[ liv ]
See synonyms for: liveliverlivesliving on

verb (used without object),lived [livd], /lɪvd/, liv·ing.
  1. to have life, as an organism; be alive; be capable of vital functions: all things that live.

  2. to continue to have life; remain alive: to live to a ripe old age.

  1. to continue in existence, operation, memory, etc.; last: a book that lives in my memory.

  2. to maintain or support one's existence; provide for oneself: to live on one's income.

  3. to feed or subsist (usually followed by on or upon): to live on rice and bananas.

  4. to dwell or reside (usually followed by in, at, etc.): to live in a cottage.

  5. to pass life in a specified manner: They lived happily ever after.

  6. to direct or regulate one's life: to live by the golden rule.

  7. to experience or enjoy to the full: At 40 she was just beginning to live.

  8. to cohabit (usually followed by with).

  9. to escape destruction or remain afloat, as a ship or aircraft.

verb (used with object),lived [livd], /lɪvd/, liv·ing.
  1. to pass (life): to live a life of ease.

  2. to practice, represent, or exhibit in one's life: to live one's philosophy.

Verb Phrases
  1. live down, to live so as to allow (a mistake, disgrace, etc.) to be forgotten or forgiven: She'll never live that crucial moment of failure down.

  2. live in / out to reside at or away from the place of one's employment, especially as a domestic servant: Their butler lives in, but the maids live out.

  1. live up to, to live in accordance with (expectations or an ideal or standard); measure up to: He never lived up to his father's vision of him.

Idioms about live

  1. live high off / on the hog. hog (def. 16).

  2. live it up, Informal. to live in an extravagant or wild manner; pursue pleasure: He started living it up after he got out of the army.

  1. live well, to live comfortably: They're not wealthy but they live well.

Origin of live

First recorded before 900; Middle English liven, Old English lifian, libban; cognate with Dutch leven, German leben,Old Norse lifa,Gothic liban

Words Nearby live

Other definitions for live (2 of 2)

[ lahyv ]

adjective,liv·er, liv·est for 4-6, 9, 12, 15-17.
  1. being alive;living; alive: It was the little gir's first time seeing live farm animals.

  2. of, relating to, or during the life of a living being: Water forms about 50 to 80 percent of an animal's live weight.

  1. characterized by or indicating the presence of living creatures: I stood still and listened to the live sounds of the forest.

  2. Informal. (of a person) energetic and quick to speak or act; animated, spirited, or vivacious: The club members are a really live bunch.

  3. responsive to changing conditions, needs, etc., in an imaginative and proactive way: I like this company—their approach is live and fresh.

  4. Informal. mentally, emotionally, and physically alive, often in a new way; invigorated, confident, and fully engaged: After months of quarantine, I felt live and refreshed being exposed to places outside.During pregame practice we were feeling live and ready for anything.

  5. made up of actual persons: He has several studio albums but rarely performs before a live audience.

  6. (of a radio or television program, podcast, etc.) broadcast or released while happening or being performed; not prerecorded or taped: I watched a live telecast of the royal wedding.

  7. burning or glowing: We roasted our marshmallows over live coals in the firepit.

  8. being in play, as a baseball or football.

  9. (of ammunition)

    • loaded or unexploded; ready to explode: Watch out—that’s a live grenade!

    • consisting of real bullets or shot, as opposed to rubber bullets or some other charge; explodable: Security forces used tear gas and live ammunition to break up the riot.

  10. of current interest or importance, as a question or issue; generating much debate or discussion: Sexual harassment in the military is still very much a live issue.

  11. Also a·live [uh-lahyv] /əˈlaɪv/ . electrically charged; carrying an electric current, especially if exposed: Crews safely removed the live wire brought down by a falling tree. On the subway line, the third rail is live.

  12. being highly resonant or reverberant, as an auditorium or concert hall: Plants can absorb the echoes in acoustically live spaces like galleries and gymnasiums.

  13. having resilience or bounce: The basketball was losing air rapidly and was barely live by the end of the game.

  14. moving or imparting motion; powered.

  15. vivid or bright, as color.

  16. still in use, or to be used, as type set up or copy for printing.

  1. (of a radio or television program, podcast, etc.) at the moment of its happening or being performed; not on tape or by prerecording: The program was broadcast live from San Francisco.

Origin of live

First recorded in 1535–45; in 1930–35 for def. 8; shortened variant of alive, used attributively

Other words from live

  • live·ness, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use live in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for live (1 of 2)


/ (lɪv) /

verb(mainly intr)
  1. to show the characteristics of life; be alive

  2. to remain alive or in existence

  1. to exist in a specified way: to live poorly

  2. (usually foll by in or at) to reside or dwell: to live in London

  3. (often foll by on) to continue or last: the pain still lives in her memory

  4. (usually foll by by) to order one's life (according to a certain philosophy, religion, etc)

  5. (foll by on, upon, or by) to support one's style of life; subsist: to live by writing

  6. (foll by with) to endure the effects (of a crime, mistake, etc)

  7. (foll by through) to experience and survive: he lived through the war

  8. (tr) to pass or spend (one's life, etc)

  9. to enjoy life to the full: he knows how to live

  10. (tr) to put into practice in one's daily life; express: he lives religion every day

  11. live and let live to refrain from interfering in others' lives; to be tolerant

  12. where one lives US informal in one's sensitive or defenceless position

Origin of live

Old English libban, lifian; related to Old High German libēn, Old Norse lifa

British Dictionary definitions for live (2 of 2)


/ (laɪv) /

  1. (prenominal) showing the characteristics of life

  2. (usually prenominal) of, relating to, or abounding in life: the live weight of an animal

  1. (usually prenominal) of current interest; controversial: a live issue

  2. actual: a real live cowboy

  3. informal full of life and energy

  4. (of a coal, ember, etc) glowing or burning

  5. (esp of a volcano) not extinct

  6. loaded or capable of exploding: a live bomb

  7. radio television transmitted or present at the time of performance, rather than being a recording: a live show

  8. (of a record)

    • recorded in concert

    • recorded in one studio take, without overdubs or splicing

  9. connected to a source of electric power: a live circuit

  10. (esp of a colour or tone) brilliant or splendid

  11. acoustically reverberant: a live studio

  12. sport (of a ball) in play

  13. (of rocks, ores, etc) not quarried or mined; native

  14. being in a state of motion or transmitting power; positively connected to a driving member

  15. printing

    • (of copy) not yet having been set into type

    • (of type that has been set) still in use

  1. during, at, or in the form of a live performance: the show went out live

Origin of live

C16: from on live alive

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 live


In addition to the idioms beginning with live

  • live and learn
  • live and let live
  • live by one's wits
  • live dangerously
  • live down
  • live for the moment
  • live from day to day
  • live from hand to mouth
  • live happily ever after
  • live high off the hog
  • live in
  • live in each other's pockets
  • live in sin
  • live it up
  • live like a king
  • live on
  • live on borrowed time
  • live on the edge
  • live out
  • live through
  • live together
  • live up to
  • live wire
  • live with

also see:

  • alive (live) and kicking
  • as I live and breathe
  • close to home (where one lives)
  • (live from) day to day
  • fat of the land, live off the
  • high off the hog, live
  • in one's pocket (live in each other's pockets)
  • learn to live with
  • people who live in glass houses

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