liv·​id ˈli-vəd How to pronounce livid (audio)
: discolored by bruising : black-and-blue
the livid traces of the sharp scourgesAbraham Cowley
: ashen, pallid
this cross, thy livid face, thy pierced hands and feetWalt Whitman
: reddish
a fan of gladiolas blushed livid under the electric lettersTruman Capote
: 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."

Example Sentences

the boss was livid when yet another deadline was missed her face was livid with fear
Recent Examples on the Web But Republicans in the House are livid for another reason. Patrick T. Brown, CNN, 21 Dec. 2022 With their livid coloration, production of volatile sulfurous compounds, and generation of heat, Rafflesia are perfect dupes for prime carrion. Richard Pallardy, Discover Magazine, 15 July 2021 Mindy Thompson Fullilove, a professor of urban policy and health at the New School, was livid. Emma Green, The New Yorker, 28 Dec. 2022 Trump supporters, and the former President himself, will be livid. Jill Filipovic, CNN, 20 Dec. 2022 South Carolina Democrats were ecstatic with Biden's plan, Iowa Democrats were disappointed, and New Hampshire — which traditionally votes second but by state law holds the first primary — was livid. Peter Weber, The Week, 2 Dec. 2022 But former coach Frank Reich and offensive coordinator Marcus Brady should be livid. Ben Volin,, 14 Nov. 2022 Cohen is equally livid about Trump’s alleged politicization of the FBI and the IRS, although his outrage seems a little disingenuous. Laura Kipnis, The Atlantic, 10 Nov. 2022 Democrats were particularly livid about a Facebook ad on Greene’s campaign page. Katie Mcinerney,, 9 Nov. 2022 See More

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.

Word History


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


Dictionary Entries Near livid

Cite this Entry

“Livid.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Jan. 2023.

Kids Definition


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

Medical Definition


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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