• synonyms


[lahy-vuh n]
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verb (used with object)
  1. to put life into; rouse; enliven; cheer (often followed by up): What can we do to liven up the party?
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verb (used without object)
  1. to become more lively; brighten (usually followed by up): If this party doesn't liven up soon, let's leave.
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Origin of liven

First recorded in 1880–85; aphetic variant of enliven
Related formsliv·en·er, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for liven

promote, strengthen, revive, accelerate, hasten, spur, stimulate, expedite, revitalize, inspire, energize, enliven, excite, exalt, hearten, activate, spring, move, actuate, dispatch

Examples from the Web for liven

Contemporary Examples of liven

Historical Examples of liven

  • Especially when our country neighbors come in to ''liven us up.'

    Questionable Shapes

    William Dean Howells

  • If she doesn't we must give her a solid shot or two to liven her up—eh, Mr. Carter?

    The Rescue

    Joseph Conrad

  • Casual anecdotes were sprinkled through his explanations to liven them.

    The Highgrader

    William MacLeod Raine

  • But what are you stopping the air for when it's rushing in to liven us up?

  • "Say when you want me to liven 'em up, Gertie," remarked Bulpert.

    Love at Paddington

    W. Pett Ridge

British Dictionary definitions for liven


  1. (usually foll by up) to make or become lively; enliven
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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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper