verb (used with object)

to make vigorous or active; invigorate: The wit of Mencken enlivened his age.
to make sprightly or cheerful; brighten: Flowers enliven any room.

Nearby words

  1. enlisted,
  2. enlisted man,
  3. enlisted woman,
  4. enlistee,
  5. enlistment,
  6. enmarble,
  7. enmesh,
  8. enmeshed,
  9. enmity,
  10. enna

Origin of enliven

1625–35; obsolete enlive to give life to (en-1 + life) + -en1

Related forms

Synonym study

2. See cheer.

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for enliven

British Dictionary definitions for enliven


verb (tr)

to make active, vivacious, or spirited; invigorate
to make cheerful or bright; gladden or brighten
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



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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper