en·liv·en | \in-ˈlī-vən, en-\

Definition of enliven 

transitive verb

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

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Other Words from enliven

enlivenment \in-ˈlī-vən-mənt, 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.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Traditional cinematic editing devices — wipes, dissolves, cuts — are produced by the overlapping, moving shapes, further enlivening the geometric imagery. Christopher Knight, latimes.com, "Artist Olafur Eliasson built a 'Reality projector' of smashing beauty," 2 Mar. 2018 The opening swath is enormously enlivened by an eccentric party-thrower called Peter Charming, one of Gold’s mother’s beaus who becomes something of a paternal force for the young boy. William Giraldi, The Seattle Times, "Glen David Gold’s new memoir is ‘a soiree of heart-wreck wised up by humor’," 9 July 2018 His design studio consists of a cluster of buildings, some with vaulted roofs, that are enlivened by grassy terraces and reflecting ponds. Blair Kamin, chicagotribune.com, "In a first for Pritzker Prize, architecture award goes to an Indian architect: Balkrishna Doshi," 7 Mar. 2018 The asada was straightforward, enlivened by a squeeze of simple salsa. Alex Kiesig, idahostatesman, "'I love this city': Eat your way through the Capital City Public Market," 6 July 2018 Previous work at City Hall, part of an ongoing Rethink City Hall campaign to enliven the building, has included renovations to the third-floor lobby, City Hall’s main entrance. Milton J. Valencia, BostonGlobe.com, "Boston Winter is canceled amid plans to renovate City Hall Plaza," 3 July 2018 That opening vignette demonstrates Mr. Rhodes’s method—an easy canter through industrial history, enlivened by anecdote and unexpected detail. Charles R. Morris, WSJ, "‘Energy’ Review: The Path to Power," 21 June 2018 The color will enliven just about any pair of jeans, but to really take advantage of the concept of summertime boots, try wearing them with a white sundress. Indya Brown, The Cut, "These Fuchsia Boots Would Look Great With a Little White Sundress," 14 June 2018 Democrats, meanwhile, are emboldened, viewing the increasingly visible humanitarian consequences of the Trump administration's policies as an opening to broaden an assault on the President and enliven their own base voters. Stephen Collinson, CNN, "Impact of Trump's immigration vision comes into focus in Washington," 14 June 2018

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.

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First Known Use of enliven

1604, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for enliven

Last Updated

29 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for enliven

The first known use of enliven was in 1604

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More Definitions for enliven



English Language Learners Definition of enliven

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


en·liv·en | \in-ˈlī-vən \
enlivened; enlivening

Kids Definition of enliven

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on enliven

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for enliven

Spanish Central: Translation of enliven

Nglish: Translation of enliven for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of enliven for Arabic Speakers

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).


evasion of direct action or statement

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