VCR Lesson 5

Rebecca Melaku

Fill in the Blank with the Most Appropriate Word From Lesson 5

The firefighters struggled to free the woman trapped under the car, even with the added ____________ of the automobile jack.
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The Word

leverage (n.)

1. The action of a lever that raises or lifts.

2. Power to influence; a position of strength

Other Forms:

v. leverage

past tense, leveraged

gerund/past participle, leveraging


First Definition
  • grip
  • purchase
  • hold
  • support
  • force

Second Definition

  • advantage
  • dominance


First Definition

  • anchorage: "the action of securing something to a base or the state of being secured"

Second Definition

  • weakness
  • powerless

Classical Roots

levis <L. "light (in weight)"

1724, "action of a lever," from lever (n.) + -age.

Meaning "power or force of a lever" is from 1827.

The figurative sense of the word "leverage" emerged around 1858.

The verb form of "leverage" emerged by 1956.


Leverage can refer to the lifting of heavy objects with a lever. A lever is a rigid bar that pivots about one point and that is used to move an object at a second point by applying a force at a third point.
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When leverage is used a verb, it means "magnify, increase or multiply," which is a term used in finance to describe any technique used to multiply gains and losses. More specifically, "leverage" is used in reference to the firm's ability to use fixed final charges to increase the return to its owners. The fixed cost funds operate as the fulcrum, which helps the lever (the firm) to lift (to increase) the earnings of its owner (equity shareholder).

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Select the letter of the sentence in which the word in bold-faced type is used incorrectly:

a. George used his status as the older brother to gain leverage over his younger siblings.

b. Martha knew everyone's secrets, which she used as leverage to get what she wanted.

c. The hammer gave the construction worker the leverage he needed to pry the nail out of the wood.

d. The ship used the anchor as leverage to secure itself into the port.

The correct answer is D because in this sentence, the use of the word "leverage" does not involve the action of "raising" or "lifting."