liv·id | \ˈli-vəd \

Definition of livid 

1 : discolored by bruising : black-and-blue the livid traces of the sharp scourges— Abraham Cowley

2 : ashen, pallid this cross, thy livid face, thy pierced hands and feet— Walt Whitman

3 : reddish a fan of gladiolas blushed livid under the electric letters— Truman Capote

4 : very angry : enraged was livid at his son's disobedience

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Other Words from livid

lividity \li-ˈvi-də-tē \ noun
lividness \ˈli-vəd-nəs \ noun

Did You Know?

Livid has a colorful history. The Latin adjective lividus means "dull, grayish, or leaden blue." From this came the French livide and eventually the English "livid," which was used to describe flesh discolored by a bruise when it was first recorded in the early 17th century. A slight extension of meaning gave it the sense "ashen or pallid," as used in describing a corpse. "Livid" eventually came to be used in this sense to characterize the complexion of a person pale with anger ("livid with rage"). From this meaning came two new senses in the 20th century. One was "reddish," as one is as likely to become red with anger as pale; the other was simply "angry" or "furious," the most common sense of the word today.

Examples of livid in a Sentence

the boss was livid when yet another deadline was missed her face was livid with fear

Recent Examples on the Web

With the teams all tied up and heading to extra time, Lucas Vasquez won a penalty after going down in the box, much to the distaste of Gigi Buffon, who was quite livid, earning himself a red card for shouting in referee Michael Oliver's face., "Ice Cold: What Cristiano Ronaldo Did Before Scoring the Match-Winning Penalty Against Juventus," 13 Apr. 2018 Ruth decides to open up about what happened with Tom Grant, and Sam is livid. Kathryn Lindsay,, "R29 Binge Club: Glow Season 2, Episodes 1-10," 29 June 2018 The comments sparked immediate objections from Democrats, who called them outrageous, and Strzok was livid. Author: Eric Tucker, Mary Clare Jalonick, Anchorage Daily News, "FBI agent clashes with GOP at hearing on Russia probe," 13 July 2018 Businesses are livid; unions have offered mild praise. The Economist, "Italy’s government proposes to limit fixed-term job contracts," 6 July 2018 Argentina fans have been livid over the performances of the national team in this tournament, with much of the wrath directed at Messi. Jenna Fryer, The Seattle Times, "Messi’s World Cup career could end with loss to Nigeria," 25 June 2018 When the news emerged that Equifax had succumbed to a colossal data breach from mid-May through July of last year, consumers were livid—in part because the ransacking was entirely preventable. Robert Hackett, Fortune, "Thousands of Companies Are Still Downloading the Vulnerability That Wrecked Equifax," 7 May 2018 Masculine, aggressive, insecure, emotional, livid father to Mallory and husband to Karen. Kirby Adams, The Courier-Journal, "Movie roles up for grabs as film company says 'action' in Louisville," 10 July 2018 Koldo Leoz, mayor of Estella is livid about the amateur restoration. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Restorationist Botches 16th-Century Spanish Statue of Saint," 28 June 2018

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for livid

French livide, from Latin lividus, from livēre to be blue; akin to Welsh lliw color and probably to Russian sliva plum

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Statistics for livid

Last Updated

28 Aug 2018

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Time Traveler for livid

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

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More Definitions for livid



English Language Learners Definition of livid

: very angry

: having a dark purplish color


liv·id | \ˈli-vəd \

Kids Definition of livid

1 : very angry

2 : pale as ashes Her face was livid with fear.

3 : discolored by bruising His cheek was livid.


liv·id | \ˈliv-əd \

Medical Definition of livid 

: discolored by bruising : black-and-blue

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More from Merriam-Webster on livid

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for livid

Spanish Central: Translation of livid

Nglish: Translation of livid for Spanish Speakers

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