: having life : not dead or inanimate
: still in existence, force, or operation : active
kept hope alive
: still active in competition with a chance of victory
must win to stay alive in the playoffs
: knowing or realizing the existence of something : sensitive
alive to the danger
: marked by alertness, energy, or briskness
his face came alive at the mention of food
: marked by much life, animation, or activity : swarming
streets alive with traffic
used as an intensive following the noun
the proudest boy 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.
Recent Examples on the Web In either case, the grass might look and feel dead, but the crown and roots are likely still alive. Megan Hughes, Better Homes & Gardens, 2 July 2024 My mom and dad are still alive; all of them are Mormon. Andy Greene, Rolling Stone, 2 July 2024 Youn believes his mother and sister may still be alive if the judge had required it. Meg Oliver, CBS News, 1 July 2024 Sentsov then mentioned that not all men who can be seem in Real are still alive and asked the world premiere audience to honor them and other victims of the war with a minute of silence before the screening started. Georg Szalai, The Hollywood Reporter, 30 June 2024 See all Example Sentences for alive 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'alive.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near alive

Cite this Entry

“Alive.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/alive. Accessed 14 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition


: having life : not dead
: still in existence, force, or operation : active
kept hope alive
: extremely aware or conscious : sensitive
alive to the beauty of life
: marked by much life or activity
blossoms alive with bees
aliveness noun

Medical Definition


: having life : not dead or inanimate

More from Merriam-Webster on alive

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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