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

But as lean mice became obese from a diet high in fat and sugar, these cells became less lively. Kelly Servick, Science | AAAS, "Sweet, fatty foods could remodel the brain to drive overeating," 27 June 2019 In general, the whole space feels much more lively. Frederick Melo, Twin Cities, "St. Paul spends $340,000 for playground renovation, but some parents not pleased," 17 June 2019 As time progressed, Panton’s interiors became more lively and raucous. Diana Budds, Curbed, "Inside the maximalist, kaleidoscopic interiors of Verner Panton," 4 Sep. 2018 After a lively warm-up, Lee’s students bust out three previously learned dances back to back. Sara Cagle, latimes.com, "Dance like you're in a BTS video? The K-pop workout that doesn't feel like work," 15 June 2019 The lively Parris converted past Lee Alexander, who had little chance when White scored the second on 40 minutes. Paul Gittings, CNN, "Cristiane: Brazil striker makes Women's World Cup history in win over Jamaica," 9 June 2019 Suddenly, Liverpool looked a lot more lively, and Henderson was making lung-busting runs to support attack and defence. SI.com, "Jordan Henderson: How the Former Scapegoat Became a Liverpool Legend," 4 June 2019 In the lively, hourlong hearing, the judges, from the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, pushed skeptically on the arguments of both sides. John Schwartz, New York Times, "Judges Give Both Sides a Grilling in Youth Climate Case Against the Government," 4 June 2019 Tina Kover’s translation from French is lively and complex, with Négar Djavadi’s rich, elegant sentences shining through. Constance Grady, Vox, "We read all 25 National Book Award finalists for 2018. Here’s what we thought.," 15 Nov. 2018

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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Statistics for lively

Last Updated

15 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for lively

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

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More Definitions for lively

lively

adjective

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

Comments on lively

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