levare
; akin to
levis
light in weight, E.
levity
, and perh. to E.
light
not heavy: cf. F.
levier
. Cf.
Alleviate
,
Elevate
,
Leaven
,
Legerdemain
,
Levee
,
Levy
,
Noun.
]
1.
(Mech.)
A rigid piece which is capable of turning about one point, or axis (the fulcrum), and in which are two or more other points where forces are applied; – used for transmitting and modifying force and motion. Specif., a bar of metal, wood, or other rigid substance, used to exert a pressure, or sustain a weight, at one point of its length, by receiving a force or power at a second, and turning at a third on a fixed point called a fulcrum. It is usually named as the first of the six mechanical powers, and is of three kinds, according as either the fulcrum F, the weight W, or the power P, respectively, is situated between the other two, as in the figures.
2.
(Mach.)
(a)
A bar, as a capstan bar, applied to a rotatory piece to turn it.
(b)
An arm on a rock shaft, to give motion to the shaft or to obtain motion from it.
Compound lever
,
a machine consisting of two or more levers acting upon each other.
Lever escapement
.
Lever jack
.
See
Jack
,
Noun.
, 5.
Lever watch
,
a watch having a vibrating lever to connect the action of the escape wheel with that of the balance.
Universal lever
,
a machine formed by a combination of a lever with the wheel and axle, in such a manner as to convert the reciprocating motion of the lever into a continued rectilinear motion of some body to which the power is applied.

Webster 1828 Edition


Lever

LEV'ER

,
Noun.
[L. levo, to raise.]
In mechanics, a bar of metal, wood, or other substance, turning on a support called the fulcrum or prop. Its arms are equal, as in the balance; or unequal, as in steelyards. It is one of the mechanical powers, and is of three kinds, viz. 1. When the fulcrum is between the weight and the power, as in the handspike, crowbar, &c. 2. When the weight is between the power and fulcrum, as in rowing a boat. 3. When the power is between the weight and the fulcrum, as in raising a ladder from the ground, by applying the hands to one of the lower rounds. The bones of animals are levers of the third kind.

Definition 2021


lever

lever

English

A lever
A lever diagram

Noun

lever (plural levers)

  1. (mechanics) A rigid piece which is capable of turning about one point, or axis (the fulcrum), and in which are two or more other points where forces are applied; used for transmitting and modifying force and motion.
    1. Specifically, a bar of metal, wood or other rigid substance, used to exert a pressure, or sustain a weight, at one point of its length, by receiving a force or power at a second, and turning at a third on a fixed point called a fulcrum. It is usually named as the first of the six mechanical powers, and is of three kinds, according as either the fulcrum F, the weight W, or the power P, respectively, is situated between the other two, as in the figures.
  2. A small such piece to trigger or control a mechanical device (like a button).
  3. (mechanics) A bar, as a capstan bar, applied to a rotatory piece to turn it.
    • 2012 March 1, Henry Petroski, “Opening Doors”, in American Scientist, volume 100, number 2, page 112-3:
      A doorknob of whatever roundish shape is effectively a continuum of levers, with the axis of the latching mechanismknown as the spindlebeing the fulcrum about which the turning takes place.
  4. (mechanics) An arm on a rock shaft, to give motion to the shaft or to obtain motion from it.
Translations

Verb

lever (third-person singular simple present levers, present participle levering, simple past and past participle levered)

  1. (transitive) To move with a lever.
    • 1938, George Orwell, Homage to Catalonia, Chapter 7,
      Someone found a pick and levered a burst plank out of the floor, and in a few minutes we had got a fire alight and our drenched clothes were steaming.
    With great effort and a big crowbar I managed to lever the beam off the floor.
  2. (figuratively, transitive) To use, operate or move (something) like a lever (physically).
    • 1961, V. S. Naipaul, A House for Mr Biswas, Vintage International, 2001, Part Two, Chapter 1,
      Suddenly he had levered himself up from the sofa, rocking the lame man violently, and was walking towards the receptionist.
  3. (figuratively, transitive) To use (something) like a lever (in an abstract sense).
    • 2001, Joshua Cooper Ramo, “Bagging the Butcher,” Time, 9 April, 2001,
      He was a man who levered his way from small-time communist hack to political power by tapping into the most potent vein of historical juice in the Balkans: nationalism.
    • 2013, Robert McCrum, “Biographies of the year — review,” The Guardian, 8 December, 2013,
      Credited with pioneering the detective novel, Collins has attracted many biographers over the years, drawn to his extraordinary life and work in the hope of levering open a new understanding of the Victorian psyche.
  4. (chiefly Britain, finance) To increase the share of debt in the capitalization of a business.
    • 1989 June 26, “Corporate America wants its privacy”, in Minneapolis Star-Tribune:
      "The equity holders want you to 'lever up,' use as much debt as you can," said David Stanley, chairman of Kansas City-based Payless Cashways,
Translations

Derived terms

Etymology 2

From Middle English comparative of leve (dear) of Germanic origin (compare German lieb) or lief.

Adverb

lever (not comparable)

  1. (obsolete) Rather.
Translations

Etymology 3

From French lever.

Noun

lever (plural levers)

  1. (rare) A levee.
    • 1742, Miss Robinson, Mrs. Delany's Letters, II.191:
      We do not appear at Phœbus's Levér.
    • 2011, Tim Blanning, "The reinvention of the night", Times Literary Supplement, 21 Sep 2011:
      Louis XIV’s day began with a lever at 9 and ended (officially) at around midnight.

Anagrams

References

  1. 1 2 3 4 5 lever” (US) / “lever” (UK) in Oxford Dictionaries, Oxford University Press.
  2. 1 2 3 lever” in The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company, 2015.
  3. 1 2 3 lever” in Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Online.

