spirit level

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A small closed vessel of glass (vial), having the inside surface of its upper part curved in form; the vessel is nearly filled with a fluid of low viscosity (alcohol or ether), enough free space being left for the formation of a bubble of air and gas, which will always assume a position at the top of the vessel. There are two types of spirit levels used in surveying: one has the curved surface spherical in form, producing a bubble of circular outline; and is properly called a circular level (also universal level or bull's eye level). The other and much more generally used type has a vessel in the form of circular tube, the longitudinal axis of which is also circular in form. It is the type usually referred to when the term 'spirit level' is used. The spirit level is also called spirit bubble or sensitive bubble.

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