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 livid (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 Trump was livid about the Fox call, in particular, and lashed out at the network, a source said. Brian Stelter And Oliver Darcy, CNN, "Fox News and AP scrutinized for projecting Arizona while other outlets hold off," 5 Nov. 2020 All of Arkansas is still livid about the result, and the Hogmen of course have every right to be angry for the rest of the season. Joseph Goodman |, al, "Why does the SEC keep bailing out Auburn?," 24 Oct. 2020 Relatives of a grandmother killed when she was hit by a woman police say was street racing are livid after the suspect posted a Facebook video with harsh words for the victim. Carol Robinson |, al, "Woman charged with murder in alleged street racing crash posts video blaming grandmother killed in wreck," 24 Mar. 2021 Trump remains livid with Republican Gov. Brian Kemp of Georgia, who refused to support Trump’s false charges that Georgia’s elections were fraudulent. Steve Peoples, Anchorage Daily News, "GOP signals unwillingness to part with Trump after riot," 27 Jan. 2021 Republicans have been livid, and called for Cuomo’s impeachment. Lydia Wang,, "RIP Cuomosexuals: Why Governors Were Never Going To Be Our Saviors," 16 Feb. 2021 By this time David is livid, and shouting; the director can’t tell him what’s wrong with the take. Dorothy Rabinowitz, WSJ, "‘Losing Alice’ and ‘Réunions’ Review: Family Dramas, Shady and Sunny," 21 Jan. 2021 Zimmer was livid on the sideline in Chicago on Nov. 16 when Bailey sent the second-half kickoff straight to three-time All-Pro returner Cordarrelle Patterson, who took it back for a touchdown. Mark Heim |, al, "Bears vs. Vikings live stream (12/20): How to watch NFL Week 15 online, TV, time," 20 Dec. 2020 Martin, for example, is discovered, in the early morning, sleeping outside a neighbor’s house, with his keys in his hand and a livid cut on his brow. Anthony Lane, The New Yorker, "Planned Alcoholism in “Another Round” and Weaponized Camp in “The Prom”," 11 Dec. 2020

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

22 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Livid.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Apr. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

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

More from Merriam-Webster on livid

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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).


Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Thing: Flower Edition

Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!