January 30, 2012
- levity (noun)
- What does it mean?
- : a lack of seriousness often at an improper time : frivolity
- How do you use it?
- The teacher yelled at us for too much levity backstage while we were rehearsing for the play.
- Are you a word wiz?
Which word do you think comes from the same Latin root as "levity"?"Levity" and "lever" both come from the Latin root "levis" meaning "light" (in the sense of "not heavy"). This explains why "levity" is also described as "taking things too lightly" -- that is, not giving them enough weight or importance. "Lever," the name of a tool used to help raise things, is from Latin "lever," "to raise," which also derives from "levis." Other words in the "levis" family include "alleviate," which means "to make easier to put up with, relieve," and "levitation," which refers to the rising or lifting of a person or thing as if by magic.