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

Other Words from lively

livelily \ ˈlīv-​lə-​lē How to pronounce lively (audio) \ adverb
liveliness \ ˈlīv-​lē-​nəs How to pronounce lively (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.
Recent Examples on the Web The internet was lively with commentary last month after a communications professional shared the saga of getting two ceramic bowls stuck together. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, 8 July 2022 The Republican race for governor has been considerably more lively — full of name-calling, increasing disdain and sharper policy differences between the candidates. New York Times, 26 June 2022 Hour-plus until tip-off and the lower bowl is already quite lively. Nicole Yang, BostonGlobe.com, 11 June 2022 The vibe is lively, with no smoking or drinking allowed. Martine Thompson, Los Angeles Times, 2 June 2022 Earlier, streets were lively as residents picnicked on grassy patches and children rode bikes down carless roads. Brenda Goh, The Christian Science Monitor, 1 June 2022 My 18-month-old labrador, Bonnie, is extremely lively. Mark Robinson, Forbes, 13 May 2022 They're known to be lively, cuddly, and of course, brave as a lion. Jamie Ballard, Woman's Day, 3 May 2022 Careful farming, which is usually environmentally friendly, often produces wines that are more lively, energetic, expressive and downright delicious. Washington Post, 14 Apr. 2022 See More

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.

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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Dictionary Entries Near lively

livelong

lively

lively imagination

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Statistics for lively

Last Updated

4 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Lively.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/lively. Accessed 14 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for lively

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

More from Merriam-Webster on lively

Nglish: Translation of lively for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of lively for Arabic Speakers

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