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90s Slang You Should Know


[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. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for enlivened
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The "church picnic" was held in a scene of decay, but 260 people, with all the women but three in red, enlivened it.

  • At dawn of day our bivouac was enlivened by hundreds of birds.

  • The outposts were enlivened every night by the arrival of deserters.

    The Bastonnais John Lesperance
  • One can easily imagine the scene and the act that enlivened it.

    The Parables of Our Lord William Arnot
  • The blueness of the ether was exceedingly heightened and enlivened by the season of the year.

    New Word-Analysis William Swinton
  • The journey to the Calvin cottage was enlivened by frequent stops for refreshment.

    The Portygee Joseph Crosby Lincoln
  • In her eyes a deep, quiet joy was reflected, which enlivened her whole face with a mild radiance.

    Children of the Soil Henryk Sienkiewicz
British Dictionary definitions for enlivened


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
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Word Origin and History for enlivened



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
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