level

Definitions

General English

General Science

  • noun a position on a scale

Agriculture

  • noun a flat low-lying area of usually marshy land, often reclaimed by artificial drainage in parts of Fen Country in Eastern England round the Wash

Aviation

  • adjective steady, referring to something with no sudden changes
  • noun a position along a vertical axis

Banking

  • noun the position of something compared to others

Computing

  • noun the quantity of bits that make up a digital transmitted signal

Construction

  • A term used to describe any horizontal surface that has all points at the same elevation and thus does not tilt or slope.
  • In surveying, an instrument that measures heights from an established reference.
  • A spirit level, consisting of small tubes of liquid with bubbles in each. The small tubes are positioned in a length of wood or metal that is hand-held and, by observing the position of the bubbles, used to find and check level surfaces.

Electronics

  • A relative position, degree, or intensity. For instance, a high-level programming language, a high voltage level, a sound pressure level, or the intensity of an electrical signal relative to a reference level.
  • A given amplitude of a phenomenon. For example, a given voltage, resistance, or volume level.
  • That which maintains itself at a steady value. For instance, a signal of fixed amplitude.
  • An amplitude which serves as a reference level. For example, a pressure of 20 micropascals, which is assigned a value of 0 decibels, and which provides a reference for determining the relative intensity of sounds.
  • To place or set on the same level as something else. For instance, to equalize.
  • parallel to a horizontal surface, such as the ground.

Information & Library Science

  • noun a point on a scale indicating amount, importance or difficulty

Media Studies

  • noun the volume of a speaker’s voice or audio piece, recorded by a meter

Real Estate

  • noun an instrument used to measure the relative heights of different points in the landscape
  • verb to measure the elevation of an area of land

Origin & History of “level”

The Latin word for a ‘balance’ or ‘scales’ was libra (it has given English Libra the zodiacal sign (14th c.) and also lies behind many terms for units of measurement, including litre and the abbreviation lb for ‘pound’). Its diminutive form was lībella, which denoted an ‘instrument for checking horizontality’, and hence a ‘horizontal line’. It passed into Old French as livel (which in modern French has become niveau ‘level’), and English took it over as level.
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