lev·er·age (lĕvər-ĭj, lĕvrĭj)
a. The action of a lever.
b. The mechanical advantage of a lever.
2. Positional advantage; power to act effectively: "started his ... career with far more social leverage than his father had enjoyed" (Doris Kearns Goodwin).
3. The use of credit or borrowed funds, often for a speculative investment, as in buying securities on margin.
tr.v. lev·er·aged, lev·er·ag·ing, lev·er·ag·es
a. To provide (a company) with leverage.
b. To supplement (money, for example) with leverage.
2. To improve or enhance: "It makes more sense to be able to leverage what we [public radio stations] do in a more effective way to our listeners" (Delano Lewis).
3. To use so as to obtain an advantage or profit: leveraged their personal contacts to find new investors.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2019 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.