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[lev-i-teyt] /ˈlɛv ɪˌteɪt/
verb (used without object), levitated, levitating.
to rise or float in the air, especially as a result of a supernatural power that overcomes gravity.
verb (used with object), levitated, levitating.
to cause to rise or float in the air.
Origin of levitate
1665-75; levit(y) + -ate1, modeled on gravitate
Related forms
levitator, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for levitate
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • There were supposed to be men who could levitate—fly through the air at will.

    The Penal Cluster Ivar Jorgensen (AKA Randall Garrett)
  • My body seemed to be of ethereal substance, ready to levitate.

    Autobiography of a YOGI Paramhansa Yogananda
  • He looked at the buttons on the dash, wondering which would make it levitate.

    Pursuit Lester del Rey
  • My rat cannot levitate cheese-crumbs weighing more than 1.7 grams.

    The Leader William Fitzgerald Jenkins (AKA Murray Leinster)
  • I did not levitate, because the feebleness of her call indicated she might be hurt and on the ground.

    Lonesome Hearts Russell Robert Winterbotham
British Dictionary definitions for levitate


to rise or cause to rise and float in the air, without visible agency, attributed, esp formerly, to supernatural causes
(transitive) (med) to support (a patient) on a cushion of air in the treatment of severe burns
Derived Forms
levitation, noun
levitator, noun
Word Origin
C17: from Latin levis light + -tate, as in gravitate
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for levitate

1670s, "to rise by virtue of lightness," from Latin levitas "lightness," patterned in English on gravitate. Sense of "raise (a person) into the air" is mainly from spiritualism (1870s). Related: Levitated; levitating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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