liv·​en | \ ˈlī-vən How to pronounce liven (audio) \
livened; livening\ ˈlī-​və-​niŋ How to pronounce livening (audio) , 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

Plus, the trend may have been huge in the spring collections, but tangerine is actually great for right now, as a way to liven up fall outfits. Tara Gonzalez, Glamour, "Move Over, Neon Green—Tangerine Is the Next Big Color Trend, According to New York Fashion Week," 12 Sep. 2019 Tangy undertones livened up a soup with fish, tomatoes and greens. Mike Sutter,, "Review: Li’s Restaurant gives Chinese food fans a Sichuan fix in San Antonio’s Stone Oak," 5 Sep. 2019 An Elvis tribute artist and DJ playing 1950s and ’60s era music livened up Ramona American Graffiti Cruise’s first sock hop extravaganza. Ramona Sentinel, "Sock hop revelers dance alongside evening cruisers," 19 Aug. 2019 Play some board games Some friendly competition is a sure way to liven your event up. Jasmine Gomez, Seventeen, "21 Friendsgiving Activities That Will Up Your Party Game," 29 July 2019 The joy of drinking beer outside amongst friends is well documented, but a 24-year old entrepreneur and his partner have found a new way to liven up a celebrated drinking tradition. Fortune, "How This 24-Year-Old Entrepreneur Is Updating the Biergarten Experience with Street Art," 13 July 2019 There’s no real way to liven up the festivities, either. Jon Tayler,, "The Problem With the MLB Draft," 4 June 2019 For one thing, there’s very little wrestling at all until the fifth episode, when the performers decide (without consulting their befuddled producer, Bash—played by Chris Lowell) to switch roles at the last minute to liven things up. Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, "GLOW Goes Post-plot," 8 Aug. 2019 Italy’s bid was livened by two Olympic champions, downhill skier Sofia Goggia and snowboarder Michela Moioli, doing a dab gesture and talking of their hopes to compete on home snow in almost seven years’ time. Daniella Matar, The Denver Post, "Italy’s Milan-Cortina will host 2026 Winter Olympics," 24 June 2019

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

24 Sep 2019

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 How to pronounce liven (audio) \
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).


to wander slowly or to speak indistinctly

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