[ lahyv-lee ]
See synonyms for: livelylivelierliveliness on

adjective,live·li·er, live·li·est.
  1. full or suggestive of life or vital energy; active, vigorous, or brisk: a lively discussion.

  2. animated, spirited, vivacious, or sprightly: a lively tune; a lively wit.

  1. eventful, stirring, or exciting: The opposition gave us a lively time.

  2. bustling with activity; astir: The marketplace was lively with vendors.

  3. strong, keen, or distinct; vivid: a lively recollection.

  4. striking, telling, or effective, as an expression or instance.

  5. vivid or bright, as color or light: a lively pink.

  6. sparkling, as wines.

  7. fresh or invigorating, as air: a lively breeze.

  8. rebounding quickly; springing back; resilient: a lively tennis ball.

  9. riding the sea buoyantly, as a ship.

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

Origin of lively

First recorded before 1000; Middle English; Old English līflīc “vital”; see life, -ly

Other words for lively

Opposites for lively

Other words from lively

  • live·li·ly, adverb
  • live·li·ness, noun
  • o·ver·live·li·ness, noun
  • o·ver·live·ly, adjective
  • un·live·li·ness, noun
  • un·live·ly, adjective, adverb

Words Nearby lively Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use lively in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for lively


/ (ˈlaɪvlɪ) /

adjective-lier or -liest
  1. full of life or vigour

  2. vivacious or animated, esp when in company

  1. busy; eventful

  2. characterized by mental or emotional intensity; vivid

  3. having a striking effect on the mind or senses

  4. refreshing: a lively breeze

  5. springy or bouncy or encouraging springiness: a lively ball

  6. (of a boat or ship) readily responsive to the helm

adverbAlso: 'livelily
  1. in a brisk manner: step lively

  2. look lively (interjection) make haste

Derived forms of lively

  • liveliness, 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