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 liveliest

Contemporary Examples of liveliest

Historical Examples of liveliest

  • He was looking at her quizzically, but with the liveliest appreciation.

    Alice Adams

    Booth Tarkington

  • For the next few minutes it struck me as the liveliest I had ever seen.

  • They were simplest, their little tongues were liveliest, and they were most full of joy and wonder.

    The Scapegoat

    Hall Caine

  • Then it turned into the liveliest moving picture that ever I see.

    Cape Cod Stories

    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • His remarks leave no doubt that he takes the liveliest interest in your work.

British Dictionary definitions for liveliest


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 liveliest



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