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

  • intransitive v. To be alive; exist.
  • intransitive v. To continue to be alive: lived through a bad accident.
  • intransitive v. To support oneself; subsist: living on rice and fish; lives on a small inheritance.
  • intransitive v. To reside; dwell: lives on a farm.
  • intransitive v. To conduct one's life in a particular manner: lived frugally.
  • intransitive v. To pursue a positive, satisfying existence; enjoy life: those who truly live.
  • intransitive v. To remain in human memory: an event that lives on in our minds.
  • transitive v. To spend or pass (one's life).
  • transitive v. To go through; experience: lived a nightmare.
  • transitive v. To practice in one's life: live one's beliefs.
  • live down To overcome or reduce the shame of (a misdeed, for example) over a period of time.
  • live in To reside in the place where one is employed: household servants who live in.
  • live out To live outside one's place of domestic employment: household servants who live out.
  • live with To put up with; resign oneself to: disliked the situation but had to live with it.
  • idiom live it up Slang To engage in festive pleasures or extravagances.
  • idiom live up to To live or act in accordance with: lived up to their parents' ideals.
  • idiom live up to To prove equal to: a new technology that did not live up to our expectations.
  • idiom live up to To carry out; fulfill: lived up to her end of the bargain.
  • adj. Having life; alive: live animals. See Synonyms at living.
  • adj. Of, related to, or occurring during the life of one that is living: a live birth; the live weight of an animal before being slaughtered.
  • adj. Of current interest or relevance: a live topic; still a live option.
  • adj. Informal Full of life, excitement, or activity; lively: a live crowd at the parade; a live party.
  • adj. Glowing; burning: live coals.
  • adj. Not yet exploded but capable of being fired: live ammunition.
  • adj. Electricity Carrying an electric current or energized with electricity: live cables lying dangerously on the ground.
  • adj. Not mined or quarried; in the natural state: live ore.
  • adj. Broadcast while actually being performed; not taped, filmed, or recorded: a live television program.
  • adj. Involving performers or spectators who are physically present: live entertainment; a live audience.
  • adj. Of, relating to, or containing living, often modified microorganisms: a live vaccine; live yogurt cultures.
  • adj. Printing Not yet set into type: live copy.
  • adj. Sports In play: a live ball.
  • adv. At, during, or from the time of actual occurrence or performance: The landing on the moon was telecast live.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Having life; that is alive.
  • adj. Being in existence; actual
  • adj. Having active properties; being energized.
  • adj. Operational; being in actual use rather than in testing.
  • adj. Seen or heard from a broadcast, as it happens.
  • adj. Of a performance or speech, in person.
  • adj. Of a recorded performance, made in front of an audience, or not having been edited after recording.
  • adj. Of firearms or explosives, capable of causing harm.
  • adj. Electrically charged or energized, usually indicating that the item may cause electrocution if touched.
  • adj. Being a bet which can be raised by the bettor, usually in reference to a blind or straddle.
  • adj. Featuring humans; not animated, in the phrases “live actors” or “live action”.
  • adv. Of an event, as it happens; in real time; direct.
  • adv. Of making a performance or speech, in person.
  • v. To be alive; to have life.
  • v. To have permanent residence somewhere.
  • v. To survive; to persevere; to continue.
  • v. To cope.
  • v. To spend, as one's life; to pass; to maintain; to continue in, constantly or habitually.
  • v. To act habitually in conformity with; to practice.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Having life; alive; living; not dead.
  • adj. Being in a state of ignition; burning; having active properties
  • adj. Full of earnestness; active; wide awake; glowing.
  • adj. Vivid; bright.
  • adj. Imparting power; having motion.
  • adj. Connected to a voltage source.
  • adj. Being transmitted instantaneously, as events occur, in contrast to recorded.
  • adj. Still in active play; -- of a ball being used in a game.
  • adj. Pertaining to an entertainment event which was performed (and possibly recorded) in front of an audience; contrasted to performances recorded in a studio without an audience.
  • n. Life.
  • intransitive v. To be alive; to have life; to have, as an animal or a plant, the capacity of assimilating matter as food, and to be dependent on such assimilation for a continuance of existence.
  • intransitive v. To pass one's time; to pass life or time in a certain manner, as to habits, conduct, or circumstances
  • intransitive v. To make one's abiding place or home; to abide; to dwell; to reside.
  • intransitive v. To be or continue in existence; to exist; to remain; to be permanent; to last; -- said of inanimate objects, ideas, etc.
  • intransitive v. To enjoy or make the most of life; to be in a state of happiness.
  • intransitive v. To feed; to subsist; to be nourished or supported; -- with on.
  • intransitive v. To have a spiritual existence; to be quickened, nourished, and actuated by divine influence or faith.
  • intransitive v. To be maintained in life; to acquire a livelihood; to subsist; -- with on or by.
  • intransitive v. To outlast danger; to float; -- said of a ship, boat, etc..
  • transitive v. To spend, as one's life; to pass; to maintain; to continue in, constantly or habitually.
  • transitive v. To act habitually in conformity with; to practice.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To continue in being; remain or be kept alive; not to die, perish, or be destroyed: said of both animate and inanimate things, corporeal or incorporeal.
  • To have life; possess organic vitality; be capable of performing vital functions: said of animals and plants.
  • To use or pass life; direct the course of one's life; regulate one's manner of existing: as, to live well or ill, in either a physical or a moral sense.
  • Hence, used absolutely To make full use of life or its opportunities; get the greatest advantage or enjoyment from existence.
  • To abide; have or make an abiding-place; dwell or reside; have place: as, to live in a town; to live with one's parents.
  • To have means of subsistence; receive or procure a maintenance; get a livelihood: as, to live on one's income.
  • To feed; subsist; be nourished: with by before the means or method, and on or upon (sometimes with) before the material: as, cattle live on grass and grain; to live on the fat of the land.
  • In Scripture, to have spiritual life, either here or hereafter; exist or be sustained spiritually.
  • Synonyms Sojourn, Continue, etc. See abide.
  • To continue in constantly or habitually; pass; spend: as, to live a life of ease.
  • To act habitually in conformity to.
  • Being in life; living; animate; not dead: as, a live animal or plant.
  • Lively; animated; alert; energetic; not listless or inert: as, a live preacher; a live book.
  • Manifesting life or energy; acting as if with living force; effective; operative; ready for immediate use or work; under pressure, as of steam: as, a live machine; live steam, etc. See phrases below.
  • Glowing; vivid: as, a live coal.
  • Fresh; not stale or impure.
  • Of present use or interest; not effete, obsolete, or out of date; subject to present or prospective need: as, the live topics of the day; live matter (in a printing-office).
  • In machinery, having motion, as distinguished from fixed or stationary: as, a live axle.
  • In electricity, connected directly or indirectly with a source of electric power, whether carrying current or not: said of a circuit.
  • n. A Middle English oblique form of life, still existing in alive and livelong.

