adjective, live·li·er, live·li·est.


with briskness, vigor, or animation; briskly: to step lively.

Origin of lively

before 1000; Middle English; Old English līflīc vital. See life, -ly
Related formslive·li·ly, adverblive·li·ness, nouno·ver·live·li·ness, nouno·ver·live·ly, adjectiveun·live·li·ness, nounun·live·ly, adjective, adverb

Synonyms for lively

Antonyms for lively

1. inactive, torpid. 2. dull. 5. weak. 7. dim. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for livelier

Contemporary Examples of livelier

Historical Examples of livelier

  • The American's heart beat a livelier tempo at the suggestion.

    The Black Bag

    Louis Joseph Vance

  • Sydney was none the livelier and none the soberer for so much application.

    A Tale of Two Cities

    Charles Dickens

  • Hazarding the looking-glass, she thought that she could detect a livelier iris too.

    Love and Lucy

    Maurice Henry Hewlett

  • "Tell me some of your plans," said she, with a livelier interest than she had yet shown.

  • Petrea's hands bled in consequence of this operation, but that only made her the livelier.

    The Home

    Fredrika Bremer

British Dictionary definitions for livelier


adjective -lier or -liest

full of life or vigour
vivacious or animated, esp when in company
busy; eventful
characterized by mental or emotional intensity; vivid
having a striking effect on the mind or senses
refreshinga lively breeze
springy or bouncy or encouraging springinessa lively ball
(of a boat or ship) readily responsive to the helm

adverb Also: 'livelily

in a brisk mannerstep lively
look lively (interjection) make haste
Derived Formsliveliness, 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 livelier



Old English liflic "living, existing," literally "life-like;" from life + -ly (2). Sense of "active, energetic" developed by early 13c., from notion "full of life."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper