[ lev-ee ]
/ ˈlɛv i /


an embankment designed to prevent the flooding of a river.
Geology. natural levee.
Agriculture. one of the small continuous ridges surrounding fields that are to be irrigated.
History/Historical. a landing place for ships; quay.

verb (used with object), lev·eed, lev·ee·ing.

to furnish with a levee: to levee a treacherous stream.


Nearby words

  1. levanter,
  2. levantine,
  3. levari facias,
  4. levarterenol,
  5. levator,
  6. level,
  7. level best,
  8. level compensator,
  9. level crossing,
  10. level descriptor

Origin of levee

1710–20, Americanism; < French levée < Medieval Latin levāta embankment, noun use of feminine past participle of Latin levāre to raise, orig. lighten, akin to levis light, not heavy

Can be confusedlevee levy


[ lev-ee, le-vee ]
/ ˈlɛv i, lɛˈvi /


(in Great Britain) a public court assembly, held in the early afternoon, at which men only are received.
a reception, usually in someone's honor: a presidential levee at the White House.
History/Historical. a reception of visitors held on rising from bed, as formerly by a royal or other personage.

Origin of levee

1665–75; < French levé, variant spelling of lever rising (noun use of infinitive) < Latin levāre to raise; see levee1

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for levee

British Dictionary definitions for levee


/ (ˈlɛvɪ) /

noun US

an embankment alongside a river, produced naturally by sedimentation or constructed by man to prevent flooding
an embankment that surrounds a field that is to be irrigated
a landing place on a river; quay

Word Origin for levee

C18: from French, from Medieval Latin levāta, from Latin levāre to raise


a formal reception held by a sovereign just after rising from bed
(in Britain) a public court reception for men, held in the early afternoon

Word Origin for levee

C17: from French, variant of lever a rising, 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

Word Origin and History for levee
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Science definitions for levee


[ lĕvē ]

A long ridge of sand, silt, and clay built up by a river along its banks, especially during floods.
An artificial embankment along a rivercourse or an arm of the sea, built to protect adjoining land from inundation.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.