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

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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

Some on the right were livid that the brand endorsed someone who, to them, represents a lack of loyalty to American values. Sarah Banet-weiser, Vox, "Nike’s Kaepernick ad continues — and tweaks — the tradition of brands commodifying politics.," 7 Sep. 2018 Suddenly realizing his position—cash-short and egg-long—Jack became livid. Mike Kerrigan, WSJ, "Two Eggs, $5 and One Funny Yolk," 17 Aug. 2018 Democrats and some legal experts are livid over the role Trump has given to Leo and the Federalist Society, seeing it as a break with traditions designed to reduce the role of politics in selecting a justice. Noah Bierman,, "Trump's court appointments have been the smoothest part of his presidency — because he's had some help," 3 July 2018 Ethel, AKA Barb from Stranger Things, is livid with Veronica and her family for attempting to destroy Riverdale—particularly for ruining her dad's life. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Riverdale Season 2 Episode 16: Ethel Goes Full Mean Girls on Veronica," 22 Mar. 2018 The Trump Justice Department, livid with the inaccurate perception that California is not cooperating with federal immigration officials, has sued the state. Mary Sanchez, kansascity, "Send in the lawyers!," 9 Mar. 2018 Customers would be livid if an ordinary technology or car company charged customers for a new product or feature and then failed to deliver it for two years or more. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "Tesla pulled the “full self-driving” option—here’s what customers think," 25 Oct. 2018 And more on Fox: on Tuesday, the New York Times reported that Trump was livid that one of the TVs on Air Force One was turned not to Fox but to CNN. Lynn Yaeger, Vogue, "The Week in Washington: In Trump’s White House, It’s 1984," 29 July 2018 Yet the European members of the international accord, livid at Trump over his withdrawal, have yet to commit to that effort. Josh Lederman, Fox News, "US intensifies pressure on Iran, sanctioning central banker," 16 May 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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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
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

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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

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).


to take the place or position of

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