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

Definition of enliven

transitive verb

: to give life, action, or spirit to : animate fresh flowers enliven the room

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from enliven

enlivenment \ in-​ˈlī-​vən-​mənt How to pronounce enlivenment (audio) , en-​ \ 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

Examples of enliven in a Sentence

He enlivened his speech with a few jokes. a soup enlivened by chili peppers A few touches of color will enliven the room.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web The story loses its momentum and clarity toward the end, but that’s all right too, since so many interesting discussions and strong performances enliven the journey. Joe Morgenstern, WSJ, "‘Enola Holmes’ Review: Detecting a Novel Heroine," 24 Sep. 2020 Use one to set off a small area or several to enliven an entire wall. Christina Vercelletto, CNN Underscored, "25 temporary hacks for sprucing up a rental apartment," 24 Sep. 2020 Bring the outdoors in Whether a small herb garden on the windowsill or a potted pythos on open shelving, greenery is a great way to enliven your kitchen space, says Valeris. Brigitt Earley, Good Housekeeping, "7 Steps To An Organized, Good-Looking Kitchen," 22 Sep. 2020 By the same token, metallic highlights in furnishings and fixtures enliven a monochromatic or boldly hued space. Missy Wilkinson, NOLA.com, "Bold interior paint colors are back, offering vibrancy to indoor life that neutrals can't provide," 17 Sep. 2020 Regardless of the whys, South Florida’s ever-changing urban landscape retains places for functioning monuments to our past that continue to enliven our present. Ron Hurtibise, sun-sentinel.com, "Vintage South Florida businesses endure despite changing times," 28 Aug. 2020 Playful wall graphics by David Salkin further enliven the student floors. Blair Kamin, chicagotribune.com, "Column: Mies van der Rohe’s workhorse tower gets a vibrant remake as a dorm at Chicago’s Illinois Institute of Technology," 11 Aug. 2020 The improvements, if brought to fruition, would vastly enliven the waterways that cross the Salt River Valley so bald and alike. Longreads, "The Ancient Waterways of Phoenix, Arizona," 10 Aug. 2020 Bill Davidson was a Confederate enlisted man whose pithy remarks and hijinks, culled from his autobiography, enliven the text. Sandra Dallas, The Denver Post, "Three regional books to keep you occupied while homebound during the coronavirus outbreak," 20 Mar. 2020

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.

See More

First Known Use of enliven

1604, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about enliven

Time Traveler for enliven

Time Traveler

The first known use of enliven was in 1604

See more words from the same year

Statistics for enliven

Last Updated

28 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Enliven.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/enliven. Accessed 21 Oct. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for enliven


How to pronounce enliven (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of enliven

: to make (something) more interesting, lively, or enjoyable


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

Kids Definition of enliven

: to put life or spirit into Games enlivened the party.

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on enliven

What made you want to look up enliven? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!