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[lev-ee] /ˈlɛv i/
noun, plural levies.
an imposing or collecting, as of a tax, by authority or force.
the amount owed or collected.
the conscription of troops.
the troops conscripted.
verb (used with object), levied, levying.
to impose (a tax):
to levy a duty on imports.
to conscript (troops).
to start or wage (war).
verb (used without object), levied, levying.
to seize or attach property by judicial order.
Origin of levy
late Middle English
1375-1425; late Middle English leve(e) < Middle French, noun use of feminine past participle of lever to raise < Latin levāre, akin to levis light; cf. levee2
Related forms
relevy, verb (used with object), relevied, relevying.
self-levied, adjective
unlevied, adjective
Can be confused
levee, levy.
6. draft, enlist, callup. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for levying
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Drinking the sweat and blood of the poor, and levying double your wages.

    The Sleeping Bard Ellis Wynne
  • But there was bedding and napery, and no one thought of levying on friends.

    A Little Girl in Old Salem

    Amanda Minnie Douglas
  • The levying contributions from a country by military occupation and force.

    The Sailor's Word-Book William Henry Smyth
  • Funds for the sacred work were raised by levying a tax on public lotteries.

    The Story of Paris Thomas Okey
  • This is proposed to be done by levying a duty upon the foreign importation.

  • The government was levying tribute on the basis of the inflated money.

    The Iron Ration

    George Abel Schreiner
  • The Congress will doubtless declare that in levying 50 per cent.

    Birds of the Plains Douglas Dewar
British Dictionary definitions for levying


verb (transitive) levies, levying, levied
to impose and collect (a tax, tariff, fine, etc)
to conscript troops for service
to seize or attach (property) in accordance with the judgment of a court
noun (pl) levies
  1. the act of imposing and collecting a tax, tariff, etc
  2. the money so raised
  1. the conscription of troops for service
  2. a person conscripted in this way
Derived Forms
levier, noun
Word Origin
C15: from Old French levée a raising, from lever, from Latin levāre to raise
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 levying



"an act of levying," early 15c., from Anglo-French leve, Old French levée "a raising, lifting; levying," noun use of fem. past participle of lever "to raise" (see lever).



early 13c., "act of raising or collecting," from Anglo-French leve, from Old French levée "act of raising," noun use of fem. past participle of lever "to raise" (see lever). Originally of taxes, later of men for armies (c.1500). Related: Levied; levying.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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