Meaning of LEVER in English

I. ˈlevə(r), ˈlēv- noun

( -s )

Etymology: Middle English lever, levour, from Old French levier, from lever to raise, from Latin levare; akin to Latin levis light, having little weight — more at light


a. : a bar used for prying or dislodging something : crowbar

b. : any means, instrument, or agency used for achieving a purpose (as by inducing or compelling action or providing motive) : tool

attempts to use food as a political lever — Time

could use the girl's action as a lever to make her lawyer … turn over the letters — Erle Stanley Gardner

others misuse the interview as a lever to force the employee to resign — R.S.Brown

shies away from reflection … and seeks out the levers of power — and those who control them — Dwight Macdonald


a. : a rigid piece that transmits and modifies force or motion when forces are applied at two points and it turns about a third ; 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 the application of a force at a second and turning at a third on a fulcrum

b. : a projecting piece by which a mechanism is operated or adjusted

gearshift lever

to increase speed move the starting lever to the right

3. : lever tumbler

4. : a supported or hanging position in which a gymnast's body while extended or bent at right angles at the hips is held parallel to the floor

II. verb

( levered ; levered ; levering -v(ə)riŋ ; levers )

intransitive verb

1. : to pry or work with or as if with a lever

levering at the rock — F.V.W.Mason

2. : to operate a lever

transitive verb

1. : to pry, raise, or move with or as if with a lever

levered the other boot off with his bare toes — Richard Llewellyn

like every alliance … it can be levered into action only with difficulty — A.A.Berle

2. : to operate as a lever

levers the throttles back until the engines are turning out 44 inches at 2400 revolutions — Richard Thruelsen

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.