\ ə-ˈlīv How to pronounce alive (audio) \

Definition of alive

1 : having life : not dead or inanimate
2a : still in existence, force, or operation : active kept hope alive
b : still active in competition with a chance of victory must win to stay alive in the playoffs
3 : knowing or realizing the existence of something : sensitive alive to the danger
4 : marked by alertness, energy, or briskness his face came alive at the mention of food
5 : marked by much life, animation, or activity : swarming streets alive with traffic
6 used as an intensive following the noun the proudest boy alive

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Other Words from alive

aliveness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for 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

Examples of alive in a Sentence

It feels great to be alive. The patient was barely alive. The sheriff was ordered to find the killer and bring him back alive. He managed to stay alive for a week without any food. The patient is being kept alive by artificial means. an old tradition that is still alive We need to keep hope alive. The team needs to win tonight in order to stay alive in the play-offs. I love to sail because it makes me feel so alive.
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Recent Examples on the Web That's longer than most high school freshmen have been alive. Steve Straessle, Arkansas Online, "Still waters," 1 May 2021 Still, Janey Peterson says there is a witness who helps prove Laci was alive after Scott left that morning. Jonathan Vigliotti, CBS News, "Will Scott Peterson, convicted of killing wife Laci and unborn child, get a new trial?," 1 May 2021 Scott Daspit still holds onto hope that his son Dylan is alive., "Determined volunteers still search for capsized ship missing," 1 May 2021 Scott Daspit still holds onto hope that his son Dylan is alive. Rebecca Santana, ajc, "Determined volunteers still search for capsized ship missing," 1 May 2021 In 2016, Reggie Jacques was alive for 96 days before dying after what doctors said was the result of a difficult birth in which his brain had gone too long without oxygen. Cristóbal Reyes,, "Candlelight vigil demands accountability for newborn who died at Winnie Palmer in April," 1 May 2021 The group’s second-ranking leader, Ayman Zawahiri, though suffering severe health problems, is still believed to be alive, hiding possibly in Afghanistan, while other leaders are said to be in Iran, according to the agency. Los Angeles Times, "U.S. troops are leaving Afghanistan, but Al Qaeda remains," 30 Apr. 2021 That cannot be done at the peril of people who are presently alive. Bill Mckibben, The New Yorker, "Bargaining with China Today to Save the World Tomorrow," 30 Apr. 2021 Scott Daspit still holds onto hope that his son Dylan is still alive. Star Tribune, "Determined volunteers still search for capsized ship missing," 30 Apr. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'alive.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of alive

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for alive

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

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Time Traveler for alive

Time Traveler

The first known use of alive was in the 13th century

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Statistics for alive

Last Updated

5 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Alive.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for alive



English Language Learners Definition of alive

: having life : living : not dead
: continuing to exist
: not yet defeated : still having a chance to win or succeed


\ ə-ˈlīv How to pronounce alive (audio) \

Kids Definition of alive

1 : having life : not dead
2 : still in force, existence, or operation The thought kept our hopes alive. They keep the old traditions alive.
3 : aware of the existence of He was alive to the danger.
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.


\ ə-ˈlīv How to pronounce alive (audio) \

Medical Definition of alive

: having life : not dead or inanimate

More from Merriam-Webster on alive

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for alive

Nglish: Translation of alive for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of alive for Arabic Speakers

Comments on alive

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