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[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.
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Examples from the Web for enlivened
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He enlivened the excursion by his laughter and strength of a peasant.

    Therese Raquin Emile Zola
  • The journey to the Calvin cottage was enlivened by frequent stops for refreshment.

    The Portygee Joseph Crosby Lincoln
  • At times the proceedings have been enlivened by sparkling humour.

    The Philippine Islands John Foreman
  • All festal occasions in Circassian life are enlivened by the presence of the minstrel.

    Life of Schamyl John Milton Mackie
  • At this moment the chamber was enlivened by the presence of many individuals.

    Tancred Benjamin Disraeli
  • Merton started a little and regarded his companion with an enlivened eye.

  • Eva must be saved; her mind must be enlivened and her body strengthened, let it cost what it may.

    The Home Fredrika Bremer
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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