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levitate

[lev-i-teyt]
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verb (used without object), lev·i·tat·ed, lev·i·tat·ing.
  1. to rise or float in the air, especially as a result of a supernatural power that overcomes gravity.
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verb (used with object), lev·i·tat·ed, lev·i·tat·ing.
  1. to cause to rise or float in the air.
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Origin of levitate

1665–75; levit(y) + -ate1, modeled on gravitate
Related formslev·i·ta·tor, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

flyrisehangfloatdrifthoversoar

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

levitate

verb
  1. to rise or cause to rise and float in the air, without visible agency, attributed, esp formerly, to supernatural causes
  2. (tr) med to support (a patient) on a cushion of air in the treatment of severe burns
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Derived Formslevitation, nounlevitator, 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

Word Origin and History for levitate

v.

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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper