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


dynamo, fireball, pistol

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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 lines ignite fires after branches brush against them, or transmission poles snap, leaving live wires. Michael J. Coren, Quartz, "California’s wildfires may be the best thing to happen to home batteries," 7 June 2019 The electro-magnetic field around a live wire will cause this tool to beep and light up, showing the presence of AC voltage. Roy Berendsohn, Popular Mechanics, "The Smart Person's Guide To Avoiding Electrical Shock," 29 Apr. 2016 City Light released more details Thursday about a December 2016 inspection of all 26 poles that came crashing down amid a tangle of live wires along East Marginal Way in Tukwila about 4 p.m. April 5. Lewis Kamb, The Seattle Times, "City Light releases more details on poles that collapsed, but says it still doesn’t know why they toppled," 11 Apr. 2019 Random active lines of credit are dangerous live wires. Vogue, "The Smartest Money Resolutions You Can Make For 2019," 14 Dec. 2018 Now pull the switch forward and out of the box, and use the detector to search for other live wires. Roy Berendson, Popular Mechanics, "How to Wire a Light Switch," 17 Oct. 2018 As the events of this most recent meeting of the DNC showed, questions of race and identity are still very much a live wire in intra-party disagreement. Seth Masket, Vox, "Race is still the central dividing line in the Democratic Party," 26 Aug. 2018 An Ohio Department of Transportation driver was trapped in his plow truck after losing control and striking a utility pole in Geauga County, causing live wires to fall across the truck. Cliff Pinckard,, "Cleveland police urge residents to avoid travel because of weather," 2 Mar. 2018 When the crew tried to reset the battery system, one of the crew members sustained an electric shock from touching a live wire. Laura Yan, Popular Mechanics, "What Happens When a Mars Simulation Goes Awry?," 23 June 2018

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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Statistics for live wire

Last Updated

19 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for live wire

The first known use of live wire was in 1881

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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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with live wire

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for live wire

Spanish Central: Translation of live wire

Nglish: Translation of live wire for Spanish Speakers

Comments on live wire

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having a desire to acquire more things

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