Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.


[en-lahy-vuh n] /ɛnˈlaɪ vən/
verb (used with object)
to make vigorous or active; invigorate:
The wit of Mencken enlivened his age.
to make sprightly or cheerful; brighten:
Flowers enliven any room.
Origin of enliven
1625-35; obsolete enlive to give life to (en-1 + life) + -en1
Related forms
enlivener, noun
enliveningly, adverb
enlivenment, noun
unenlivened, adjective
unenlivening, adjective
1. animate, inspirit, vivify, stimulate, quicken. 2. gladden.
2. depress.
Synonym Study
2. See cheer. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for enliven
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Aunt Rosine had put a spray of lilac in her bonnet, "to enliven her mourning," as she said.

    My Double Life Sarah Bernhardt
  • Every evening, as previously, Pierre strove to enliven him with an account of his strolls.

  • It is in your power to make their bed of down, and to enliven the ground they have yet to traverse with flowers.

    Imogen William Godwin
  • She wanted to enliven the Abbe and to draw him out of his melancholy moodiness.

  • But Curly had no desire to enliven things, and went on quite seriously.

    The Golden Woman Ridgwell Cullum
  • The horse, standing with drooping head, does not enliven the picture.

    Sielanka: An Idyll Henryk Sienkiewicz
British Dictionary definitions for enliven


verb (transitive)
to make active, vivacious, or spirited; invigorate
to make cheerful or bright; gladden or brighten
Derived Forms
enlivener, noun
enlivening, adjective
enlivenment, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for enliven

1630s, "give life to" (enlive in same sense is from 1590s); see en- (1) "make, put in" + life + -en (1). Meaning "make lively or cheerful" is from 1690s. Related: Enlivened; enlivening.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for enliven

Word Value for enliven

Scrabble Words With Friends