Danish

Etymology 1

From Old Danish liuær, from Old Norse lifr, from Proto-Germanic *librō, from Proto-Indo-European *leyp- (to smudge, stick), from Proto-Indo-European *ley- (to be slimy, be sticky, glide).

Pronunciation

  • IPA(key): /leːvər/, [leʊ̯ˀɐ]

Noun

lever c (singular definite leveren, plural indefinite levere)

  1. liver
Inflection

Etymology 2

See leve (to live).

Pronunciation

  • IPA(key): /leːvər/, [ˈleːʊ̯ɐ]

Verb

lever

  1. present tense of leve

Etymology 3

See levere (to deliver).

Pronunciation

  • IPA(key): /leveːr/, [leˈʋeɐ̯ˀ]

Verb

lever or levér

  1. imperative of levere

Dutch

Pronunciation

  • IPA(key): /ˈleːvər/
  • Hyphenation: le‧ver

Etymology 1

From Middle Dutch levere, from Old Dutch *livara, from Proto-Germanic *librō, from Proto-Indo-European *leyp-. Cognate with English liver, German Leber, Danish and Swedish lever.

Noun

lever f (plural levers, diminutive levertje n)

  1. (anatomy) liver
  2. edible animal liver as a dish or culinary ingredient
Derived terms
  • ganzenlever, kalfslever, kippenlever, rundslever, varkenslever
  • leverbloem
  • leverbotziekte
  • leverextract
  • leverkaas
  • leverkleurig
  • leverpastei
  • levertraan
  • levertumor
  • leverworst
  • leverziekte

Etymology 2

Non-lemma forms.

Verb

lever

  1. first-person singular present indicative of leveren
  2. imperative of leveren

French

Etymology

From Latin levāre, present active infinitive of lēvō (to elevate), from levis (light, not heavy)

Pronunciation

Verb

lever

  1. (transitive) to raise, to lift
  2. (reflexive) to rise, to stand up
  3. (reflexive) to get up (out of bed)
    Je me lève, je me lave.
    I get up, I wash.
  4. (reflexive, of fog, rain and etc) to clear, to lift

Antonyms

Related terms

Conjugation

This verb is conjugated mostly like the regular -er verbs (parler and chanter and so on), but the -e- /ə/ of the second-to-last syllable becomes -è- /ɛ/ when the next vowel is a silent or schwa -e-. For example, in the third-person singular present indicative, we have il lève rather than *il leve. Other verbs conjugated this way include acheter and mener. Related but distinct conjugations include those of appeler and préférer.

Noun

lever m (plural levers)

  1. the act of getting up in the morning

Anagrams


Hungarian

Etymology

le- + ver

Pronunciation

  • IPA(key): [ˈlɛvɛr]
  • Hyphenation: le‧ver

Verb

lever

  1. (transitive) to knock down

Conjugation

Derived terms

  • leverés

Latin

Verb

lēver

  1. first-person singular present passive subjunctive of levo

Middle English

Adverb

lever

  1. Rather.
    For him was lever have at his bed's head
    Twenty bookes, clad in black or red,
    . . . Than robes rich, or fithel, or gay sawtrie.
    The Canterbury Tales, Geoffrey Chaucer
    But lever than this worldés good
    She would have wist how that it stood
    Tales of the Seven Deadly Sins, John Gower.

Middle French

Etymology

Old French lever.

Verb

lever

  1. to lift

Conjugation

  • Middle French conjugation varies from one text to another. Hence, the following conjugation should be considered as typical, not as exhaustive.

Descendants

References

  • (fr) Godefroy, Frédéric, Dictionnaire de l'ancienne langue française et de tous ses dialectes du IXe au XVe siècle (1881) (lever, supplement)

Norwegian Bokmål

Etymology 1

From Old Norse lifr, from Proto-Germanic *librō, from Proto-Indo-European *leyp- (to smudge, stick), from Proto-Indo-European *ley- (to be slimy, be sticky, glide).

Noun

lever m, f (definite singular leveren or levra, indefinite plural levere or levre or levrer, definite plural leverne or levrene)

  1. (anatomy) a liver
  2. liver (eaten as food)

Etymology 2

Verb

lever

  1. present tense of leve
  2. imperative of levere

References


Norwegian Nynorsk

Etymology 1

From Old Norse lifr, from Proto-Germanic *librō, from Proto-Indo-European *leyp- (to smudge, stick), from Proto-Indo-European *ley- (to be slimy, be sticky, glide).

Noun

lever f (definite singular levra, indefinite plural levrar or levrer, definite plural levrane or levrene)

  1. (anatomy) a liver
  2. liver (eaten as food)

Etymology 2

Verb

lever

  1. present tense of leva
  2. present tense of leve

Old French

Etymology

Latin lēvō

Verb

lever

  1. to lift (up)
  2. (reflexive, se level) to get up (get out of bed)

Conjugation

This verb conjugates as a first-group verb ending in -er. The forms that would normally end in *-v, *-vs, *-vt are modified to f, s, t. This verb has a stressed present stem liev distinct from the unstressed stem lev. Old French conjugation varies significantly by date and by region. The following conjugation should be treated as a guide.

Descendants


Old Swedish

Etymology

From Old Norse hleifr, from Proto-Germanic *hlaibaz.

Noun

lēver m

  1. loaf, bread

Declension

Descendants


Swedish

Pronunciation

Etymology 1

From Old Norse lifr, from Proto-Germanic *librō, from Proto-Indo-European *leyp- (to smudge, stick), from Proto-Indo-European *ley- (to be slimy, be sticky, glide).

Noun

lever c

  1. (anatomy) a liver
Declension

Etymology 2

Verb

lever

  1. present tense of leva.