LEVANT (from the French use of the. participle of lever, to rise, for the east, the orient), the name apph'ed widely to the coastlands of the eastern Mediterranean Sea from Greece to Egypt, or, in a more restricted and commoner sense, to the Mediterranean coastlands of Asia Minor and Syria. In the 16th and 17th centuries the term " High Levant" was used of the Far East. The phrase " to levant," meaning to abscond, especially of one who runs away leaving debts unpaid, particularly of a betting man or gambler, is taken from the Span, levantar, to lift or break up, in such phrases as levantar la casa, to break up a household, or el campo, to break camp.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)