\ 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

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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web Of the overall population sent to the death camps, 4 percent were alive by the end of the war. Cynthia Ozick, The Atlantic, 3 Aug. 2022 Naru, with the aid of her trusty and incredibly emotionally expressive dog, finally gets the chance to prove her warrior skills to her doubting tribe, or at least those members who are still alive. Frank Scheck, The Hollywood Reporter, 3 Aug. 2022 Except that Sam is alive, which sort of disproves her theory from the start. Peter Debruge, Variety, 3 Aug. 2022 However, when one fan replied to her frustrated thread asking whether that meant that the album itself had been thrown out, Petras reassured them that the project was still alive but stuck with her label. Stephen Daw, Billboard, 3 Aug. 2022 Hundreds were recruited from the vast Navajo Nation to serve with the U.S. Marine Corps during the war and only three are still alive today. Los Angeles Times, 2 Aug. 2022 Blues songs speak of the joy and suffering of being alive. Chris Wheatley, Longreads, 31 July 2022 There is real doubt among many that the American dream is alive. John Fund, National Review, 31 July 2022 Glossip seemed relieved to be alive but, understandably, wondered why. Ziva Branstetter, ProPublica, 29 July 2022 See More

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.

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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Dictionary Entries Near alive



alive and kicking

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Statistics for alive

Last Updated

9 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Alive.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for alive


\ 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

Nglish: Translation of alive for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of alive for Arabic Speakers


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