Lev"i*ty (?), n. [L. levitas, fr. levis light in weight; akin to levare to raise. See Lever, n.]

1.

The quality of weighing less than something else of equal bulk; relative lightness, especially as shown by rising through, or floating upon, a contiguous substance; buoyancy; -- opposed to gravity.

He gave the form of levity to that which ascended; to that which descended, the form of gravity. Sir. W. Raleigh.

This bubble by reason of its comparative levity to the fluidity that incloses it, would ascend to the top. Bentley.

2.

Lack of gravity and earnestness in deportment or character; trifling gayety; frivolity; sportiveness; vanity.

" A spirit of levity and libertinism."

Atterbury.

He never employed his omnipotence out of levity. Calamy.

3.

Lack of steadiness or constancy; disposition to change; fickleness; volatility.

The levity that is fatigued and disgusted with everything of which it is in possession. Burke.

Syn. -- Inconstancy; thoughtlessness; unsteadiness; inconsideration; volatility; flightiness. -- Levity, Volatility, Flightiness. All these words relate to outward conduct. Levity springs from a lightness of mind which produces a disregard of the proprieties of time and place.Volatility is a degree of levity which causes the thoughts to fly from one object to another, without resting on any for a moment. Flightiness is volatility carried to an extreme which often betrays its subject into gross impropriety or weakness. Levity of deportment, of conduct, of remark; volatility of temper, of spirits; flightiness of mind or disposition.

 

© Webster 1913.

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