\ ˈliv How to pronounce live (audio) \
lived; living

Definition of live

 (Entry 1 of 3)

intransitive verb

1 : to be alive : have the life of an animal or plant one of the greatest writers who ever lived
2 : to continue alive lived to a ripe and vigorous old age
3 : to maintain oneself : subsist lived on rice and peas
4a : to occupy a home : dwell living in a shabby room they had always lived in the country
b : to be located or stored the silverware lives here
5 : to attain eternal life though he die, yet shall he live — John 11:25 (Revised Standard Version)
6 : to conduct or pass one's life lived only for his work
7 : to remain in human memory or record the past lives in us all— W. R. Inge
8 : to have a life rich in experience the boy who is mentally alert lives more in a day than a dull boy does in a monthBoy Scout Handbook
9 : cohabit She lived with that actor for over a year.

transitive verb

1 : to pass through or spend the duration of lived their lives alone
2 : act out, practice often used with outto live out their fantasies
3 : to exhibit vigor, gusto, or enthusiasm in lived life to the fullest
4a : to experience firsthand living a dream
b : to be thoroughly absorbed by or involved with she lives her work
live it up
: to live with gusto and usually fast and loose lived it up with wine and songNewsweek
live up to
: to act or be in accordance with had no intention of living up to his promise
live with
: to put up with : accept, tolerate had to live with their decision
\ ˈlīv How to pronounce live (audio) \

Definition of live (Entry 2 of 3)

1a : having life : living a live lobster
b : existing in fact or reality : actual spoke to a real live celebrity
2 : exerting force or containing energy: such as
a : afire, glowing live coals
b : connected to electric power
c : charged with explosives and containing shot or a bullet live ammunition also : armed but not exploded a live bomb
d : imparting or driven by power a live axle
e : being in operation a live microphone
3 : abounding with life : vivid
4 : being in a pure native state
5 : of bright vivid color
6 : of continuing or current interest live issues
7a : not yet printed from or plated live type
b : not yet typeset live copy
8a : of or involving a presentation (such as a play or concert) in which both the performers and an audience are physically present a live record album a nightclub with live entertainment
b : broadcast directly at the time of production a live radio program
9 : being in play a live ball


\ ˈlīv How to pronounce live (audio) \

Definition of live (Entry 3 of 3)

: at the actual time of occurrence : during, from, or at a live production the program was broadcast live

