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lively

[lahyv-lee]
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adjective, live·li·er, live·li·est.
  1. full or suggestive of life or vital energy; active, vigorous, or brisk: a lively discussion.
  2. animated, spirited, vivacious, or sprightly: a lively tune; a lively wit.
  3. eventful, stirring, or exciting: The opposition gave us a lively time.
  4. bustling with activity; astir: The marketplace was lively with vendors.
  5. strong, keen, or distinct; vivid: a lively recollection.
  6. striking, telling, or effective, as an expression or instance.
  7. vivid or bright, as color or light: a lively pink.
  8. sparkling, as wines.
  9. fresh or invigorating, as air: a lively breeze.
  10. rebounding quickly; springing back; resilient: a lively tennis ball.
  11. riding the sea buoyantly, as a ship.
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adverb
  1. with briskness, vigor, or animation; briskly: to step lively.
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Origin of lively

before 1000; Middle English; Old English līflīc vital. See life, -ly
Related formslive·li·ly, adverblive·li·ness, nouno·ver·live·li·ness, nouno·ver·live·ly, adjectiveun·live·li·ness, nounun·live·ly, adjective, adverb

Synonyms

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1. alert, spry, nimble, agile, quick, pert. 2. gay, buoyant. 5. forceful, clear. 7. brilliant, clear, glowing.

Antonyms

1. inactive, torpid. 2. dull. 5. weak. 7. dim.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for lively

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • At last this lively maiden got Philip away from the rest, and began to cross-question him.

    Malbone

    Thomas Wentworth Higginson

  • Among his friends his speech was anticipated with lively interest.

    The Grand Old Man

    Richard B. Cook

  • The lively wretch has made me a visit, and is but just gone away.

    Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9)

    Samuel Richardson

  • Then, as the stenographer entered, he went on with lively interest.

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

  • The wizened little headman was as cheerful and lively and vigorous as ever.

    The Leopard Woman

    Stewart Edward White


British Dictionary definitions for lively

lively

adjective -lier or -liest
  1. full of life or vigour
  2. vivacious or animated, esp when in company
  3. busy; eventful
  4. characterized by mental or emotional intensity; vivid
  5. having a striking effect on the mind or senses
  6. refreshinga lively breeze
  7. springy or bouncy or encouraging springinessa lively ball
  8. (of a boat or ship) readily responsive to the helm
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adverb Also: 'livelily
  1. in a brisk mannerstep lively
  2. look lively (interjection) make haste
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Derived Formsliveliness, 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

Word Origin and History for lively

adj.

Old English liflic "living, existing," literally "life-like;" from life + -ly (2). Sense of "active, energetic" developed by early 13c., from notion "full of life."

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper