- the action of a lever, a rigid bar that pivots about one point and that is used to move an object at a second point by a force applied at a third.
- the mechanical advantage or power gained by using a lever.
- power or ability to act or to influence people, events, decisions, etc.; sway: Being the only industry in town gave the company considerable leverage in its union negotiations.
- the use of a small initial investment, credit, or borrowed funds to gain a very high return in relation to one’s investment, to control a much larger investment, or to reduce one’s own liability for any loss.
verb (used with object), lev·er·aged, lev·er·ag·ing.
- to use (a quality or advantage) to obtain a desired effect or result: She was able to leverage her travel experience and her gift for languages to get a job as a translator.
- to provide with leverage: The board of directors plans to leverage two failing branches of the company with an influx of cash.
- to invest or arrange (invested funds) using leverage.
- to exert power or influence on: It was Joe who leveraged her to change her habits.
- the action of a lever
- the mechanical advantage gained by employing a lever
- power to accomplish something; strategic advantage
- the enhanced power available to a large companythe supermarket chains have greater leverage than single-outlet enterprises
- US word for gearing (def. 3)
- the use made by a company of its limited assets to guarantee the substantial loans required to finance its business
n.1724, “action of a lever,” from lever (n.) + -age. Meaning “power or force of a lever” is from 1827; figurative sense from 1858. The financial sense is attested by 1933, American English; as a verb by 1956. Related: Leveraged; leverages; leveraging. The amount in which a purchase is paid for in borrowed money. The greater the leverage, the greater the possible gain or potential loss.