[ li-vid-i-tee ]


  1. a discolored, bluish appearance caused by a bruise, pooling of blood due to congestion of blood vessels, strangulation, etc.:

    When the dead person is lying on their back, lividity will form on the buttocks, back, or backs of the legs.

  2. a grayish or ashen appearance of the face; pallor:

    The traditional ghost image usually involves a certain paleness of the face—a corpselike lividity.

  3. furious anger:

    When the generator they’d ordered arrived late and then failed to work, her lividity knew no bounds.

  4. a reddish appearance of the face, as from strong emotion or embarrassment:

    I was on the shore with my parents, watching the sky flush scarlet with a hue like lividity rising to an angry face.

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Word History and Origins

Origin of lividity1

First recorded in 1400–50; from Late Latin lividitas, equivalent to Latin līvid(us) “black and blue” + -itās -ity ( def ); livid ( def )
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Example Sentences

For some days previous to his dissolution, there was increased lividity of countenance, and little or no action of heart.

A hiccough commenced; coldness of the extremities and lividity of the face followed, and continued three days before death.

The sky was leaden, and there was a peculiar and almost sinister lividity in the wan light of the afternoon.

The lividity, yes; but one could think of that as simply the shadow of death.

Post-mortem discoloration, or post-mortem lividity, often appears during the first contact.