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enliven

[en-lahy-vuh n]
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verb (used with object)
  1. to make vigorous or active; invigorate: The wit of Mencken enlivened his age.
  2. to make sprightly or cheerful; brighten: Flowers enliven any room.
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Origin of enliven

1625–35; obsolete enlive to give life to (en-1 + life) + -en1
Related formsen·liv·en·er, nounen·liv·en·ing·ly, adverben·liv·en·ment, nounun·en·liv·ened, adjectiveun·en·liv·en·ing, adjective

Synonyms

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1. animate, inspirit, vivify, stimulate, quicken. 2. gladden.

Synonym study

2. See cheer.

Antonyms

2. depress.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for enliven

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Aunt Rosine had put a spray of lilac in her bonnet, "to enliven her mourning," as she said.

    My Double Life

    Sarah Bernhardt

  • Every evening, as previously, Pierre strove to enliven him with an account of his strolls.

  • It is in your power to make their bed of down, and to enliven the ground they have yet to traverse with flowers.

    Imogen

    William Godwin

  • She wanted to enliven the Abbe and to draw him out of his melancholy moodiness.

  • But Curly had no desire to enliven things, and went on quite seriously.

    The Golden Woman

    Ridgwell Cullum


British Dictionary definitions for enliven

enliven

verb (tr)
  1. to make active, vivacious, or spirited; invigorate
  2. to make cheerful or bright; gladden or brighten
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Derived Formsenlivener, nounenlivening, adjectiveenlivenment, 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 enliven

v.

1630s, "give life to" (enlive in same sense is from 1590s); see en- (1) "make, put in" + life + -en (1). Meaning "make lively or cheerful" is from 1690s. Related: Enlivened; enlivening.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper