Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.


[lahyv-lee-hoo d] /ˈlaɪv liˌhʊd/
a means of supporting one's existence, especially financially or vocationally; living:
to earn a livelihood as a tenant farmer.
Origin of livelihood
before 1000; earlier liveliod, livelihod, alteration (by reanalysis as lively + -hood; compare obsolete livelihood liveliness) of Middle English livelod, Old English līflād conduct of life, way of life (see life, lode, load)
sustenance, subsistence.
Synonym Study
See living. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for livelihood
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Still, I had nothing; not even the means of seeking a livelihood.

    Ned Myers James Fenimore Cooper
  • But you know it is time I was doing something to earn my own livelihood now.

    The Slave Of The Lamp Henry Seton Merriman
  • I will do anything Tom, anything, to gain a livelihood by my own exertions.

  • Was not his accordion there to show that he possessed a regular means of livelihood?

    A Nest of Spies Pierre Souvestre
  • No other person seemed to know with certainty what were Wilson's means of livelihood.

British Dictionary definitions for livelihood


occupation or employment
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 livelihood

1610s, alteration of livelode "means of keeping alive" (c.1300), from Old English lifad "course of life," from lif "life" + lad "way, course" (see load). Cf. Old High German libleita. Spelling assimilated to words in -hood. Earlier livelihood was a different word, meaning "liveliness," from lively.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for livelihood

Word Value for livelihood

Scrabble Words With Friends