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

  • v. have firsthand knowledge of states, situations, emotions, or sensations
  • v. have life, be alive
  • adj. charged or energized with electricity
  • adj. possessing life
  • v. pursue a positive and satisfying existence
  • adv. not recorded
  • adj. actually being performed at the time of hearing or viewing
  • adj. elastic; rebounds readily
  • adj. charged with an explosive
  • adj. highly reverberant
  • adj. of current relevance
  • v. support oneself
  • adj. in current use or ready for use
  • adj. capable of erupting
  • v. continue to live through hardship or adversity
  • v. lead a certain kind of life; live in a certain style
  • v. inhabit or live in; be an inhabitant of
  • adj. exerting force or containing energy
  • adj. abounding with life and energy


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

Middle English liven, from Old English libban, lifian; see leip- in Indo-European roots.
Short for alive.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English liven, from Old English libban, lifian ("to live"), from Proto-Germanic *libjanan, from Proto-Indo-European *leip- (“leave, cling, linger”). Cognate with West Frisian libje, Old Saxon libbian (Saxon/Low German lęven ("to live")), Dutch leven, Old High German lebēn (German leben), Old Norse lifa (Swedish leva), Gothic 𐌻𐌹𐌱𐌰𐌽 (liban).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

See alive


  • Their names will forever live on the lips of the people -- Their names will, on the lips of the people, forever live_.

    Higher Lessons in English A work on english grammar and composition

  • The more we learn about our own body, that wonderful and beautiful house in which we live, the more we shall see, in what God thus formed from the dust of the ground, to call forth our admiration; but the body of the first man, although fashioned with such perfection in all its parts, did not _live_ until God breathed into his nostrils the breath of life.

    Twilight and Dawn Simple Talks on the Six Days of Creation

  • She sits _gracefully_; They live _happily_ and _contentedly_; we employ the verbs _sleeps, sits_, and _live_, in an active sense.

    English Grammar in Familiar Lectures

  • We may say, for example, _I live, I am living_, or _I do live_.

    Latin for Beginners

  • If I can live and save money at it, you ought to be smart enough to _live_.

    Michael O'Halloran

  • Those who live in cities, and who are always realizing self, and thinking how they think, and are while awake given up to introverting vanity, never _live_ in song.

    The Gypsies

  • Men live by the primal energies of love, faith, imagination; and happily it is not given to every one to _live_, in the pecuniary sense, by the artistic utilisation and sale of these.

    Dreamthorp A Book of Essays Written in the Country

  • The first passage refers to a _partial_ resurrection, inasmuch as it makes mention of those only who shall hear the voice of the Son of {37} God, and hearing shall live; whereas the other passage asserts that _all_ who are in sepulchres (_mnêmeiois_) shall hear his voice, and divides these into two classes -- those that have done good, who rise to _live_

    An Essay on the Scriptural Doctrine of Immortality

  • If I live, sir, she will have to become the wife of Rivers; and, though I love her as my own -- as I have never loved my own -- yet she must abide the sacrifice from which, _while I live_, there is no escape.

    Guy Rivers: A Tale of Georgia

  • She died; the censors heard the tale; and scoffed at the teller of it! and that Cornelius yet sits in the senate; those censors who approved his guilt yet live — I say _live_!

    The Roman Traitor (Vol. 1 of 2)


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  • 'You live', he sent me. 'there's no God and that's his only Commandment'. From "The Last Werewolf" by Glen Duncan.

    April 1, 2012

  • She lives! > Live bait.


    February 18, 2010

  • Also a really vital verb.

    November 29, 2007