verb (used without object) British Slang.

to leave secretly or hurriedly to avoid paying debts.

Origin of levant

1750–60; perhaps < Spanish levantar to lift (Compare levantar el campo to break camp, leave), frequentative of levar < Latin levāre
Related formsle·vant·er, noun




the lands bordering the E shores of the Mediterranean Sea.
Also called Levant morocco. a superior grade of morocco having a large and prominent grain, originally made in the Levant.

Origin of Levant

1490–1500; earlier levaunt < Middle French levant, noun use (with reference to rising sun) of present participle of lever to raise (se lever to rise). See lever
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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Contemporary Examples of levant

Historical Examples of levant

British Dictionary definitions for levant




a type of leather made from the skins of goats, sheep, or seals, having a pattern of irregular creases

Word Origin for levant

C19: shortened from Levant morocco (type of leather)




(intr) British to bolt or abscond, esp to avoid paying debts

Word Origin for levant

C18: perhaps from Spanish levantar (el campo) to break (camp)



the Levant a former name for the area of the E Mediterranean now occupied by Lebanon, Syria, and Israel

Word Origin for Levant

C15: from Old French, from the present participle of lever to raise (referring to the rising of the sun in the east), from Latin levāre
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

Word Origin and History for levant


"Mediterranean lands east of Italy," late 15c., from Middle French levant "the Orient," from present participle of lever "to rise" (from Latin levare "to raise;" see lever). The region so called in reference to the direction of sunrise.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Culture definitions for levant



Name for the nations on the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea: Cyprus, Egypt (see also Egypt), Israel, Lebanon, Syria, and Turkey.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.