live wire


noun Informal.

an energetic, keenly alert person.

Origin of live wire

An Americanism dating back to 1900–05 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for live wire

cheater, dynamo, grifter, scammer

Examples from the Web for live wire

Historical Examples of live wire

  • The man, in short, is a "hustler," an "advertiser" whose highest aim is to be a "live-wire."

  • There was no live-wire fencing in the forest, such as the Germans have erected along the frontier between Holland and Belgium.

    The Man with the Clubfoot

    Valentine Williams

  • Yes, if we had a live-wire on the paper, I could find ten people who would pledge ten dollars a month.

    Comrade Yetta

    Albert Edwards

  • "We're the live-wire octette, and we are going to let everybody know it," proclaimed Tommy Tucker vociferously.

  • You will often hear some "live-wire" business man spoken of as a "human dynamo."

British Dictionary definitions for live wire

live wire


informal an energetic or enterprising person
a wire carrying an electric current
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

Idioms and Phrases with live wire

live wire

A highly alert or energetic person. For example, Sally's a real live wire; she brightens up any gathering. This metaphoric term transfers a wire carrying electric current to a lively individual. [c. 1900]

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