liv·​en | \ˈlī-vən \
livened; livening\ˈlī-​və-​niŋ, ˈlīv-​niŋ \

Definition of liven 

transitive verb

: enliven often used with up he … livened up the editorial pageCurrent Biography

Examples of liven in a Sentence

He played some music to liven the atmosphere.

Recent Examples on the Web

Some fun and easy questions can help liven up the conversation. Tamara Fuentes, Seventeen, "30 Best Questions To Ask Your Crush on a First Date," 19 Oct. 2018 One-off details can also liven up otherwise basic staples, such as a plastic chain snaking up a pant leg or a simple white one-piece with a side cut-out. Alice Bell, Vogue, "It’s Leo Season! Shop 5 Extra Looks for the End of Summer," 2 Aug. 2018 Hometown Trolley builds trolleys for limousine companies, tour group companies and municipalities wanting to liven up things for their downtown commuters throughout the U.S., Canada and South America. Paul Srubas, USA TODAY, "Hometown Trolley business helped single mom keep life on track," 8 June 2018 Today, the 1,000-square-foot-store sparkles with bright white walls and floors, a striking contrast to the hits of color that liven up the space. Gail Goldberg,, "Intentionally Blank steps it up with new Mission store," 21 June 2018 The interior of the home is raw and clean, with the concrete walls accented sparingly with wooden shelving units, leaving plenty of space for greenery to liven up the clean gray palette. Alex Bazeley, Curbed, "Recycled concrete and brick home has zero carbon footprint," 9 July 2018 Set Up a DIY Gourmet S'more Station As the sun goes down and temperatures drop, gather your company around an outdoor fireplace or fire pit livened up with a colorful outdoor rug underfoot and plush floor pillows for extra seating. ELLE Decor, "Now *This* Is How You Throw a Grown-Up Pool Party," 6 July 2018 Here are more than a dozen unusual job listings this month at Orlando’s three major theme parks — Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando and SeaWorld Orlando — that could liven up your work day. Bill Zimmerman,, "Orlando jobs at theme parks can be fun, strange or both," 18 June 2018 Rangers started slowly in the second period before the introduction of Liverpool loanee Ovie Ejaria livened things up, but Josh Windass headed over when unmarked. Afp,, "Gerards earns a win in his Rangers managerial debut," 12 July 2018

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

circa 1628, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

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Statistics for liven

Last Updated

19 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for liven

The first known use of liven was circa 1628

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More Definitions for liven



English Language Learners Definition of liven

: to make (something) more lively, interesting, or exciting

: to become more lively, interesting, or exciting


liv·​en | \ˈlī-vən \
livened; livening

Kids Definition of liven

: to make or become lively

Hint: Liven is often used with up. He knows how to liven up a meeting.

More from Merriam-Webster on liven

Spanish Central: Translation of liven

Nglish: Translation of liven for Spanish Speakers

Comments on liven

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


living or existing for a long time

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