from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Full of energy or alertness; vigorous or animated.
  • adjective Characterized by much activity or excitement: synonym: active.
  • adjective Quick-paced.
  • adjective Full of flavor or spice.
  • adjective Stimulating and invigorating.
  • adjective Rebounding readily upon impact; resilient.
  • adverb With energy or vigor; briskly.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • In a lifelike manner; with the appearance of reality; semblably.
  • With life or animation; energetically; vigorously; briskly: as, to act lively.
  • Living; endowed with or manifesting life; hence, from a living source; life-given.
  • Lifelike; representing or resembling life or reality; real; vivid; forcible: as, a lively imitation of nature.
  • Full of life or energy; active; vigorous; vivacious; brisk; alert: applied to persons or things: as, a lively child; lively faith.
  • Animated; spirited; sprightly; gay: as, a lively dance; lively conversation.
  • Fresh; vivid; bright: said of colors and tints.
  • Riding the sea buoyantly: said of a ship or boat.
  • In golf, base-ball, and similar games, elastic: applied to a ball possessing special elasticity.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adverb In a brisk, active, or animated manner; briskly; vigorously.
  • adverb obsolete With strong resemblance of life.
  • adjective Endowed with or manifesting life; living.
  • adjective Brisk; vivacious; active.
  • adjective Gay; airy; animated; spirited.
  • adjective obsolete Representing life; lifelike.
  • adjective Bright; vivid; glowing; strong; vigorous.
  • adjective (Script.) saints, as being quickened by the Spirit, and active in holiness.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective Full of life; energetic.
  • adjective of beer fizzy; foamy; tending to produce a large head in the glass
  • noun nautical Term of address.
  • adverb obsolete In a lifelike manner; vibrantly, vividly.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adjective elastic; rebounds readily
  • adjective filled with events or activity
  • adjective full of spirit
  • adjective quick and energetic
  • adjective full of zest or vigor
  • adjective full of life and energy


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English lifli, from Old English līflīc, from līf, life; see leip- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English lyvely, lifly, from Old English līflīċ ("living, lively, long-lived, necessary to life, vital"), equivalent to life +‎ -ly. Cognate with Scots lively, lifely ("of or pertaining to life, vital, living, life-like").

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Old English līflīċe.


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  • lively is not an adverb according to manhattan gmat. use in a lively manner. it is an adjective.

    January 27, 2012