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

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Other Words from living


livingness noun

Examples of living in a Sentence


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.


the challenges of city living It's summertime, and the living is easy. the living and the dead The world belongs to the living.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Among living spaces is a chef's kitchen with smokeless hibachi grills and a master suite with two walk-in closets and a private terrace. Neal J. Leitereg,, "Former Angels pitcher C.J. Wilson sells Beverly Crest contemporary for $16 million," 9 Mar. 2018 By making the audience constantly second-guess her motives based on very little evidence, the mystery of Renée demonstrated how living life undercover, never trusting anyone, can warp you. Todd Vanderwerff, Vox, "The Americans seeks a new “START” in a tremendous series finale," 31 May 2018 The Mesa City Councilvoted to introduce its own sober living home ordinance Monday night, which will require operatorsto be licensed with the city. Lily Altavena, azcentral, "Waiting for state sober living home rules, cities add their own restrictions," 7 July 2018 Its flexible design also allows for the addition of a second floor for even more living space. Tony Bacewicz,, "North Woods of Colchester, Colchester," 22 Mar. 2018 Gray’s predecessor, the Rev. Lester K. Jackson, a progressive civil rights leader, argued for better employment opportunities and improved living conditions for blacks. Carole Carlson, Post-Tribune, "Longtime Gary minster dead at 90," 8 May 2018 Putin took the oath of office for his fourth term as Russian president on Monday and promised to pursue an economic agenda that would boost living standards across the country. Washington Post, "Putin vows to boost Russian economy as he begins 4th term," 8 May 2018 That’s a remarkable figure, considering that just within living memory fewer than 5,000 people called the neighborhood home. Scott Garner,, "Neighborhood Spotlight: Reseda, a Valley proxy, is slightly sleepy but not sluggish," 13 Apr. 2018 The need for more living donors has prompted BJC officials to explore joining a Johns Hopkins Medicine pilot program for a Facebook app directed at people in need of an organ donation. Rachel Rice,, "Amid long waits for organ transplants, some launch their own searches," 10 Apr. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

By the end of the episode, things were finally looking up for the living, as Arya Stark put her super assassin skills to use and took out the Night King (and, with him, the rest of the White Walkers and the wights, too). Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "Why Did Melisandre Die in 'Game of Thrones' After the Battle of Winterfell?," 29 Apr. 2019 And this no-compromise driving experience is found in a four-door hatch that's stiff but perfectly usable in daily living. Car and Driver, "2019 10Best Cars," 28 Nov. 2018 Marisol Morley, owner and operator of Tiny Kitchen Treats, bakes cookies for a living. Stacia Affelt, Woman's Day, "How a Professional Baker Creates Joyful Moments Every Day," 8 Nov. 2018 Imagine using your phone to move a couch around your living room. Dennis Nishi, WSJ, "Small Businesses Turn to Augmented Reality to Win Customers," 28 Apr. 2019 Although everyone looked elated to pose together in a living room, Kendall hilariously poked fun at the sweet family moment with a meme in the following slide. Nicole Saunders, Harper's BAZAAR, "Kendall Jenner Just Trolled Her Sisters with an Epic Pregnancy Meme on Instagram," 26 Apr. 2019 Of course, if there are only two of you, then use the annex for a kitchen, living room, or changing room. James Lynch, Popular Mechanics, "The 7 Best Rooftop Tents for Far-Out (and Closer-to-Home) Adventures," 26 Apr. 2019 Plus, there's no shortage of surfaces that could reap the benefits of a whitewashed rustic-meets-vintage look—think everything from your bedroom dresser to coffee table to living room floorboards. Blair Donovan, Country Living, "How to Whitewash Wood Furniture: 8 Easy Steps for Your Next Furniture Makeover," 19 Apr. 2019 Don’t expect the Surface Hub 2S to grace your living room or home office, however, as Microsoft has priced 50-inch 2S display at $9,000. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Microsoft launches its Surface Hub 2S collaborative PC for $9,000," 17 Apr. 2019

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.

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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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Statistics for living

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Time Traveler for living

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

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More Definitions for living



English Language Learners Definition of living

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: not dead : having life
: currently active or being used
: having the form of a person who is alive



English Language Learners Definition of living (Entry 2 of 2)

: a way of earning money : the money that someone needs to pay for housing, food, etc.
: a way of living
: people who are alive


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.

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More from Merriam-Webster on living

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for living

Spanish Central: Translation of living

Nglish: Translation of living for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of living for Arabic Speakers

Comments on living

What made you want to look up living? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a strong desire or propensity

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