[ uh-lahyv ]
See synonyms for: alivealiveness on

  1. having life; living; existing; not dead or lifeless.

  2. living (used for emphasis): the proudest man alive.

  1. in a state of action; in force or operation; active: to keep hope alive.

  2. full of energy and spirit; lively: Grandmother's more alive than most of her contemporaries.

  3. having the quality of life; vivid; vibrant: The room was alive with color.

  4. Electricity. live2 (def. 13).

Idioms about alive

  1. alive to, alert or sensitive to; aware of: City planners are alive to the necessity of revitalizing deteriorating neighborhoods.

  2. alive with, filled with living things; swarming; teeming: The room was alive with mosquitoes.

  1. look alive! pay attention! move quickly!: Look alive! We haven't got all day.

Origin of alive

First recorded before 1000; Middle English; Old English on līfe “in life”; equivalent to a-1 + life

Other words for alive

Opposites for alive

Other words from alive

  • a·live·ness, noun
  • half-a·live, adjective

Words Nearby alive Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use alive in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for alive


/ (əˈlaɪv) /

  1. (of people, animals, plants, etc) living; having life

  2. in existence; active: they kept hope alive; the tradition was still alive

  1. (immediately postpositive and usually used with a superlative) of those living; now living: the happiest woman alive

  2. full of life; lively: she was wonderfully alive for her age

  3. (usually foll by with) animated: a face alive with emotion

  4. (foll by to) aware (of); sensitive (to)

  5. (foll by with) teeming (with): the mattress was alive with fleas

  6. electronics another word for live 2 (def. 11)

  7. alive and kicking (of a person) active and in good health

  8. look alive! hurry up! get busy!

Origin of alive

Old English on līfe in life

Derived forms of alive

  • aliveness, 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

Other Idioms and Phrases with alive


In addition to the idioms beginning with alive

  • alive and kicking
  • alive to
  • alive with

also see:

  • come alive
  • eat someone alive
  • look alive
  • more dead than alive
  • skin alive

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.