having life; living; existing; not dead or lifeless.
living (used for emphasis): the proudest man alive.
in a state of action; in force or operation; active: to keep hope alive.
full of energy and spirit; lively: Grandmother's more alive than most of her contemporaries.
having the quality of life; vivid; vibrant: The room was alive with color.
Electricity. live2(def 17).

Nearby words

  1. alist,
  2. alit,
  3. aliterate,
  4. aliturgical,
  5. aliunde,
  6. alive and kicking,
  7. alive to,
  8. alive with,
  9. aliveness,
  10. aliyah


Origin of alive

before 1000; Middle English; Old English on līfe in life; see a-1

Related formsa·live·ness, nounhalf-a·live, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for alive

British Dictionary definitions for alive


adjective (postpositive)

(of people, animals, plants, etc) living; having life
in existence; activethey kept hope alive; the tradition was still alive
(immediately postpositive and usually used with a superlative) of those living; now livingthe happiest woman alive
full of life; livelyshe was wonderfully alive for her age
(usually foll by with) animateda face alive with emotion
(foll by to) aware (of); sensitive (to)
(foll by with) teeming (with)the mattress was alive with fleas
electronics another word for live 2 (def. 11)
alive and kicking (of a person) active and in good health
look alive! hurry up! get busy!
Derived Formsaliveness, noun

Word Origin for alive

Old English on līfe in life

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 alive


Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

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.