\ 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 out to 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

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Clearly, many people can’t afford to live here any longer because of high housing costs, a shortage of good, middle-class jobs and long commutes. George Skelton, Los Angeles Times, "Column: California’s sluggish population growth has lost us a congressional seat. That should concern us," 29 Apr. 2021 Along with proofreading, interior decorating—the advanced kind, with color swatches—and the all-around uncanny ability to live a lifestyle several rungs above her income by extensively planning. Seija Rankin,, "Sure I'll Be Your Black Friend," 29 Apr. 2021 Biden said that over 90% of Americans now live within 5 miles of a vaccination site. Rebecca Morin, USA TODAY, "Police reform, banning assault weapons, looking beyond COVID-19: Takeaways from Joe Biden's address to Congress," 29 Apr. 2021 Maybe things will perk up if Allie gets to live out his casino-robbing dreams. Alan Sepinwall, Rolling Stone, "‘The Mosquito Coast’: Justin Theroux Heads South of the Border," 29 Apr. 2021 The core module is the section of the station where astronauts will live for up to six months at a time. NBC News, "China launches main part of its first permanent space station," 29 Apr. 2021 Plenty of Cincinnatians know this to be true, because folks live it every day. Hannah K. Sparling, The Enquirer, "Issue 3: Will Cincinnati voters demand the city spend $50 million a year on affordable housing?," 28 Apr. 2021 Data from multiple astronomical observations, along with video recorded of the fireball, helped researchers determine the meteorites had fallen in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, where wildlife like leopards and lions live. Ashley Strickland, CNN, "These meteorites landed on Earth after a 22-million-year voyage," 28 Apr. 2021 More people of color tended to live nearby, and so were more exposed. New York Times, "People of Color Breathe More Hazardous Air. The Sources Are Everywhere.," 28 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Then, of course, was an actual live draft with players and fans on hand. Barry Wilner, ajc, "NFL draft: No suspense as 3 QBs dominate early picks," 30 Apr. 2021 As the release of their collaborative album The Marfa Tapes draws near, the trio of Miranda Lambert, Jack Ingram, and Jon Randall are popping up with live appearances. Jon Freeman, Rolling Stone, "Miranda Lambert, Jon Randall, and Jack Ingram Announce ‘Marfa Tapes’ Documentary," 29 Apr. 2021 The average American spent three hours and 43 minutes every day watching live TV in the first quarter of 2020, according to Nielsen. Arthur C. Brooks, The Atlantic, "Stop Spending Time on Things You Hate," 29 Apr. 2021 Welcome to the 2021 NFL draft, three days full of celebrations, overreactions, debates, wrong predictions and much more. Follow along for live updates and a draft tracker below. Marlowe Alter, Detroit Free Press, "How to watch 2021 NFL draft Round 1: Time, TV, draft order, pick tracker," 29 Apr. 2021 The party will also feature a live stage show with analysis from Dolphins analysts and conversations with current players, alumni and special guests. Kenny Rosarion,, "Here’s what you need to know about the Miami Dolphins and 2021 NFL draft," 29 Apr. 2021 After more than a year of not playing for live audiences, the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra will perform a spring series for in-person audiences at Hilbert Circle Theatre. Domenica Bongiovanni, The Indianapolis Star, "Indianapolis Symphony returns to in-person performances at Hilbert Circle Theatre," 29 Apr. 2021 Captain Mike Walker continues to catch some giants over 20 pounds on live shad slow-trolled or drifted deep; Frank Sargeant, al, "Alabama Friday fishing report," 29 Apr. 2021 The president made his first joint address to Congress Wednesday night, and Colbert’s live monologue gave him the edge (and the clips) to break it down for us. Bethy Squires, Vulture, "Watch Stephen Colbert’s Live Post-Biden Speech Monologue," 29 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb The Wednesday Evening Book Discussion has gone virtual and will be live on Zoom at 7 p.m. on the 3rd Wednesday of each month. Shirley Macfarland, cleveland, "Huntington National Bank gift help kids enjoy the outdoors: Strong Points," 29 Apr. 2021 Thursday, the education reporters, along with columnist Sandy Banks, will be live on YouTube, Twitter and Facebook to answer your questions about their work, their recent coverage of school reopenings and disparities in online learning. Los Angeles Times, "How can parents navigate school reopenings? Ask L.A. Times reporters," 27 Apr. 2021 The White House said a total of 40 world leaders were invited to the conference, which will be live streamed to the public. Melissa Mahtani, CNN, "Biden hosts global climate change summit on Earth Day," 22 Apr. 2021 For now, the tech is live at just one Whole Foods store — the location on Madison and Broadway in Seattle. Washington Post, "Amazon brings its palm-scanning payment tech to Whole Foods," 21 Apr. 2021 For a band like Blackberry Smoke that’s carved out a good career and fan base, a lot of that’s from playing live. Matt Wake |, al, "Blackberry Smoke: The best current Southern-rock band in the land," 15 Apr. 2021 The sale is live starting today and lasting up until April 26 — which gives you plenty of time to shop to your desire out. Karina Hoshikawa,, "This Up-To-50%-Off Lovehoney Sale Is Hot, Hot, HOT," 14 Apr. 2021 Starting Friday, April 9th at 9 am EST, the NFT will be minted and available for viewing at, and the auction will be live on Tuesday, April 13th at 9 am EST for 24hrs. Roxanne Robinson, Forbes, "NFT Digital Art Form Captures Kate Moss, Model And Icon," 9 Apr. 2021 Patience, which polished its sound and refined its hooks to outstanding results, so it’s no surprise the band has been playing the song live since 2019, shortly after releasing Patience. Justin Curto, Vulture, "The Best Songs of 2021 (So Far)," 8 Apr. 2021

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.

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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

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Time Traveler for live

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for live

Last Updated

1 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Live.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for live



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



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



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

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More from Merriam-Webster on live

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for live

Nglish: Translation of live for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of live for Arabic Speakers

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