The English root word lev means “light in weight.” Today we will “lighten” your vocabulary load by teaching you all about the root lev!
An easy way to remember that lev means “light” is through the word levitation, which is the act of someone’s body floating above the ground; a levitating body has been made very “light,” thus can be effortlessly raised, defying gravity! The body elevates above the ground, being made “light in weight” so that it is able to be raised. In a similar way, an elevator makes the people riding in it seemingly “light” in weight as they are lifted up and up.
Have you ever used a lever to lift something heavy? A lever is used to make a heavy object seemingly “lighter” in weight so that it can be more easily raised. The idea of leverage comes from the principle of a lever; when a person has leverage in a situation, she has the power to influence events or people, making these situations “lighter” for her to change because of her ability to sway others.
Have you ever been relieved about a dangerous situation? When you feel relieved, it’s as if a great weight is being lifted from your shoulders, hence giving you a feeling of becoming “light” with relief. People can often feel such relief when someone alleviates their problem, or makes it “lighter” in seriousness; for instance, people who take the painkiller Alleve “lighten” the pain of headaches.
Information that is relevant to a situation is viewed as “raised” in importance or made “light” because it has something to do with the situation at hand, and thus is readily used. On the other hand, an irrelevant contribution to a project makes things “heavier” or not “light” because it has nothing at all to do with the project, thus making the project’s progress more difficult because it is being weighed down.
Hopefully we have now levied enough relevant examples to make you feel quite “light” in your confidence concerning the root word lev!
- levitation: when a body is ‘light’ enough to float above the ground
- elevate: to raise something, thereby making it ‘light’ enough to do so
- elevator: that which makes a body ‘light’ enough to be raised
- lever: tool which makes a heavy object ‘light’ to lift
- leverage: having the power to raise what you’d like, thus making situations ‘light’ to control
- relieve: to make ‘light’ again
- alleviate: to make a troubling situation move towards being ‘light’
- Alleve: painkiller which makes headache pain ‘lighter’
- relevant: of a point which can be raised because it is ‘light’
- irrelevant: of a point which should not be raised because it is not ‘light’
- levy: to raise something because it has been made ‘light’