Find the word definition

Crossword clues for levant

The Collaborative International Dictionary

Levant \Le*vant"\ (l[-e]*v[a^]nt"), v. i. [Cf. Sp. levantar to raise, go from one place to another.] To run away from one's debts; to decamp. [Colloq. Eng.]


Levant \Le"vant\ (l[=e]"vant), a. [F., p. pr. of lever to raise.] (Law) Rising or having risen from rest; -- said of cattle. See Couchant and levant, under Couchant.


Levant \Le*vant"\ (l[-e]*v[a^]nt"), n. [It. levante the point where the sun rises, the east, the Levant, fr. levare to raise, levarsi to rise: cf. F. levant. See Lever.]

  1. The countries washed by the eastern part of the Mediterranean and its contiguous waters.

  2. A levanter (the wind so called).


Levant \Le"vant\ (l[=e]"vant; 277), a. Eastern. [Obs.]

Forth rush the levant and the ponent winds.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

"Mediterranean lands east of Italy," late 15c., from Middle French levant "the Orient," from present participle of lever "to rise" (from Latin levare "to raise;" see lever). The region so called in reference to the direction of sunrise.


Etymology 1 n. A disappearing or absconding after losing a bet. vb. To abscond or run away, especially to avoid paying money or debts. Etymology 2

  1. 1 (context heraldry English) rising, of an animal. 2 (context legal English) Rising or having risen from rest; said of cattle. 3 (context poetic English) eastern.


The Levant (; Arabic: المشرق ) is an approximate historical geographical term referring to a large area in the eastern Mediterranean. In its widest historical sense, the Levant included all of the eastern Mediterranean with its islands, that is, it included all of the countries along the eastern Mediterranean shores, extending from Greece to Cyrenaica. The term Levant entered English in the late 15th century from French. It derives from the Italian Levante, meaning "rising", implying the rising of the sun in the east. As such, it is broadly equivalent to the Arabic term Mashriq, 'the land where the sun rises'.

In the 13th and 14th centuries, the term levante was used for Italian maritime commerce in the eastern Mediterranean, including Greece, Anatolia, Syria-Palestine, and Egypt, that is, the lands east of Venice. Eventually the term was restricted to the Muslim countries of Syria-Palestine and Egypt. In 1581 England set up the Levant Company to monopolize commerce with the Ottoman Empire.

The name Levant States was used to refer to the French mandate over Syria and Lebanon after World War I. This is probably the reason why the term Levant has come to be used synonymously with Syria-Palestine. Some scholars misunderstood the term thinking that it derives from the name of Lebanon. Today the term is typically used in conjunction with prehistoric or ancient historical references. It has the same meaning as Syria-Palestine or the region of Syria ( Arabic: الشام ), that is, it means an area bounded by the Taurus Mountains of Turkey in the North, the Mediterranean Sea in the west, and the north Arabian Desert and Mesopotamia in the east. It does not include Anatolia (the former Asia Minor, now Asian Turkey; although at times Cilicia may be included), the Caucasus Mountains, or any part of the Arabian Peninsula proper. The Sinai Peninsula (Asian Egypt) is sometimes included, though more considered an intermediate, peripheral or marginal area forming a land bridge between the Levant and northern African Egypt.

The Levant has been described as the "crossroads of western Asia, the eastern Mediterranean and northeast Africa", and the "northwest of the Arabian plate".

Levant (disambiguation)

The Levant is a region in the eastern Mediterranean.

Levant may also refer to:

Levant (wind)

The levant is an easterly wind that blows in the western Mediterranean Sea and southern France, an example of mountain-gap wind. In Roussillon it is called "llevant" and in Corsica "levante". In the western Mediterranean, particularly when the wind blows through the Strait of Gibraltar, it is called the Viento de Levante or the Levanter. It is also known as the Solano.

When blowing moderately or strongly, the levant causes heavy swells on the Mediterranean. Usually gentle and damp, the levant frequently brings clouds and rain. When it brings good weather, it is known as the "levant blanc".

The origin of the name is the same as the origin of the Levant, the region of the eastern Mediterranean: it is the Middle French word "levant", the participle of lever "to raise" — as in soleil levant "rising sun" — from the Latin levare. It thus referred to the Eastern direction of the rising sun.

Usage examples of "levant".

Leurs Altesses royales, dit le roi se levant, se tournant vers Mesdames et saluant.

In this chamber some half dozen persons were seated in the Eastern fashion, and smoking either the choice tobaccoes of Syria through the cherry-wood or jasmine tube of a Turkish or Egyptian chibouque, or inhaling through rose-water the more artificial flavour of the nargileh, which is the hookah of the Levant.

He lives in southern France, grows his own poppies, makes real varnishes from dammar to copal, and gets his resins from all the right places, from India to the Levant.

Whereas before, a world-weary dragoman had hardly been able to set foot on the veranda of a tourist hotel without being pounced upon by wealthy Europeans in search of the rumored depravities of the Levant, now these same poor slaves to the lusts of foreign exploiters were summarily scorned.

Levant islands, under Maitine de Vertendona, 10 galeons, 800 mariners, 2000 souldiers, 310 great pieces, etc.

I translated this into the Koine dialect of Greek, the marketplace lingua franca understood throughout the Levant.

Un joyeux rayon du soleil levant entrait par sa lucarne et lui venait frapper le visage.

The roots of this Orchis abound with a glutinous sweetish juice, of which a Salep may be made which is quite equal to any brought from the Levant.

Toute la nuit il dormit avec cette idee, et le matin, au soleil levant, il etait dans les prairies, pour prendre possession de ces terres deja siennes.

In the month of November of the same year Bonaparte sent Poussielgue, under the pretence of inspecting the ports of the Levant, to give the finishing stroke to the meditated expedition against Malta.

And this profligate cityscape is populated by characters--some met, some merely mentioned--with names equally evocative: Porphyria Levant, Estella Velvet, Brother Orphelin, Cerberus Cresset, Mavortian von Heber.

I bought it for two rose nobles from a shipman who came from the Levant.

Saracen, Algerine, Barbary - they were all pirates and had been for centuries, whether they came from the Levant in the east or Algiers in the west.

But two thousand years ago, the binding language of the Levant had been Aramaic, now considered a dead language.

Sir Thomas Browne, in full crushed Levant morocco, the backstrips tooled in gilt with wonderful ingenuity and grace.