livid

adjective

liv·​id ˈli-vəd How to pronounce livid (audio)
1
: discolored by bruising : black-and-blue
the livid traces of the sharp scourgesAbraham Cowley
2
: ashen, pallid
this cross, thy livid face, thy pierced hands and feetWalt Whitman
3
: reddish
a fan of gladiolas blushed livid under the electric lettersTruman Capote
4
: very angry : enraged
was livid at his son's disobedience
lividness 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, which English borrowed as livid. The word can describe flesh discolored by a bruise or an appearance deficient in color. Eventually, it came to be used for the complexion of a person pale with anger (i.e., "a person livid with rage"). From this meaning came two new senses: "reddish," as one is as likely to become red with anger as pale; the other was simply "angry" or "furious."

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 His mother was livid; his father, who had left school at age fourteen, didn’t care. John Seabrook, The New Yorker, 29 Jan. 2024 Ebert, who happened to be in the audience, was livid. Thr Staff, The Hollywood Reporter, 21 Jan. 2024 Garland’s top deputies were livid, and the attorney general himself was visibly upset, several people familiar with his reaction said. Aaron C. Davis, Washington Post, 19 June 2023 The people who like Chavarria will be ticked off at Sturman for denying him a modest raise and Chavarria’s critics are livid that Sturman backed off and refused to fire him. Steve Bousquet, Sun Sentinel, 13 Jan. 2024 When fewer free tickets filtered down to the newsroom one year, city editor Jim Powers was livid. Daniel Golden, ProPublica, 14 Oct. 2023 But after a respite center for migrants opened in July, Ms. Shannon was livid. John Leland, New York Times, 7 Oct. 2023 Egger was so livid over the final vote that a deputy had to ask him to quiet down. Gregory S. Schneider, Anchorage Daily News, 26 July 2023 Critics were especially livid that UCLA’s departure would leave UC Berkeley in a greatly diminished conference, exacerbating its athletic program’s financial struggles. Teresa Watanabe, Los Angeles Times, 3 Aug. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'livid.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

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Dictionary Entries Near livid

Cite this Entry

“Livid.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/livid. Accessed 25 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

livid

adjective
liv·​id ˈliv-əd How to pronounce livid (audio)
1
: discolored by bruising
2
: pale as ashes
3
: very angry
lividly adverb

Medical Definition

livid

adjective
liv·​id ˈliv-əd How to pronounce livid (audio)
: discolored by bruising : black-and-blue

More from Merriam-Webster on livid

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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