[ liv-id ]
/ ˈlɪv ɪd /


having a discolored, bluish appearance caused by a bruise, congestion of blood vessels, strangulation, etc., as the face, flesh, hands, or nails.
dull blue; dark, grayish-blue.
enraged; furiously angry: Willful stupidity makes me absolutely livid.
feeling or appearing strangulated because of strong emotion.
reddish or flushed.
deathly pale; pallid; ashen: Fear turned his cheeks livid for a moment.

Origin of livid

1615–25; < Latin līvidus black and blue, equivalent to līv(ēre) to be livid (akin to Welsh lliw color) + -idus -id4

Related forms

liv·id·ly, adverbliv·id·ness, li·vid·i·ty, noun

Word story

Livid “bluish, dull blue, grayish-blue” ultimately comes from Latin līvidus “dull blue, grayish-blue, discolored by bruising” (equivalent to English black and blue ), also meaning “spiteful, malicious” (in Latin one is blue with jealousy, not green).
In the early 18th century, English livid somehow developed the further senses “pale, deathly pale,” as from cold or in death, with no connotation of blueness. Then in the first half of the 19th century, livid came to mean “pale with rage or fury,” which is confusing because an angry person’s face can just as well be described as “purple with rage” or “red with fury.” Livid finally acquired the simple meaning “enraged, furiously angry” in the late 19th century.
Līvidus comes from the same Proto-Indo-European root slī- (suffixed form slī-wo- ) “bluish” as appears in Old English slāh (English sloe, as in sloe gin fizz, a drink that has never gone away). Slī-wo- appears in Slavic (Serbo-Croatian) šljiva “plum” (from its color), from which the pale fruit brandy šljivovica “slivovitz” is distilled. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for livid

British Dictionary definitions for livid


/ (ˈlɪvɪd) /


(of the skin) discoloured, as from a bruise or contusion
of a greyish tinge or colourlivid pink
informal angry or furious

Derived Forms

lividly, adverblividness or lividity, noun

Word Origin for livid

C17: via French from Latin līvidus, from līvēre to be black and blue
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

Medicine definitions for livid


[ lĭvĭd ]


Having a black-and-blue or a leaden or ashy-gray color, as in discoloration from a contusion, congestion, or cyanosis.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.