"Mediterranean lands east of Italy," especially the coastal region and islands of Asia Minor, Syria, and Lebanon, late 15c., from French levant "the Orient" (12c.), from present participle of lever "to rise" (from Latin levare "to raise," from PIE root *legwh- "not heavy, having little weight"). So called because the region was (from Western Europe) in the direction of sunrise. Related: Levanter.
It forms all or part of: alleviate; alleviation; alto-rilievo; carnival; elevate; elevation; elevator; leaven; legerdemain; leprechaun; Levant; levator; levee; lever; levity; levy (v.) "to raise or collect;" light (adj.1) "not heavy, having little weight;" lighter (n.1) "type of barge used in unloading;" lung; relevance; relevant; releve; relief; relieve.
It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit laghuh "quick, small;" Greek elakhys "small," elaphros "light;" Latin levare "to raise," levis "light in weight, not heavy;" Old Church Slavonic liguku, Russian lëgkij, Polish lekki, Lithuanian lengvas "light in weight;" Old Irish lu "small," laigiu "smaller, worse;" Gothic leihts, Old English leoht "not heavy, light in weight."
This ornament has been worn in the from very ancient times, and is still in use among the primitive peoples of the Levant and in India and parts of Africa. In the Levant it is commonly through one of the wings of the nose; but the fashion of passing it through the septum is still found in India. [Century Dictionary, 1895]
late 14c., scalun "shallot," kind of common onion, also "thing of little value," from Anglo-French escalone, Old North French escalogne, or Old French eschaloigne, all from Vulgar Latin *escalonia, from Latin (cæpa) Ascalonia "(onion) from Ascalon," the seaport in the southwestern Levant (modern Ashkelon in Israel). Cognate with shallot.
in reference to a style of painting aiming to represent overall impressions as they first strike the eye rather than exact details, 1876 (adjective and noun), from French, coined 1874 by French critic Louis Leroy ("école impressionniste") in a disparaging reference to Monet's sunset painting "Impression, Soleil Levant." Later extended to other arts.
"tree of the genus Platanus," native to Persia and the Levant, late 14c., from Old French plane, earlier plasne (14c.), from Latin platanus, from Greek platanos, earlier platanistos "plane tree," a species from Asia Minor, associated with platys "broad" (from PIE root *plat- "to spread") in reference to its leaves. Applied since 1778 in Scotland and northern England to the "sycamore" maple (mock-plane), whose leaves somewhat resemble those of the true plane tree. Compare sycamore.