Definition of levy in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈlɛvi/

verb (levies, levying, levied)

[with object]
1Impose (a tax, fee, or fine): a tax of two per cent was levied on all cargoes
More example sentences
  • The Green Party wants to levy a windfall tax on land when it is zoned for development.
  • The Virginia legislature proposed to levy a tax to support religious education, but individuals were free to choose which church was to receive the money.
  • James Madison in 1784 opposed an attempt by the Virginia legislature to levy a tax to support religious education.
1.1Impose a tax, fee, or fine on: there will be powers to levy the owner
More example sentences
  • He said the Department of Environment had first to approve these designations before the Council can levy the owners of derelict sites.
  • An earlier idea he raised to levy motorists had met with severe criticism.
1.2 [no object] (levy on/upon) Seize (property) to satisfy a legal judgement: there were no goods to levy upon
More example sentences
  • One option open to it, he said, was to move against the organisation as a body corporate and levy upon the Mucurapo Road property.
2 archaic Enlist (someone) for military service: he sought to levy one man from each vill for service
More example sentences
  • Altogether, 42,500 troops were levied for service in Ireland during the War, representing perhaps 19 per cent of available manpower in England and Wales.
2.1Begin to wage (war): they then proceeded without further ceremony to levy war upon the king
More example sentences
  • Patrice Ford and Jeffrey Battle pled guilty today to charges of conspiring to levy war against the United States.

noun (plural levies)

1An act of levying a tax, fee, or fine: police forces receive 49 per cent of their funding via a levy on the rates
More example sentences
  • The MPSC program is funded by a two-cent levy on sealed beverage containers and the money generated through the levy is used as support payments to municipalities.
  • They are fiercely against a levy on plastic bags, even though a levy in Ireland saw a 90 per cent reduction in bags over six months.
  • These steps, ranging from the types of projects to be financed by the levy to the management of resources collected, were to be locally defined by the municipal councils.
tax, tariff, toll, excise, duty, fee, imposition, impost, exaction, assessment, tithe, payment
rare mulct
(levies) taxation, customs, dues
1.1A tax raised by levying: we all pay a fossil fuel levy in our electricity bills
More example sentences
  • Part 2 proposes the increased accident compensation levy.
  • He will not be there to help the businessman pay his new, increased insurance levies.
  • New levies were imposed on cigarettes, wine and beer.
1.2A sum collected as a supplement to an existing subscription: the trade-union political levy
More example sentences
  • This means organising workplace collections and levies, taking strikers round meetings and workplaces in every town and city, organising delegations to demonstrations or to visit picket lines.
  • A large number were trade union members paying the political levy to the Labour Party, and there were many individual Labour Party members as well.
  • Institutions will face crippling fines of $100 per student if they collect levies or charges that in any way finance student unions, associations, clubs or services.
imposition, charging, exaction, raising, collection, gathering
1.3An item or items of property seized to satisfy a legal judgement.
2 historical An act of enlisting troops: Edward I and Edward II had made substantial use of the feudal levy for raising an army
More example sentences
  • The immediate cause of rebellion was a national levy of 300,000 conscripts in March 1793.
  • The fyrd was raised by selective recruitment, rather than a general levy, usually drawing one man for every five hides of land.
2.1 (usually levies) A body of troops that have been enlisted: lightly armed local levies
More example sentences
  • Rather than respond to Vikings with ad hoc levies of his local noblemen which were disbanded when the crisis had passed, the West Saxons would now always have a force in the field.
  • They had been three times beaten back from the breached walls of Changsha by similar gentry-led local levies.
  • He accomplished this largely with local levies and displayed Roman power to the eastern kingdoms, including (for the first time) Parthia.



Pronunciation: /ˈlɛvɪəb(ə)l/
Example sentences
  • The policy would also be required to cover all aspects of operations of deposit accounts, charges leviable and other related issues to facilitate interaction of depositors at branch levels.
  • The customs duties leviable on goods destined for the interior shall be collected at the port of entry and handed over to the administration of the area of destination.


Middle English (as a noun): from Old French levee, feminine past participle of lever 'raise', from Latin levare, from levis 'light'.

Words that rhyme with levy

bevvy, bevy, Chevy, heavy, levee, Levi, top-heavy

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: levy

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.