1. The quality of weighing less than something else of equal bulk; relative lightness, especially as shown
by rising through, or floating upon, a contiguous substance; buoyancy; opposed to gravity.
He gave the form of levity to that which ascended; to that which descended, the form of gravity.Sir. W.
This bubble by reason of its comparative levity to the fluidity that incloses it, would ascend to the top.Bentley.
2. Lack of gravity and earnestness in deportment or character; trifling gayety; frivolity; sportiveness; vanity.
" A spirit of levity and libertinism." Atterbury.
He never employed his omnipotence out of levity.Calamy.
3. Lack of steadiness or constancy; disposition to change; fickleness; volatility.
The levity that is fatigued and disgusted with everything of which it is in possession.Burke.
Syn. Inconstancy; thoughtlessness; unsteadiness; inconsideration; volatility; flightiness. Levity, Volatility,
Flightiness. All these words relate to outward conduct. Levity springs from a lightness of mind which
produces a disregard of the proprieties of time and place.Volatility is a degree of levity which causes the
thoughts to fly from one object to another, without resting on any for a moment. Flightiness is volatility
carried to an extreme which often betrays its subject into gross impropriety or weakness. Levity of
deportment, of conduct, of remark; volatility of temper, of spirits; flightiness of mind or disposition.
(Le"vo-) A prefix from L. laevus, meaning: (a) Pertaining to, or toward, the left; as, levorotatory.
(b) (Chem. & Opt.) Turning the plane of polarized light to the left; as, levotartaric acid; levoracemic
acid; levogyratory crystals, etc. [Written also lævo-.]
(Le`vo*gy"rate) a. [Levo- + gyrate.] (Chem. & Physics) Turning or twisting the plane of
polarization towards the left, as levulose, levotartaric acid, etc. [Written also lævogyrate.]
(Le`vo*ro"ta*to*ry) a. [Levo- + rotatory.] (Chem. & Physics) Turning or rotating the plane
of polarization towards the left; levogyrate, as levulose, left-handed quartz crystals, etc. [Written also
(Lev"u*lin) n. (Chem.) A substance resembling dextrin, obtained from the bulbs of the dahlia,
the artichoke, and other sources, as a colorless, spongy, amorphous material. It is so called because by
decomposition it yields levulose. [Written also lævulin.]
(Lev`u*lin"ic) a. (Chem.) Pertaining to, or denoting, an acid C5H8O3, obtained by the action
of dilute acids on various sugars [Written also lævulinic.]
(Lev`u*lo"san) n. (Chem.) An unfermentable carbohydrate obtained by gently heating levulose.
(Lev"u*lose`) n. [See Levo-.] (Chem.) A sirupy variety of sugar, rarely obtained crystallized,
occurring widely in honey, ripe fruits, etc., and hence called also fruit sugar. It is called levulose, because
it rotates the plane of polarization to the left. [Written also lævulose.]>
It is obtained, together with an equal quantity of dextrose, by the inversion of ordinary cane or beet sugar,
and hence, as being an ingredient of invert sugar, is often so called. It is fermentable, nearly as sweet
as cane sugar, and is metameric with dextrose. Cf. Dextrose.
(Lev"y) n.; pl. Levies [A contr. of elevenpence or elevenpenny bit.] A name formerly given
in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia to the Spanish real of one eighth of a dollar valued at eleven
pence when the dollar was rated at 7s. 6d.