adjective \ə-ˈlīv\

Definition of alive

  1. 1 :  having life :  not dead or inanimate

  2. 2a :  still in existence, force, or operation :  active kept hope aliveb :  still active in competition with a chance of victory must win to stay alive in the playoffs

  3. 3 :  knowing or realizing the existence of something :  sensitive alive to the danger

  4. 4 :  marked by alertness, energy, or briskness his face came alive at the mention of food

  5. 5 :  marked by much life, animation, or activity :  swarming streets alive with traffic

  6. 6 —used as an intensive following the noun the proudest boy alive



Examples of alive in a sentence

  1. It feels great to be alive.

  2. The patient was barely alive.

  3. The sheriff was ordered to find the killer and bring him back alive.

  4. He managed to stay alive for a week without any food.

  5. The patient is being kept alive by artificial means.

  6. an old tradition that is still alive

  7. We need to keep hope alive.

  8. The team needs to win tonight in order to stay alive in the play-offs.

  9. I love to sail because it makes me feel so alive.

Origin and Etymology of alive

Middle English, from Old English on life, from on + līf life

First Known Use: 13th century

Synonym Discussion of alive

aware, cognizant, conscious, sensible, alive, awake mean having knowledge of something. aware implies vigilance in observing or alertness in drawing inferences from what one experiences aware of changes in climate. cognizant implies having special or certain knowledge as from firsthand sources not fully cognizant of the facts. conscious implies that one is focusing one's attention on something or is even preoccupied by it conscious that my heart was pounding. sensible implies direct or intuitive perceiving especially of intangibles or of emotional states or qualities sensible of a teacher's influence. alive adds to sensible the implication of acute sensitivity to something alive to the thrill of danger. awake implies that one has become alive to something and is on the alert a country always awake to the threat of invasion.

ALIVE Defined for English Language Learners


adjective \ə-ˈlīv\

Definition of alive for English Language Learners

  • : having life : living : not dead

  • : continuing to exist

  • : not yet defeated : still having a chance to win or succeed

ALIVE Defined for Kids


adjective \ə-ˈlīv\

Definition of alive for Students

  1. 1 :  having life :  not dead

  2. 2 :  still in force, existence, or operation The thought kept our hopes alive. They keep the old traditions alive.

  3. 3 :  aware of the existence of He was alive to the danger.

  4. 4 :  filled with life and activity The door to the school was alive with clamoring children. — Louise Fitzhugh, Harriet the Spy The city streets were alive with shoppers.

Medical Dictionary


adjective \ə-ˈlīv\

Medical Definition of alive

  1. :  having life :  not dead or inanimate

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up alive? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to criticize severely

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