LEV'ER, n. [L. levo, to raise.] In mechanics, a bar of metal, wood, or other substance, turning on a support called the fulcrum or prop. Its arms are equal, as in the balance; or unequal, as in steelyards. It is one of the mechanical powers, and is of three kinds, viz. 1. When the fulcrum is between the weight and the power, as in the handspike, crowbar, etc. 2. When the weight is between the power and fulcrum, as in rowing a boat. 3. When the power is between the weight and the fulcrum, as in raising a ladder from the ground, by applying the hands to one of the lower rounds. The bones of animals are levers of the third kind.
n 1: a rigid bar pivoted about a fulcrum 2: a simple machine that gives a mechanical advantage when given a fulcrum 3: a flat metal tumbler in a lever lock [syn: lever, lever tumbler] v 1: to move or force, especially in an effort to get something open; "The burglar jimmied the lock": "Raccoons managed to pry the lid off the garbage pail" [syn: pry, prise, prize, lever, jimmy]
I. nounEtymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French levier, lever, from lever to raise, from Latin levare, from levis light in weight — more at lightDate: 14th century 1.a. a bar used for prying or dislodging something b. an inducing or compelling force ;tool<use food as a political lever — Time> 2.a. a rigid piece that transmits and modifies force or motion when forces are applied at two points and it turns about a third; specifically a rigid bar used to exert a pressure or sustain a weight at one point of its length by the application of a force at a second and turning at a third on a fulcrum b. a projecting piece by which a mechanism is operated or adjusted II. transitive verb (levered; levering) Date: 1876 1. to pry, raise, or move with or as if with a lever 2. to operate (a device) in the manner of a lever
n. & v. --n. 1 a bar resting on a pivot, used to help lift a heavy or firmly fixed object. 2 Mech. a simple machine consisting of a rigid bar pivoted about a fulcrum (fixed point) which can be acted upon by a force (effort) in order to move a load. 3 a projecting handle moved to operate a mechanism. 4 a means of exerting moral pressure. --v. 1 intr. use a lever. 2 tr. (often foll. by away, out, up, etc.) lift, move, or act on with a lever. Phrases and idioms: lever escapement a mechanism connecting the escape wheel and the balance wheel using two levers. lever watch a watch with a lever escapement. Etymology: ME f. OF levier, leveor f. lever raise: see LEVY
Lever Le"ver (l[=e]"v[~e]r or l[e^]v"[~e]r; 277), n. [OE. levour, OF. leveor, prop., a lifter, fr. F. lever to raise, L. levare; akin to levis light in weight, E. levity, and perh. to E. light not heavy: cf. F. levier. Cf. Alleviate, Elevate, Leaven, Legerdemain, Levee, Levy, n.] 1. (Mech.) A rigid piece which is capable of turning about one point, or axis (the fulcrum), and in which are two or more other points where forces are applied; -- used for transmitting and modifying force and motion. Specif., a bar of metal, wood, or other rigid substance, used to exert a pressure, or sustain a weight, at one point of its length, by receiving a force or power at a second, and turning at a third on a fixed point called a fulcrum. It is usually named as the first of the six mechanical powers, and is of three kinds, according as either the fulcrum F, the weight W, or the power P, respectively, is situated between the other two, as in the figures. 2. (Mach.) (a) A bar, as a capstan bar, applied to a rotatory piece to turn it. (b) An arm on a rock shaft, to give motion to the shaft or to obtain motion from it. Compound lever, a machine consisting of two or more levers acting upon each other. Lever escapement. See Escapement. Lever jack. See Jack, n., 5. Lever watch, a watch having a vibrating lever to connect the action of the escape wheel with that of the balance. Universal lever, a machine formed by a combination of a lever with the wheel and axle, in such a manner as to convert the reciprocating motion of the lever into a continued rectilinear motion of some body to which the power is applied.
(levers, levering, levered) 1. A lever is a handle or bar that is attached to a piece of machinery and which you push or pull in order to operate the machinery. Push the tiny lever on the lock...The taps have a lever to control the mix of hot and cold water.N-COUNTsee alsogear lever 2. A lever is a long bar, one end of which is placed under a heavy object so that when you press down on the other end you can move the object. N-COUNT 3. If you lever something in a particular direction, you move it there, especially by using a lot of effort. Neighbours eventually levered open the door with a crowbar...Insert the fork about 6in. from the root and simultaneously lever it backwards...VERB: V n with adj, V n adv/prep 4. A lever is an idea or action that you can use to make people do what you want them to do, rather than what they want to do. Radical, militant factions want to continue using the hostages as a lever to gain concessions from the west.N-COUNT