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look alive

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Act lively, hurry up, as in Look alive! This job has to be finished today. This phrase, often used as an imperative, today is more common in Britain than in America. [Mid-1800s]

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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.

BEHIND THE PHRASE

What does look alive mean?

Look alive is a phrase that means to hurry up or to get moving. It is nearly always used as a command.

Look alive is often used as encouragement or as a demand for someone to go faster or work harder as in Look alive, team! We want to win today’s game!

Example: Instead of sitting around when there’s work to do, look alive! 

Where does look alive come from?

The first records of look alive come from around 1830. The phrase is used figuratively to request that someone try to resemble a healthy, energetic person instead of a dead body that doesn’t move at all.

Typically, the phrase look alive is used because a person (most likely a boss or supervisor) is unhappy or unsatisfied with a person’s speed or effort. The phrase is intended to encourage or urge someone to work harder or faster.

Did you know … ?

What are some synonyms for look alive?

What are some words that share a root or word element with look alive

What are some words that often get used in discussing look alive?

How is look alive used in real life?

Look alive is a phrase people use to try to spur other people into action.

Try using look alive!

Is look alive used correctly in the following sentences?

Look alive, people! The president is coming tonight so we have to hurry!

How to use look alive in a sentence

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