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lever +‎ -age


  • IPA(key): /ˈlɛv(ə)ɹɪdʒ/, /ˈliːv(ə)ɹɪdʒ/
  • (file)


leverage (usually uncountable, plural leverages)

  1. A force compounded by means of a lever rotating around a pivot; see torque.
    A crowbar uses leverage to pry nails out of wood.
  2. By extension, any influence which is compounded or used to gain an advantage.
    Try using competitors’ prices for leverage in the negotiation.
    • 2011 April 15, Saj Chowdhury, “Norwich 2 - 1 Nott'm Forest”, in BBC Sport[1]:
      The former Forest man, who passed a late fitness test, appeared to use Guy Moussi for leverage before nodding in David Fox's free-kick at the far post - his 22nd goal of the season.
  3. (finance) The use of borrowed funds with a contractually determined return to increase the ability of a business to invest and earn an expected higher return, but usually at high risk.
    Leverage is great until something goes wrong with your investments and you still have to pay your debts.
    • 1933 June 4, “Trusts Heartened by Security Rally”, in New York Times:
      In such cases where there is a multiple capital structure the factor known as leverage comes into play.
  4. (business) The ability to earn very high returns when operating at high capacity utilization of a facility.
    Their variable-cost-reducing investments have dramatically increased their leverage.



The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.


leverage (third-person singular simple present leverages, present participle leveraging, simple past and past participle leveraged)

  1. (transitive, chiefly US, slang, business) To use; to exploit; to manipulate in order to take full advantage (of something).
    They plan to leverage the publicity into a good distribution agreement.
    They plan to leverage off the publicity to get a good distribution agreement.


Derived terms[edit]