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of live in a Sentence

Verb We learned about the people who lived during colonial times. I wonder what it was like to live then. She's one of the greatest writers who ever lived. It was one of the largest animals that has ever lived. He lived to the age of 92. He's very sick and he may not live much longer. I hope I live to see the day when you admit you've been wrong about me! I'll remember that day for as long as I live. He lives next door to his parents. We lived in the city. Adjective They object to the use of live animals in scientific experiments. a nightclub with live music She was nervous about being interviewed on live radio. The network is providing live coverage of the debate. Use caution when you are working near live electrical wires. Adverb The program was shown live. We are broadcasting live from downtown. Here he is—live in concert! The album was recorded live.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Well, maybe not inevitable…as those of us who lived through the 1987 market crash know. David Meyer, Fortune, "This is no temporary market decline," 10 Mar. 2020 Belle makes the best of her imprisonment with the help of some magical friends who also live at the castle. Kori Williams, Seventeen, "45 Best Romantic Movies to Watch on Your Next Girl's Night," 5 Mar. 2020 The first patient in Senegal is a French national who has lived with his wife and two children in Senegal for more than two years. Ciku Kimeria, Quartz Africa, "Two French nationals have tested positive for coronavirus in Senegal," 4 Mar. 2020 Though Ed passed away in the 1990s, Nancy lived and continued to work until just last year. Brett Berk, Car and Driver, "Wreath, Crest, and Gavel," 4 Mar. 2020 So many people live on take-out and delivery, but what if that all stopped? Tim Macwelch, Outdoor Life, "Common Sense Ways to Prepare for the Coronavirus Outbreak in America," 3 Mar. 2020 Take Ms Sun, who lives with her son and husband in the eastern city of Hangzhou. The Economist, "Code red To curb covid-19, China is using its high-tech surveillance tools," 29 Feb. 2020 In the San Francisco Bay Area, for example, Oakland has a lively First Friday event every month that finds Uptown galleries open late with lots of food trucks and live music in the streets. Nicole Clausing, Sunset Magazine, "How to Build an Affordable Art Collection," 28 Feb. 2020 Maybe, most importantly, experts say clinicians have to overcome their fear of not knowing with certainty who may live or die. USA Today, "We tell suicidal people to go to therapy. So why are therapists rarely trained in suicide?," 27 Feb. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The Sonoma Winemaker’s association has assembled this live-updating guide to discounts and virtual tastings in their region. Matt Bean, Sunset Magazine, "Virtual Tastings, Free Shipping, and More: Your Guide to the Wine World During Quarantine," 25 Mar. 2020 After hosting live music acts through Facebook streaming, Tin Roof will host a virtual trivia night Wednesday at 7 p.m. through Facebook Live. Luann Gibbs,, "Coronavirus in Ohio: Kindness - window visits, true hospitality, UC relief funds," 25 Mar. 2020 Check The Houston Chronicle's live coverage and individual airline websites for the latest information. Staff Writers, Houston Chronicle, "Coronavirus hits Houston: What you need to know for March 25," 25 Mar. 2020 The door is locked, leaving me with a live grenade and nowhere to toss it. Matthew Gault, Time, "I Finished Half-Life: Alyx in 12 Hours and Can't Stop Thinking About It," 23 Mar. 2020 Additionally, says Martello, there are more and more free, live-streamed kid-friendly classes and activities popping up, from painting to yoga, story-time, and more. Hadley Mendelsohn, House Beautiful, "How to Optimize Your Space (and Prepare Your Kids) for Home-Schooling," 23 Mar. 2020 The power of Skype and the peril of using it for live interviews from home were memorialized in March 2017 by political analyst Robert Kelly. Peter Funt, WSJ, "Celebrities Skype Away Coronavirus Blues," 22 Mar. 2020 But the mere detection of these RNA strands is not the same as finding a live virus. Douglas Main, National Geographic, "Blood and organ donations shrink amid coronavirus fears," 20 Mar. 2020 However, requesting a live-in situation isn't always a request, and also may not be welcome on the part of the employee. Beth Landman, The Hollywood Reporter, "Coronavirus and the Ultra Wealthy: Yacht Staffing, Live-In Doctor Requests and the New Rules of Support Staff," 20 Mar. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb How quickly the feature is pushed live to other vehicles with the FSD option is unknown. Roberto Baldwin, Car and Driver, "Video Shows Tesla Autopilot Stopping a Model 3 at a Stoplight," 27 Mar. 2020 Zoo officials are planning to move the birthday parties to Facebook live, so the public could at least celebrate remotely. Melissa Fletcher Stoeltje,, "The New Normal: Cash to provide relief from COVID-19 is on the way!," 26 Mar. 2020 This year marks the first time the Rock Hall event will be televised live. Gary Dinges, USA TODAY, "New dates for Coachella, Rock Hall induction and other music events that rescheduled due to coronavirus," 26 Mar. 2020 The boxer Tyson Fury’s live-streamed workout with his wife, Paris, was repeatedly crashed by twirling, jumping and dancing children. Victor Mather, New York Times, "On the Schedule: Chess, Horse Racing and Children Lifting," 25 Mar. 2020 It was designed for people to stream themselves playing various games, so as a platform Twitch kind of more comparable to going live on Instagram or watching a Youtube channel. Leah Marilla Thomas,, "How To Use Twitch To Stay Connected During Quarantine," 25 Mar. 2020 North Shore Public Library hosts a live-streamed story time straight from children librarian's Miss Lizzy's dining room table. Amy Schwabe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Coronavirus has closed Milwaukee venues, but places like the zoo and the art museum have gone virtual," 24 Mar. 2020 California's famed Monterey Bay Aquarium is offering online viewers around the world a chance to visit their facility without making the physical trip via 10 live webcams of animals from sea otters to jellyfish. Fox News, "Amid COVID-19 outbreak, Monterey Bay Aquarium, others offer live experiences from the comfort of home," 23 Mar. 2020 Several school newspapers had started running live blogs about the virus’s implications on students and faculty. Brittany Shammas,, "Their college year upended, Gen Z journalists keep breaking news on coronavirus (some from home)," 21 Mar. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'live.' 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 live


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1


1531, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1946, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for live


Middle English, from Old English libban; akin to Old High German lebēn to live


short for alive

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about live

Time Traveler for live

Time Traveler

The first known use of live was before the 12th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for live

Last Updated

13 Mar 2020

Cite this Entry

“Live.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Mar. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for live


How to pronounce live (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of live

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: to be alive
: to continue to be alive
: to have a home in a specified place
How to pronounce live (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of live (Entry 2 of 3)

: having life : living or alive
informal : not imaginary : actually existing
: done in front of an audience : of or involving a play, concert, etc., that is performed in front of people


How to pronounce live (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of live (Entry 3 of 3)

: during, from, or at the actual time that something (such as a performance or event) happens


\ ˈliv How to pronounce live (audio) \
lived; living

Kids Definition of live

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to be alive Dinosaurs lived long ago.
2 : to continue in life My grandmother lived to the age of 98.
3 : dwell sense 1 They live in Indiana.
4 : to spend life Let them live in peace.
live it up
: to live with great enthusiasm and excitement
live up to
: to be good enough to satisfy expectations
\ ˈlīv How to pronounce live (audio) \

Kids Definition of live (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : having life : alive If the public gets to know we've got a live dinosaur here, they'd be swarming all over the place …— Oliver Butterworth, The Enormous Egg
2 : broadcast at the time of production a live television program
3 : charged with an electric current a live wire
4 : burning usually without flame live coals
5 : not exploded a live bomb
\ ˈliv How to pronounce live (audio) \
lived; living

Medical Definition of live

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to be alive : have the life of an animal or plant
2 : to continue alive lived for 50 years
3 : to maintain oneself lives on a vegetarian diet
4 : to conduct or pass one's life a parasite living in the body of a host
\ ˈlīv How to pronounce live (audio) \

Medical Definition of live (Entry 2 of 2)

: having life : living

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on live

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for live

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with live

Spanish Central: Translation of live

Nglish: Translation of live for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of live for Arabic Speakers

Comments on live

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


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

March 2020 Words of the Day Quiz

  • field of crocuses
  • Which is a synonym of rectitudinous?
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!