from The Century Dictionary.

  • To attend the levee of; fasten one's self on, or pester, at levees.
  • noun The act or time of rising.
  • noun A morning reception held by a prince or great personage; a morning assembly.
  • noun A general or miscellaneous assemblage of guests, without reference to the time of day; a reception: as, the president's levee.
  • noun In irrigation, one of the small continuous ridges of earth surrounding the fields, or compartments, of land that is to be irrigated.
  • noun An embankment on the margin of a river, to confine it within its natural channel: as, the levees of the Mississippi.
  • noun Hence A landing-place for vessels; a quay, pier, or landing-stage.
  • To embank: as, to levee a river.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun United States An embankment to prevent inundation; ; sometimes, the steep bank of a river.
  • noun The act of rising.
  • noun A morning assembly or reception of visitors, -- in distinction from a soirée, or evening assembly; a matinée; hence, also, any general or somewhat miscellaneous gathering of guests, whether in the daytime or evening.
  • transitive verb To attend the levee or levees of.
  • transitive verb United States To keep within a channel by means of levees.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun obsolete The act of rising; getting up, especially in the morning after rest.
  • noun A reception of visitors held after getting up.
  • noun A formal reception, especially one given by royalty or other leaders.
  • noun An embankment to prevent inundation; as, the levees along the Mississippi.
  • noun US The steep bank of a river, or border of an irrigated field.
  • noun US A pier or other landing place on a river.
  • verb US, transitive To keep within a channel by means of levees.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a pier that provides a landing place on a river
  • noun an embankment that is built in order to prevent a river from overflowing
  • noun a formal reception of visitors or guests (as at a royal court)


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From French levé ("risen").

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From French levée, from lever ("to raise, rise").


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  • This word has an archaic and obsolete definition. It names a procession of visitors received upon waking from sleep but before arising from bed.

    February 18, 2007

  • "When the levee breaks" Led Zeppelin, 1971.

    January 23, 2008

  • 'I started singin’,

    "bye-bye, miss american pie."

    Drove my chevy to the levee,

    But the levee was dry.

    Them good old boys were drinkin’ whiskey and rye

    And singin’, "this’ll be the day that I die.

    "this’ll be the day that I die."

    From American Pie by Don McLean, #1 hit in the U.S. for 4 weeks in 1972

    January 23, 2008

  • Great was the noise about the court on this double acquisition to the theatre; it became the topic of conversation next day at the king's levee.

    - Lesage, The Adventures of Gil Blas of Santillane, tr. Smollett, bk 12 ch. 3

    October 11, 2008

  • "Basil had attended Sonia's levees (and there were three or four levees daily for, whenever she was at home, she was in bed) off and on for nearly ten yerars, since the days of her first, dazzling loveliness, when, almost alone among the chaste and daring brides of London, she had admitted mixed company to her bathroom."

    -from Put Out More Flags

    January 14, 2010