\ 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 nounthe 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 After failing to score runs in the series vs. New York, the Mariners bats came alive at Camden yards. Ryan Divish, The Seattle Times, "Marco Gonzales has another rough start as Mariners lose to Orioles," 28 Aug. 2017 An investigation into Savannah’s death reveals the teen’s final months alive were filled with abuse at the hands of her mother, court documents allege. Max Londberg, kansascity, "Allegations of hellish abuse in the Ozarks as mother is charged with slaying daughter," 23 Aug. 2017 Another two-year-old was found alive and unharmed, according to a law enforcement official familiar with the case. Paula Rogo,, "Maryland Man Charged With Killing Three Girls," 21 Aug. 2017 Only 317 were alive by the time a pilot on patrol spotted them by accident. Kristine Phillips, Washington Post, "‘We knew the ship was doomed’: USS Indianapolis survivor recalls four days in shark-filled sea," 20 Aug. 2017 The lake may be gone and Baby’s corner may be demolished, but the Mountain Lake Lodge in Virginia keeps the Dirty Dancing spirit alive every summer. Katie Calautti,, "At the Dirty Dancing Lodge, Fans Can Have the Time of Their Lives," 18 Aug. 2017 Within seconds, the insects were not moving, but still alive. Andrew Wagner, Science | AAAS, "Watch an insect expose its guts while still alive," 11 Aug. 2017 A group of socialites, the Tom Thumb Squares keep the traditional dance alive during two-hour classes on the first and third Fridays of the month, September through mid-June, at Hollifield Station Elementary School. Andrew Michaels, Howard County Times, "Square dancing keeps crowd swinging at Howard County Fair," 6 Aug. 2017 But keeping her in the dark means keeping your shame alive. Heather Havrilesky, The Cut, "Ask Polly: I’m Scared I’ll Destroy My Marriage!," 2 Aug. 2017

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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Cite this Entry

“Alive.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for alive


How to pronounce alive (audio)

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on alive

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for alive

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with alive

Spanish Central: Translation of alive

Nglish: Translation of alive for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of alive for Arabic Speakers

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