adjective liv·id \ ˈli-vəd \
|Updated on: 14 Aug 2018

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


play \li-ˈvi-də-tē\ noun


play \ˈli-vəd-nəs\ noun

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Examples of livid in a Sentence

  1. the boss was livid when yet another deadline was missed

  2. her face was livid with fear

Recent Examples of livid from the Web

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.

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.

Origin and Etymology of livid

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

livid Synonyms


delighted, pleased;


bent out of shape, blue in the face, fit to be tied, hopping mad, hot under the collar, in a fume, in a huff, in a pet;

LIVID Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of livid for English Language Learners

  • : very angry

  • : having a dark purplish color

LIVID Defined for Kids


adjective liv·id \ ˈli-vəd \

Definition of livid for Students

1 : very angry
2 : pale as ashes
  • Her face was livid with fear.
3 : discolored by bruising His cheek was livid.

Medical Dictionary


adjective liv·id \ ˈliv-əd \

medical Definition of livid

: discolored by bruising : black-and-blue

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fullness to the point of excess

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