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 liveliness

Contemporary Examples of liveliness

  • He writes with great historical knowledge, insight and liveliness.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Woody Allen's Favorite Books


    May 6, 2011

  • In the glass, this translates into liveliness on the palate and flavors with pinpoint clarity and persistence.

    The Daily Beast logo
    A Burgundy Wine Feast

    Sophie Menin

    July 4, 2010

Historical Examples of liveliness

  • "You 'tend to your own troubles," returned the other, with an imitation of liveliness.

  • Of these, the Comte d'Artois was the only one who, from youth and liveliness of character, thoroughly sympathised with his sister.

    The Secret Memoirs of Louis XV./XVI, Complete

    Madame du Hausset, an "Unknown English Girl" and the Princess Lamballe

  • "You come just in time to give him a scolding," he said, with an affectation of liveliness.

    The Downfall

    Emile Zola

  • Yet there is little of the liveliness of a game in their mode of treating the subject.



  • Both were proofs that Erasmus had lost nothing of his liveliness and wit.

British Dictionary definitions for liveliness


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 liveliness



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