Definition of lever noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈliːvə(r)//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈlevər//
    How machines work
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  1. 1a handle used to operate a vehicle or piece of machinery Pull the lever towards you to adjust the speed. see also gear lever See related entries: How machines work
  2. 2a long piece of wood, metal, etc. used for lifting or opening something by somebody placing one end of it under an object and pushing down on the other end We had to use a lever to prise open the window.
  3. 3lever (for/against something) an action that is used to put pressure on somebody to do something they do not want to do The threat of sanctions is our most powerful lever for peace.
  4. Word OriginMiddle English: from Old French levier, leveor, from lever ‘to lift’.Extra examples He threw a lever and the engines roared to life. If this allegation is true, it will give us a useful lever against him. Push the gear lever into first. Set all three levers to the 0 position. The machine is operated by means of a lever. The machine will stop immediately once the lever is released. This could serve as a powerful lever for peace. To release the brake, pull the lever towards you. Use a tyre lever to get the tyre off. When the lever is operated, the machine sews backwards.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: lever

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