live down


lived down; living down; lives down

transitive verb

: to live so as to wipe out the memory or effects of
made a mistake and couldn't live it down

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web The producers and editors did the building for them, giving each a type (naïf, himbo, rock god, firebrand), which the cast members then spent years trying to live up to — or live down. New York Times, 26 Mar. 2021 Over all, the film conveys the sense of a continent that derives its enduring self-image from the distant glories and enduring flame of Bach’s music, and also of the horrific history that Europeans looking to sustain that self-image must own up to and live down. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, 3 Nov. 2021 Michigan State won’t live down last week’s double-overtime home loss to Indiana for a long time. Carlos Monarrez, Detroit Free Press, 25 Nov. 2022 Harshly judgmental and coldly self-interested, Rachel—who is divorced from Tammy Faye’s father—bans the girl from the church in order to live down the local scandal that the divorce sparked. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, 24 Sep. 2021 Or consider this: Baseball is still trying to live down the scandal when the Houston Astros won the World Series thanks to an elaborate sign-stealing ploy. Joe Queenan, WSJ, 21 Apr. 2022 Old reputations die hard, and the other thing the school has spent a generation trying to live down is its University of Spoiled Children moniker. Ron Lieber, Town & Country, 23 Feb. 2021 This from a company that needed years to live down 2013 comments by its founder and former CEO that its products were not meant for larger women. Phil Wahba, Fortune, 28 Oct. 2020 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'live down.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1842, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of live down was in 1842

Dictionary Entries Near live down

Cite this Entry

“Live down.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Jun. 2023.

Kids Definition

live down

: to live so as to wipe out the memory of
live down a mistake
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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