liv·​ing | \ ˈli-viŋ How to pronounce living (audio) \

Definition of living

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : having life
b : active, functioning living languages
2a : exhibiting the life or motion of nature : natural the wilderness is a living museum … of natural historyNEA Jour.
3a : full of life or vigor
b : true to life : vivid televised in living color
c : suited for living the living area
4 : involving living persons
5 : very used as an intensive scared the living daylights out of me



Definition of living (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : the condition of being alive
2a : means of subsistence : livelihood earning a living
b archaic : estate, property
c British : benefice sense 1
3 : conduct or manner of life the collegiate way of living— J. B. Conant

Other Words from living


livingness noun

Examples of living in a Sentence

Adjective I was taught to respect all living things. His aunt is his closest living relative. He's one of our greatest living authors. It was the first time I had ever seen a living, breathing bear in the wild. Noun the challenges of city living It's summertime, and the living is easy. the living and the dead The world belongs to the living. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective With piquing interest in mother-in-law units, Eightvillage, a company based in Atlanta, Ga., streamlines the process of establishing an extra living space on a homeowner’s property. Saige Miller, The Salt Lake Tribune, 30 Apr. 2022 Emaciated and dishevelled, the eighty-three-year-old retiree was found lying on his living-room floor, in a state of severe malnutrition. Stephania Taladrid, The New Yorker, 12 Apr. 2022 The Hotel Granduca says benvenuto with a range of accommodations including a selection of suites and residences that include full kitchens and living spaces—some designed for longer stays—with the look and feel of an Italian villa. Rebecca Treon, Chron, 25 Mar. 2022 That arm of the company attempted to introduce a co-living space on Wall Street in Manhattan and was shut down. ELLE, 19 Mar. 2022 However, about 30 years ago, drug production began shifting to medications and therapies derived from living organisms. Lawrence Ganti, Forbes, 18 Jan. 2022 The researchers sampled the bones of 380 specimens representing both living and extinct animals, including 36 thigh bones and 12 ribs from non-avian dinosaurs ranging from Spinosaurus to the long-necked Alamosaurus. Riley Black, Smithsonian Magazine, 23 Mar. 2022 For those who will be getting a little work done between sessions, the co-living hostel Selina has an outpost here. Jamie Ditaranto, Travel + Leisure, 13 Mar. 2022 Jeff Soler, the firm’s co-founder, said that ambiguous regulations seemed to invite abuse; some co-living projects sought to pack people into a minimum of space. Nathan Heller, The New Yorker, 28 June 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun About 70 percent of Filipinos live in coastal areas, and many fish for a living. New York Times, 9 May 2022 Female journalists who cover sports for a living are often subject to a particularly cruel brand of online abuse. Sean Gregory, Time, 4 May 2022 Traveling for a living with her wife and toddler has been a struggle. Deb Gordon, Forbes, 25 Apr. 2022 The Apiwtxa designs for living, drawn from shamanic visions and informed by interactions with the non-Indigenous world, are predicated on the protection and nurturing of all life in their territory. Carolina Schneider Comandulli, Scientific American, 23 Apr. 2022 Even in Newman’s fifth season, the opportunity to play the game for a living still means everything to him. Joel Lorenzi, The Indianapolis Star, 21 Apr. 2022 Some of us dream of a life of eternal sunshine—and some of us, like Camille Miceli, get to do it for a living. Mark Holgate, Vogue, 20 Apr. 2022 Although naming babies for a living may sound simple enough, Taylor A. Humphrey says there's more to her job than folks assume. Maria Pasquini,, 15 Apr. 2022 This networking event is sure to give you some insight – and the chance to hobnob with folks who build festival lineups for a living. Detroit Free Press Staff, Detroit Free Press, 14 Apr. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'living.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of living


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for living

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The first known use of living was before the 12th century

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Dictionary Entries Near living



living death

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Statistics for living

Last Updated

13 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Living.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for living


liv·​ing | \ ˈli-viŋ \

Kids Definition of living

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : not dead : alive We're his closest living relatives.
2 : true to life You are the living image of your parents.



Kids Definition of living (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : the condition of being alive
2 : conduct or manner of life healthy living
3 : what a person has to have to meet basic needs She made a living as a cook.

More from Merriam-Webster on living

Nglish: Translation of living for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of living for Arabic Speakers


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