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Lever vs Clever - What's the difference?

lever | clever |

As a noun lever

is (mechanics)   a rigid piece which is capable of turning about one point, or axis (the fulcrum ), and in which are two or more other points where forces are applied; — used for transmitting and modifying force and motion or lever can be (rare) a levee.

As a verb lever

is to move with a.

As an adverb lever

is (obsolete) rather.

As an adjective clever is

nimble with hands or body; skillful; adept.



(wikipedia lever)

Etymology 1

From (etyl) leveor, ; see levant. Compare alleviate, elevate, leaven.


(en noun)
  • (mechanics)   A rigid piece which is capable of turning about one point, or axis (the fulcrum ), and in which are two or more other points where forces are applied; — used for transmitting and modifying force and motion.
  • # Specifically, a bar of metal, wood or other rigid substance, used to exert a pressure, or sustain a weight, at one point of its length, by receiving a force or power at a second, and turning at a third on a fixed point called a fulcrum. It is usually named as the first of the six mechanical powers, and is of three kinds, according as either the fulcrum F, the weight W, or the power P, respectively, is situated between the other two, as in the figures.
  • A small such piece to trigger or control a mechanical device (like a button).
  • (mechanics)   A bar, as a capstan bar, applied to a rotatory piece to turn it.
  • * {{quote-magazine, date=2012-03
  • , author=(Henry Petroski) , title=Opening Doors , volume=100, issue=2, page=112-3 , magazine= citation , passage=A doorknob of whatever roundish shape is effectively a continuum of levers , with the axis of the latching mechanism—known as the spindle—being the fulcrum about which the turning takes place.}}
  • (mechanics)   An arm on a rock shaft, to give motion to the shaft or to obtain motion from it.
  • Verb

  • To move with a .
  • ''With great effort and a big crowbar I managed to lever the beam off the floor.
  • (figuratively) To use, operate like a .
  • To increase the share of debt in the capitalization of a business.
  • *
  • Derived terms

    * leverage * compound lever * lever escapement * lever jack * lever watch * universal lever

    Etymology 2

    From (etyl) comparative of of Germanic origin (compare German lieb) or lief.


  • (obsolete) Rather.
  • * 1530 , , The Four PP
  • for I had lever be without ye / Then have suche besines about ye
  • * 1537 ,
  • Now therefore take my life from me, for I had lever die then live.
  • * 1590 ,
  • For lever had I die than see his deadly face.

    Etymology 3

    From (etyl) lever.


    (en noun)
  • (rare) A levee.
  • * 1742 , Miss Robinson, Mrs. Delany's Letters , II.191:
  • We do not appear at Phœbus's Levér .
  • * 2011 , Tim Blanning, "The reinvention of the night", Times Literary Supplement , 21 Sep 2011:
  • Louis XIV’s day began with a lever at 9 and ended (officially) at around midnight.


    * * ----




  • Nimble with hands or body; skillful; adept.
  • * (Francis James Child) (collator), , 198: "Bonny John Seton",
  • The Highland men, they're clever men / At handling sword and shield,
  • Resourceful, sometimes to the point of cunning.
  • * 1890 , (Joseph Jacobs) (collator), '', ''English Fairy Tales ,
  • The youngest of the three strange lassies was called Molly Whuppie, and she was very clever . She noticed that before they went to bed the giant put straw ropes round her neck and her sisters', and round his own lassies' necks, he put gold chains. So Molly took care and did not fall asleep, but waited till she was sure every one was sleeping sound. Then she slipped out of the bed, and took the straw ropes off her own and her sisters' necks, and took the gold chains off the giant's lassies. She then put the straw ropes on the giant's lassies and the gold on herself and her sisters, and lay down.
  • * {{quote-magazine, date=2013-06-22, volume=407, issue=8841, page=70, magazine=(The Economist)
  • , title= Engineers of a different kind , passage=Private-equity nabobs bristle at being dubbed mere financiers.
  • Smart, intelligent, or witty; mentally quick or sharp.
  • * 1860 , (John Timbs), School-Days of Eminent Men , page 177,
  • has said of Bunyan: “though there were many clever men in England during the latter half of the seventeenth century, there were only two great creative minds. One of these minds produced ‘The Paradise Lost;’ the other, ‘The Pilgrim's Progress.’”
  • * 1912', (Fyodor Dostoevsky), (Constance Garnett) (translator), '''', Book V, Chapter 7: "It's Always Worth While Speaking to a ' Clever Man",
  • I would have sent Alyosha, but what use is Alyosha in a thing like that? I send you just because you are a clever fellow. Do you suppose I don't see that? You know nothing about timber, but you've got an eye.
  • * (rfdate), (Charles Kingsley), ,
  • Be good, sweet maid, and let who will be clever ; / Do noble things, not dream them all day long: / And so make life, death, and that vast forever / One grand, sweet song.
  • Showing inventiveness or originality; witty.
  • * 1816 , (Jane Austen), , Volume 1, Chapter 9,
  • Mr. Woodhouse was almost as much interested in the business as the girls, and tried very often to recollect something worth their putting in. "So many clever riddles as there used to be when he was young--he wondered he could not remember them! but he hoped he should in time." And it always ended in "Kitty, a fair but frozen maid."
  • * 1919 , , Chapter III,
  • I felt they expected me to say clever things, and I never could think of any till after the party was over.
  • * {{quote-news, year=2011, date=April 10, author=Alistair Magowan, work=BBC Sport
  • , title= Aston Villa 1-0 Newcastle , passage=Just before the break Villa were denied a second goal when Bent had the ball in the net, although he was ruled offside after Jean Makoun's clever pass.}}
  • *{{quote-magazine, date=2014-04-11, author= Ron Charles
  • , volume=190, issue=18, page=37, magazine=(The Guardian Weekly) , title= David Grand’s ‘Mount Terminus’ , passage=The Rosenbloom Loop is a clever' little device, but it’s an even more ' clever symbol of the role that discipline plays in the creation of illusion: the persistence of vision that makes sequential still images appear to move.}}
  • Possessing magical abilities.
  • * 1904 , Journal & Proceedings of the Royal Society of New South Wales, Vol. XXXVIII, page 255,
  • When a clever man is out hunting and comes across the tracks of, say, a kangaroo, he follows them along and talks to the footprints all the time for the purpose of injecting magic into the animal which made them.
  • * 1947 , Oceania, Volumes 16-17, page 330,
  • Prior to this, the two women, who were “clever ,” and possessed a certain amount of magical “power,”.
  • * 1991 , John & Sue Erbacher, Aborigines of the Rainforest ,
  • Fred is the clever fellow or tribal doctor who practises with the Kuku-Yalanji people. The tribal doctor’s work includes curing sickness, finding out the causes of death, predicting the future and making and stopping rain.
  • (label) Fit; suitable; having propriety.
  • * (Jonathan Swift) (1667–1745)
  • 'Twould sound more clever / To me and to my heirs forever.
  • (label) Well-shaped; handsome.
  • * (John Arbuthnot) (1667-1735)
  • The girl was a tight, clever wench as any was.
  • Good-natured; obliging.
  • Synonyms

    * quick-witted, sharp-witted ** See also * cunning, street-smart * (nimble or skillful) adroit, talented * (showing inventiveness) ingenious * (possessing magical powers)


    * dull, stupid * ineffectual, naive * (nimble or skillful) clumsy * (showing inventiveness) * (possessing magical powers)

    Derived terms

    * cleverality * cleverly * cleverness * too clever by half