en·​liv·​en in-ˈlī-vən How to pronounce enliven (audio)
enlivened; enlivening; enlivens

transitive verb

: to give life, action, or spirit to : animate
fresh flowers enliven the room
enlivenment noun
plural enlivenments
But for the formation of opinion, for the stirring and enlivenment of thought, and for the discernment of colour and proportion, the gifts of travel … are priceless Winston Churchill
Choose the Right Synonym for enliven

quicken, animate, enliven, vivify mean to make alive or lively.

quicken stresses a sudden renewal of life or activity especially in something inert.

the arrival of spring quickens the earth

animate emphasizes the imparting of motion or vitality to what is or might be mechanical or artificial.

happiness animated his conversation

enliven suggests a stimulus that arouses from dullness or torpidity.

enlivened her lectures with humorous anecdotes

vivify implies a freshening or energizing through renewal of vitality.

new blood needed to vivify the dying club

Example Sentences

He enlivened his speech with a few jokes. a soup enlivened by chili peppers A few touches of color will enliven the room.
Recent Examples on the Web Rather than trading on double entendres and other devices that enliven children’s stories for the parent reading at the bedside, DiCamillo recovers a child’s sense of magic for adult readers—one that isn’t displaced into a realm of fantasy. Christopher Beha, Harper’s Magazine , 6 Dec. 2022 Still, to create an impression of an open society, Qatar has sought to enliven sleepy Doha's nightlife with multiple giant electronic music festivals. The Week Staff, The Week, 27 Nov. 2022 This loose structure gives the artist room to flex her ambition: Indian percussion and Bollywood references enliven her effervescent R&B, while the ethereal vision conceals sharp songwriting. Spin Staff, SPIN, 26 Dec. 2022 The scent of citrus and eucalyptus will enliven you and your guests. Deanna Kizis, Sunset Magazine, 1 Dec. 2022 With notes of brut champagne, vanilla, and oak, this lovely candle will enliven the room, even if the bubbles aren't flowing. Olivia Hosken, Town & Country, 5 Oct. 2022 The eye-catching color complements nearly all holiday palettes, lending a funky feel that will enliven the festivities. Anna Fixsen, ELLE Decor, 6 Dec. 2022 That trusty, goopy red condiment that might enliven an otherwise bland and soggy onion ring? Rachel Khong, San Francisco Chronicle, 18 Oct. 2022 This version is more musical than others and the songs, including several beloved Christmas carols, enliven the proceedings and add to the festive spirit of the show. Joey Morona, cleveland, 28 Nov. 2022 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

1604, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of enliven was in 1604

Dictionary Entries Near enliven

Cite this Entry

“Enliven.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/enliven. Accessed 1 Feb. 2023.

Kids Definition


en·​liv·​en in-ˈlī-vən How to pronounce enliven (audio)
: to give life, action, or spirit to : animate
enliven the party with dance music

More from Merriam-Webster on enliven

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