[ lev-ee ]
See synonyms for levee on Thesaurus.com
  1. an embankment designed to prevent the flooding of a river.

  2. Geology. natural levee.

  1. Agriculture. one of the small continuous ridges surrounding fields that are to be irrigated.

  2. History/Historical. a landing place for ships; quay.

verb (used with object),lev·eed, lev·ee·ing.
  1. to furnish with a levee: to levee a treacherous stream.

Origin of levee

An Americanism dating back to 1710–20; from French levée past participle of lever “to raise”; see levee2, lever

Words that may be confused with levee

Words Nearby levee

Other definitions for levee (2 of 2)

[ lev-ee, le-vee ]

  1. (in Great Britain) a public court assembly, held in the early afternoon, at which men only are received.

  2. a reception, usually in someone's honor: a presidential levee at the White House.

  1. History/Historical. a reception of visitors held on rising from bed, as formerly by a royal or other personage.

Origin of levee

First recorded in 1665–75; from French levé, variant spelling of lever “rising (from bed)” (noun use of infinitive); see levee1, lever

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use levee in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for levee (1 of 2)


/ (ˈlɛvɪ) /

  1. an embankment alongside a river, produced naturally by sedimentation or constructed by man to prevent flooding

  2. an embankment that surrounds a field that is to be irrigated

  1. a landing place on a river; quay

Origin of levee

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

British Dictionary definitions for levee (2 of 2)


/ (ˈlɛvɪ, ˈlɛveɪ) /

  1. a formal reception held by a sovereign just after rising from bed

  2. (in Britain) a public court reception for men, held in the early afternoon

Origin of 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

Scientific definitions for levee


[ lĕvē ]

  1. A long ridge of sand, silt, and clay built up by a river along its banks, especially during floods.

  2. 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.