\ 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

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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 Identical twin sisters run away from their small Black community in the South and live very different lives. The California Independent Booksellers Alliance, Los Angeles Times, "Bestsellers List Sunday, Jan. 10, 2021," 6 Jan. 2021 In the 1930s, John Maynard Keynes famously predicted productivity gains would allow his grandchildren to live comfortably working 15 hours per week. Colette Shade, The New Republic, "Crying at Work Isn’t the Answer," 6 Jan. 2021 But a coming Covid-19 vaccine should enable fans to see their favorite pop stars and sports stars live again later in 2021 and into 2022, says Jim Golan, manager of William Blair Large Cap Growth Fund. Adam Shell, USA TODAY, "Disney, AutoZone and PayPal are among 21 stocks you should consider buying in 2021, stock experts say," 5 Jan. 2021 Today the world mourns the loss of a literary giant, but there is comfort in knowing Eric Jerome Dickey‘s words live on in his novels. Brande Victorian, Essence, "Our 10 Favorite Books By Eric Jerome Dickey," 5 Jan. 2021 Her parents, Sebastien and Meabh Quoirin, appeared solemn on the court proceedings live-stream as the decision was read. Reuters, CNN, "Irish teen's death ruled 'misadventure' by Malaysian court," 4 Jan. 2021 Whitmore’s family and friends had every expectation the active man would live to become a centenarian like his mother, who survived the Spanish flu in the early 1900s, now often compared to the COVID-19 pandemic. Tribune News Service, oregonlive, "Last survivor of 1958′s first ascent of El Capitan dies of COVID-19," 4 Jan. 2021 The more ancient communal, multigenerational living situation contrasts with the stereotypical American nuclear family in which parents and kids live apart from other relatives—although in reality, many variations exist in households today. Elizabeth Landau, Smithsonian Magazine, "How Much Did Grandmothers Influence Human Evolution?," 4 Jan. 2021 Mitchell, who declined to be interviewed, has also played up her residency in Stafford County, where the district’s more conservative voters live. Washington Post, "After fueling a blue tide, Democrats in changing Virginia suburb aim high for more influence," 4 Jan. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Fulton on March 13 became the first school district in metro Atlanta to stop live instruction as a way to slow the spread of COVID-19. Ben Brasch, ajc, "COVID-19 ‘surge’ forces all Fulton Schools classes online next week," 8 Jan. 2021 Follow our live blog for all the latest development on the pandemic. NBC News, "Warnock's projected win in Georgia brings Dems closer to Senate control," 6 Jan. 2021 With vaccines and federal relief funds on the way, Garza talks lingering uncertainties for the live music space in 2021. Steve Knopper, Billboard, "Event Designer Bobby Garza in Austin, in a Pandemic: Can't 'Flip a Switch' and Go Back to Normal," 6 Jan. 2021 When in man, the ball will more than likely be thrown outside and deep, but the LB core will have to stand up in coverage with Harris as a live receiving threat inside. cleveland, "Previewing the Ohio State-Alabama CFP Championship: Jimmies and Joes vs. X’s and O’s," 6 Jan. 2021 Our live video from just the first night of the protests was shared 36,000 times and viewed more than 1 million times., "Free Press stories a driver of change in Michigan," 27 Dec. 2020 Caputo began a medical leave in late September, shortly after accusing CDC staffers of sedition and making other unfounded claims about liberals in a live Facebook video on his personal page. Graham Kates, CBS News, "Inside the $250M effort to convince Americans the coronavirus vaccines are safe," 23 Dec. 2020 As Pfizer rolled out the first shipments of its vaccine this week, some Black nurses and doctors took the vaccine on live video this week to combat fears in the Black community. Nicquel Terry Ellis, CNN, "Morehouse dean takes vaccine on TV to remove the stigma as some Black Americans remain hesitant to get the shot," 18 Dec. 2020 In a second live video, Tittl called on those following the story to call the governor's office. Julia Musto, Fox News, "GOP lawmakers' second Christmas tree vanishes from Wisconsin Capitol," 17 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb The game kicks off at noon (1 p.m. ET) and will be live streamed on fuboTV, which offers a 7-day free trial. Mark Heim |, al, "Vikings vs. Lions live stream (1/3): How to watch NFL Week 17 online, TV, time," 3 Jan. 2021 The service will also be live streamed on Dale J. Sanders Ministries and Triumph Kingdom Builders Facebook & YouTube. Staff Report,, "Three churches collaborate to present evening of one-act plays," 23 Dec. 2020 To learn more about when and where to look up to see the conjunction, Throop will be live on NASA's website to answer questions on Thursday afternoon. Sophie Lewis, CBS News, "Jupiter and Saturn will come within 0.1 degrees of each other, forming the first visible "double planet" in 800 years," 21 Dec. 2020 Tri-Cities High School committed during private signing ceremonies that were live streamed. Matt Jones, Arkansas Online, "Hogs sign 23 in early period," 17 Dec. 2020 The meal feeds two for $85, and is available for delivery all over the Bay Area via Feastin, although the ordering page isn’t live yet. Janelle Bitker,, "26 Bay Area restaurants celebrating Christmas with takeout meals," 10 Dec. 2020 Sign ups will be live starting at 8 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 4. Andrea Romano, Travel + Leisure, "Friday Is National Cookie Day — and Pepperidge Farm Wants to Send You a Free Cookie Platter," 2 Dec. 2020 Anthropologie's Cyber Monday sale is live now, with 30% off almost all full-price items on its site, an extra 50% off sale items and free shipping on orders more than $50. Melissa Lee, USA TODAY, "Cyber Monday 2020: The best Anthropologie deals right now," 30 Nov. 2020 The site came online on Nov. 10 and will be live through Dec. 22. Eric Sondheimer Columnist, Los Angeles Times, "Rams create virtual combine for high school athletes to show their stuff to recruiters," 25 Nov. 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.

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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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Learn More about live

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

13 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Live.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Jan. 2021.

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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

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Comments on live

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