[ lahy-vuh n ]
/ ˈlaɪ vən /

verb (used with object)

to put life into; rouse; enliven; cheer (often followed by up): What can we do to liven up the party?

verb (used without object)

to become more lively; brighten (usually followed by up): If this party doesn't liven up soon, let's leave.

Nearby words

  1. livedoid dermatitis,
  2. livelihood,
  3. livelily,
  4. livelong,
  5. lively,
  6. livenza,
  7. liver,
  8. liver acinus,
  9. liver chestnut,
  10. liver extract

Origin of liven

First recorded in 1880–85; aphetic variant of enliven

Related formsliv·en·er, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for liven

British Dictionary definitions for liven


/ (ˈlaɪvən) /


(usually foll by up) to make or become lively; enliven
Derived Formslivener, 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 liven



1884, colloquial shortening of 17c. enliven, usually with up. Related: Livened; livening.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper