live wire


Definition of live wire

: an alert, active, or aggressive person

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Other Words from live wire

live-wire \ ˈlīv-​ˌwī(-​ə)r How to pronounce live-wire (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms for live wire


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Examples of live wire in a Sentence

She's a real live wire. the babysitter will have her hands full with those two little live wires
Recent Examples on the Web Power is cut to thousands of people, to avoid live wires going down in the Santa Ana winds. Dan Zak, Washington Post, "California will never stop burning," 4 Nov. 2019 Kaya Scodelario, who broke through as live wire Effy Stonem on British teen classic Skins, stars here as Kat Baker, a rough-around-the-edges young figure skater traumatized after sustaining a public and gruesome skull injury on the ice. Robyn Bahr, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Spinning Out': TV Review," 31 Dec. 2019 Again, stud detection went as expected, but the devices did only a slightly better job of finding the live wires. Bradley Ford, Popular Mechanics, "The Best Stud Finders for Any Job," 16 Sep. 2019 The inspection also shows some live wires near showers and water fountains. Jerry Mitchell, ProPublica, "Lawmakers Refused to Increase an Infamous Prison’s Funding. Then, Chaos Erupted.," 12 Jan. 2020 Winds can knock down live wires and power poles or drive trees and other vegetation into contact with them — and some of California’s most destructive blazes in recent years were started by PG&E power lines. San Diego Union-Tribune, "California faces historic power outage due to fire danger," 8 Oct. 2019 While Kruse's style was more wry and understated, Krone proved to be a live wire auctioneer. Pamela Chelin, Billboard, "Steely Dan's Walter Becker Estate Auction Fetches $3.3M on Hundreds of Guitars, Amps & More," 21 Oct. 2019 Officials asked people to stay out of the area for just under two hours because there were active, live wires down on the street. Lauren Hernández,, "San Francisco firefighters rescue two people from ‘fully involved’ house fire," 19 Nov. 2019 By contrast, Pacino (also in line with the current phase of his career) is a live wire—a preening, screaming ball of energy. David Sims, The Atlantic, "Martin Scorsese’s Epic Funeral for the Gangster Genre," 1 Nov. 2019

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

1881, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for live wire

Time Traveler

The first known use of live wire was in 1881

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Statistics for live wire

Last Updated

13 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Live wire.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for live wire

live wire


English Language Learners Definition of live wire

informal : a very lively and energetic person

live wire


Kids Definition of live wire

: an alert active person

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More from Merriam-Webster on live wire

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for live wire

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with live wire

Spanish Central: Translation of live wire

Nglish: Translation of live wire for Spanish Speakers

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