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livelong

[liv-lawng, -long]
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adjective
  1. (of time) whole or entire, especially when tediously long, slow in passing, etc.: We picked apples the livelong day.

Origin of livelong

1350–1400; alteration (by association with live1) of earlier leeve long, Middle English leve longe dear long. See lief, long1
Can be confusedlifelong livelong
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for livelong

Historical Examples

  • I wonder what you do the livelong day, for I know you and idleness are not acquaintances.

    Hortus Inclusus

    John Ruskin

  • No one had bought any of them the livelong day—no one had given her a single penny.

    Favorite Fairy Tales

    Logan Marshall

  • All the livelong night there is jubilee among the Indians above and below.

    Marion's Faith.

    Charles King

  • A cruel doubt had been knocking at her door the livelong day.

    The Faith Doctor

    Edward Eggleston

  • In vain she waited the livelong night; no Dermot came back to her.

    The Heir of Kilfinnan

    W.H.G. Kingston


British Dictionary definitions for livelong

livelong

adjective mainly poetic
  1. (of time) long or seemingly long, esp in a tedious way (esp in the phrase all the livelong day)
  2. whole; entire
noun
  1. British another name for orpine
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

Word Origin and History for livelong

adj.

also live-long, c.1400, lefe longe (day), from leve, lief "dear" (see lief), used here as an emotional intensive + long (adj). From late 16c. conformed in spelling to live (v.) as lief grew strange. German has cognate die liebe lange Nacht, literally "the dear long night."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper