Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Can anybody tell me the adjectival form of levity? I've found levitious here, but not sure whether it’s a dictionary word.

share|improve this question
1  
You're right to be suspicious of the source you quote, useful though it sometimes might be. 118 Google hits (according to my research) argue strongly against levitious being acceptable - especially since many seem to be repeats of the Urban Dictionary reference. I'd say that there is no accepted adjective corresponding to levity. Rephrasing, or choosing frivolous, flippant, light, lighthearted, playful ... as appropriate, addresses the issue. –  Edwin Ashworth Apr 23 '13 at 7:23

3 Answers 3

up vote 6 down vote accepted

Because levity means “lightness” and ultimately derives from Latin levis meaning “light”, the best adjective that corresponds to it is probably just plain light.

A conversation full of levity would therefore be a light conversation.

share|improve this answer
    
+1 I was just about to say this. –  Andrew Leach Apr 23 '13 at 13:22
    
'The Light Princess' (now playing at the National Theatre) is built around a pun on levity as opposed to gravity, and levity as opposed to seriousness. It was written by Tori Amos based on a fairytale by George Macdonald, so has an impeccable background. (And yes, I would recommend it but this comment is not sponsored.) –  TimLymington Dec 4 '13 at 11:18

I agree with @tchrist: just use light.

However, other possibilities are frivolous, flippant, or giddy, depending on what you want to convey.

share|improve this answer

I couldn't help but wonder whether the word 'facetious' could be used as an adjectival term for 'levity'. The definitions are quite similar but I'm tentative about it's application.

(sourced from Dictionary.com so I'll leave it to you as an individual in determining it's credibility)

levity ˈlɛvɪti/ noun noun: levity; plural noun: levities

1.
the treatment of a serious matter with humour or lack of due respect.

facetious fəˈsiːʃəs/ adjective adjective: facetious

1.
treating serious issues with deliberately inappropriate humour

I think there is a correlation between the two definitions the only ambiguity is of course one is the treatment of a matter (ostensibly an ongoing situation) whilst conversely the term facetious deals with issues (so I'm assuming -and witnessed- it only being used during esoteric conversation/debate)

I'm not adamant about it but thus far this is the only option I'm aware of (of course there will be a far more efficient word that you'll stumble upon later in life) but hopefully this should do for now :)

share|improve this answer
    
As an individual, I will say that “levity” and “facetious” do not bear the same connotation in my mind. While the former is understood to lighten something that is not (and cannot be, if this word is appropriate) light to begin with, the latter describes a significantly more pointed irreverence. –  Tyler James Young Dec 4 '13 at 16:38

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.