Etymology
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lever (n.)
"simple machine consisting of a rigid piece acted upon at different points by two forces," c. 1300, from Old French levier (12c.) "a lifter, a lever, crowbar," agent noun from lever "to raise" (10c.), from Latin levare "to raise," from levis "light" in weight, "not heavy," also, of motion, "quick, rapid, nimble;" of food, "easy to digest;" figuratively "slight, trifling, unimportant; fickle, inconsistent;" of punishments, etc., "not severe," from PIE root *legwh- "not heavy, having little weight." As a verb, 1856, from the noun.
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leverage (n.)
1724, "action of a lever," from lever (n.) + -age. Meaning "power or force of a lever" is from 1827; figurative sense "advantage for accomplishing a purpose" is from 1858. The financial sense is attested by 1933, American English; as a verb in the financial sense by 1956. Related: Leveraged; leverages; leveraging.
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cantilever (n.)
"projecting block or bracket from a building supporting a molding, balcony, etc.," 1660s, probably from cant (n.2) + lever, but earliest form (c. 1610) was cantlapper. First element also might be Spanish can "dog," architect's term for an end of timber jutting out of a wall, on which beams rested. Related: Cantilevered.
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*legwh- 
Proto-Indo-European root meaning "not heavy, having little weight."

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."
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joy-stick (n.)

also joystick, 1910, aviators' slang for the control lever of an airplane, from joy + stick (n.). Transferred sense of "small lever to control movement" is from 1952; later especially in reference to controlling images on a screen (1978). As slang for "dildo," probably from early 1930s.

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prize (v.2)

"to force or press; force open by means of a lever," 1680s, from prize (n.) "the hold of a lever" (14c.), from Old French prise "a taking hold, a grasp" (see prize (n.2)). Related: Prized; prizing.

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pry (v.2)

"raise or move by force," 1823, from a noun meaning "large lever used to raise or move heavy things, crowbar;" an alteration of prize (as though it were a plural) in its obsolete sense of "lever" (c. 1300), from Old French prise "a taking hold, grasp" (see prize (n.2)).

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ball-cock (n.)
"small hollow sphere on the end of a lever which turns the stop-cock of a water-pipe," 1790, from ball (n.1) + cock (n.2).
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fulcrum (n.)
in mechanics, "a prop, a support" (on which a lever turns), 1670s, from Latin fulcrum "bedpost, foot of a couch," from fulcire "to prop up, support" (see balk (n.)).
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soft-pedal (v.)
"to tone down," 1915, figurative use from the noun (1856) in reference to the left foot-lever of a piano, which makes it quieter among other effects; from soft (adj.) + pedal (n.).
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