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lever +‎ -age


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


leverage (usually uncountable, plural leverages)

  1. A force compounded by means of a lever rotating around a pivot; see torque.
    Synonym: mechanical advantage
    A crowbar uses leverage to pry nails out of wood.
    • 1960 April, “The braking of trains”, in Trains Illustrated, page 237:
      In order to proportion the braking force to the weight carried by a wheel - a matter of special importance in the braking of wagons - variable leverage systems are now being introduced in which the end of one axle spring is linked to a control spring in the change-over valve, so automatically varying the leverage exerted by the brake-rod according to whether the wagon is full or empty.
  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 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.
    • 2011, Brian Dolan, Currency Trading For Dummies, John Wiley & Sons, →ISBN, page 55:
      Online margin trading is usually based on leverage, where the brokerage effectively lets you borrow more money than you have deposited as collateral.
    • 2021 July 23, Eric Lipton, Ephrat Livni, “‘I Feel Conflicted’: Crypto’s Offshore Trading Moguls Talk Shop”, in The New York Times[2], →ISSN:
      Both exchanges offer crypto derivatives, which are bets on future fluctuations in cryptocurrency prices. They also offer extreme leverage — up to 125 times on Binance. That means a $1,000 down payment can be turned into a $125,000 gamble.
  4. (finance) The debt-to-equity ratio.
    Synonym: gearing
    • 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.
  5. (business) The ability to earn very high returns when operating at high-capacity utilization of a facility.
    Synonym: operating leverage
    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. 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.
    • 2018, Clarence Green, James Lambert, “Advancing disciplinary literacy through English for academic purposes: Discipline-specific wordlists, collocations and word families for eight secondary subjects”, in Journal of English for Academic Purposes, volume 35, →DOI, page 105:
      EAP research has developed advanced methods for producing corpus-informed vocabulary resources, but these have yet to be fully leveraged to promote disciplinary literacy within the secondary school context.


Derived terms[edit]