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In British English, the first syllable of the word lever and its derivatives is like 'leave', IPA: /'li: vər/. The American pronunciation rhymes with 'ever', IPA: /'lɛ vər/. The traditional British pronunciation is to be preferred in British academic circles.

The same applies to the derived leverage. In British academic circles, prefer 'LEAVE-er-idge' IPA: /'li: vər ɪdʒ/ to 'LEVV-er-idge' IPA: /'lɛ vər ɪdʒ/.