lively

adjective
live·​ly | \ ˈlīv-lē How to pronounce lively (audio) \
livelier; liveliest

Definition of lively

1 : briskly alert and energetic : vigorous, animated a lively discussion lively children racing for home
2 : active, intense takes a lively interest in politics
3 : full of life, movement, or incident lively streets at carnival time
4 : brilliant, fresh a lively wit
5 : imparting spirit or vivacity : stimulating many a peer of England brews livelier liquor than the Muse— A. E. Housman
6 : quick to rebound : resilient a lively ball
7 : responding readily to the helm a lively boat
8 obsolete : living

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Other Words from lively

livelily \ ˈlīv-​lə-​lē How to pronounce livelily (audio) \ adverb
liveliness \ ˈlīv-​lē-​nəs How to pronounce liveliness (audio) \ noun
lively adverb

Choose the Right Synonym for lively

lively, animated, vivacious, sprightly, gay mean keenly alive and spirited. lively suggests briskness, alertness, or energy. a lively debate on the issues animated applies to what is spirited and active. an animated discussion of current events vivacious suggests an activeness of gesture and wit, often playful or alluring. a vivacious party host sprightly suggests lightness and spirited vigor of manner or wit. a tuneful, sprightly musical gay stresses complete freedom from care and overflowing spirits. the gay spirit of Paris in the 1920s

Examples of lively in a Sentence

a very lively writing style The book is lively and well written. They had a lively debate. A lively atmosphere keeps people coming back to the café.
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Recent Examples on the Web The eastern European nation is using a platform run by Alibaba to tout its ancient monasteries, mountain resorts and lively nightlife in the capital, Belgrade. Misha Savic, Bloomberg.com, "Chinese Tourists Lured to Save Summer in Beijing’s European Ally," 13 May 2020 In the summer, the water is coolest at dawn, which usually makes for livelier fish. Morgan Lyle, Field & Stream, "10 Things to Know Before Your First Season of Flyfishing," 11 May 2020 Collected below are historical photos of how Ramadan has been celebrated in different countries over the years, capturing the lively gatherings in homes, markets, and mosques that Muslims will not be able to experience under lockdown this year. Arsh Raziuddin And Nesima Aberra, The Atlantic, "Celebrating Ramadan Before the Pandemic," 4 May 2020 The playful shapes and varied textures perfectly complement the car's lively feel. Michael Jordan, Car and Driver, "Tested: 1982 Maserati Quattroporte," 21 Apr. 2020 Younger generations like millennials were looking for more lively areas with access to restaurants and the ability to walk to work in areas like Buffalo, New York, Cleveland and Charlotte. Jessica Menton, USA TODAY, "Get me out of here! Americans flee crowded cities amid COVID-19, consider permanent moves," 1 May 2020 Nearly 4,000 restaurants pack San Francisco — but when the shelter-in-place order went into effect, many of the normally lively eateries went dark. Taylor Kate Brown, SFChronicle.com, "Bay Briefing: What’s open in the Bay Area starting Monday," 1 May 2020 Humboldt visited the United States for six weeks in 1804, engaging in a lively exchange of ideas with such figures as Thomas Jefferson and the painter Charles Willson Peale. Alicia Ault, Smithsonian Magazine, "This Mastodon is a Centerpiece of an Art Exhibition. Why?," 1 May 2020 Playing with Jimmy's dual role as both an ally and antagonist, the screenplay keeps its action lively while doing the bare minimum to convince us there's a spark worth nurturing between James and Courtney. John Defore, The Hollywood Reporter, "'James vs. His Future Self': Film Review," 30 Apr. 2020

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

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 8

History and Etymology for lively

Middle English, from Old English līflīc, from līf life

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Time Traveler for lively

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for lively

Last Updated

19 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Lively.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/lively. Accessed 26 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for lively

lively

adjective
How to pronounce lively (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of lively

: very active and energetic
: full of energy, excitement, or feeling
: full of movement or activity

lively

adjective
live·​ly | \ ˈlīv-lē How to pronounce lively (audio) \
livelier; liveliest

Kids Definition of lively

1 : full of life : active a lively puppy
2 : showing or resulting from active thought a lively imagination
3 : full of spirit or feeling : animated lively music

Other Words from lively

liveliness noun

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More from Merriam-Webster on lively

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for lively

Spanish Central: Translation of lively

Nglish: Translation of lively for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of lively for Arabic Speakers

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