live·​long | \ ˈliv-ˌlȯŋ \

Definition of livelong

: whole, entire the livelong day

Did You Know?

I've been workin' on the railroad, all the livelong day. So goes the American folk standard, and nowadays when we encounter the word livelong it is typically in the phrase "all the livelong day" or something similar. Although we don't see "livelong" much in prose anymore poets still love the word, possibly for its two distinct, alliterative syllables. Despite the resemblance, "livelong" does not mean the same thing as "lifelong" (as in "a lifelong friend"). In fact, the words are not closely related: the "live" in livelong derives from "lef," a Middle English word meaning "dear or beloved."

First Known Use of livelong

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for livelong

Middle English lef long, from lef dear + long — more at lief

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about livelong

Listen to Our Podcast about livelong

Statistics for livelong

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for livelong

The first known use of livelong was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for livelong


live·​long | \ ˈliv-ˌlȯng \

Kids Definition of livelong

: during all of We worked the livelong day.

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on livelong

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with livelong

Spanish Central: Translation of livelong

Nglish: Translation of livelong for Spanish Speakers

Comments on livelong

What made you want to look up livelong? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to express emotion in a dramatic way

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What did you just call me?! A Quiz

  • rows-of-various-emoji
  • If a member of the audience describes your speech as bombastic, does that person mean it is:
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!