I was thinking about writing these lines in a poem, in which I use the word "bevel" to refer to a driveway that is not completely level, but rather on an angle.

Out beyond the driveway,
Where the car sits quietly on a bevel.

I know it is not typical to refer to a driveway as a "bevel", and I must admit I am using this word to achieve a slant rhyme with another word higher up in the poem.

But I wanted to know, does it make sense here? Would you deem it acceptable? Especially given the license typically afforded to the author of a poem?

Here are some dictionary entries that made me hope I could be using the word correctly.

(Wiktionary) 1. An edge that is canted, one that is not a 90 degree angle; a chamfer. to give a bevel to the edge of a table or a stone slab

(Merriam Webster online) 2a. the angle that one surface or line makes with another when they are not at right angles

But I must admit that neither give me confidence. I would appreciate your opinions!

  • @NigelJ I don't think so, because I'm asking about this word in a very specific context (i.e. driveways) whereas that question and its answers do not touch upon this context.
    – ktm5124
    Jan 4, 2018 at 6:58
  • What has your own research into the word revealed? How many dictionaries even hint at this usage of bevel vs how many which do not?
    – Andrew Leach
    Jan 4, 2018 at 7:43
  • @NigelJ not really, the correct word here is neither of those given on the question about the building. Jan 4, 2018 at 14:46
  • It's ironic you use the phrase slant rhyme because slant is one word that would probably be appropriate here. Jan 4, 2018 at 15:06
  • 1
    The word in the question itself is correct - slope. Bevel is inappropriate.
    – Nigel J
    Jan 4, 2018 at 15:40

1 Answer 1


The “technical” words for the slope on a driveway are usually:

Fall, which really means the height difference but is usually quoted as a ratio (i.e. the steepness e.g. 1:10 - very very steep - or 1:100 - barely enough to allow proper drainage).

Slope (I know, but I have to introduce you to this word, because it's “the sexyobvious one”). The entry for slope in Merriam-Webster's thesaurus even mentions driveways in its example for slope as a transitive verb.

Slant, on reflection, sounds wrong in the context of something like a drive or road - the image it conjures up is, well, of a sideways slope, or rake, similar to a ...

... camber, which usually refers to a curved shape of a road - its cross-section, primarily for drainage purposes - or occasionally to the inward tilt that's usually incorporated into a bend in a road. (Tilt also implies a sideways slope).

One final term, grade, sounds quite old-fashioned to me but appears to be quite commonly used (Stateside, at least) in, I guess you'd call it a “civil engineering” context.

There are plenty of other synonyms listed at the M-W site, and you can follow the links around 'til you find one you like :o)

FWIW, depending on the context and what you were trying to rhyme with, hill could work, just by assonance between the -l tails. Long shot, just putting it out there.

  • I also missed ramp, but that's a quite specific meaning too. Jan 5, 2018 at 3:05

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