liv·​id | \ ˈli-vəd How to pronounce livid (audio) \

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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from livid

lividness \ ˈli-​vəd-​nəs How to pronounce lividness (audio) \ 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 Rouhani was livid, according to officials close to him. Farnaz Fassihi,, "Anatomy of a lie: How Iran covered up the downing of an airliner," 26 Jan. 2020 But this week, marchers were livid when The Washington Post reported that the National Archives blurred anti-Trump signs from 2017’s march. Lydia Wang,, "From “Thank U, Next” To Tossing A Coin To Your Witcher, These Women’s March Signs Are Marvelous," 18 Jan. 2020 Indeed, not a few neocons were livid, claiming that Reagan was appeasing the Soviet Union. Jacob Heilbrunn, The New Republic, "The Neocons Strike Back," 23 Jan. 2020 Alston was livid, especially since the interaction with the officer would be noted in her child’s disciplinary file. Dasia Moore, Quartz, "Being a protective black mom isn’t a parenting choice—it’s the only choice," 20 Dec. 2019 The Republicans on the panel, blindsided by the move to Friday, were livid. Mary Clare Jalonick, Twin Cities, "House committee approves 2 Trump impeachment charges, setting up vote in full House," 13 Dec. 2019 The Republicans on the panel, blindsided by the move, were livid. Lisa Mascaro And Mary Clare Jalonick, Houston Chronicle, "House committee delays historic vote on Trump impeachment," 13 Dec. 2019 The tourist was livid that his wife, who walked without any assistance, wasn’t allowed to use the wheelchair line at the Magical Kingdom’s Monorail station. Gabrielle Russon,, "Disney World workers endure tourists who scream, punch and even grope them," 9 Sep. 2019 Health officials in New York were livid over the event. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "Measles cases hit 1,001 as anti-vaxxers hold another rally of disinformation," 6 June 2019

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about livid

Time Traveler for livid

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Listen to Our Podcast about livid

Statistics for livid

Last Updated

13 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Livid.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Feb. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for livid


How to pronounce livid (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of livid

: very angry
literary : having a dark purplish color


liv·​id | \ ˈli-vəd How to pronounce livid (audio) \

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 How to pronounce livid (audio) \

Medical Definition of livid

: discolored by bruising : black-and-blue

Keep scrolling for more

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

Comments on livid

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


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

February 2020 Words of the Day Quiz

  • squirrel in winter
  • Which is a synonym of probity?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

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!