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 intensivescared 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

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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The lockdown has impacted the paying guest and co-living operators. Sudhir Pai, Quartz India, "Despite challenges, the Covid-19 lockdown has opportunities for India’s realty sector," 1 June 2020 The pandemic exposed flaws in the city’s economic and living conditions that have been deepening for years. Zachary Evans, National Review, "What the Delayed Coronavirus School Shutdown Reveals about New York City," 23 Apr. 2020 And the state has set up two voluntary isolation facilities for people with COVID-19 symptoms whose living situations are untenable, including a Super 8 motel in Milwaukee. Akilah Johnson, ProPublica, "Early Data Shows African Americans Have Contracted and Died of Coronavirus at an Alarming Rate," 3 Apr. 2020 There are some different models of how living materials could build a home or at least a shelter. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, "Scientists Are Trying to Grow Buildings from Bacteria—and It Just Might Work," 27 Mar. 2020 Venezuela’s struggling economy went into a tailspin this year after a modest improvement in living conditions was derailed by the coronavirus pandemic, the collapse of the oil prices and a tightening of American sanctions. Anatoly Kurmanaev, New York Times, "Venezuelan Officials Claim to Have Stopped an Armed Incursion," 3 May 2020 The former senior administration official said the cottage was needed to store equipment and provided living space for five or six agents. Anchorage Daily News, "Secret Service has paid rates as high as $650 a night for rooms at Trump’s properties," 7 Feb. 2020 So the neurobiologists took a peek inside the mice's heads using two-photon imaging, a type of microscopy that can penetrate tissue to show how living cells move and change. Scottie Andrew, CNN, "Mice make different faces depending on how they feel -- and that could impact how we treat mood disorders, a new study says," 2 Apr. 2020 The fix also offers up a different way of thinking about how living systems contribute to climate change. Moises Velasquez-manoff, Wired, "The Fishy Fix to a Methane-Spewing Crop," 1 Apr. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Filmed in the greater Los Angeles area, the houses featured in the show evoke the living environments people from various socioeconomic classes would have inhabited during the Depression Era. Perri Ormont Blumberg, Southern Living, "The 1930s Sets in HBO's New Perry Mason Series Are Out of This World⁠—Here's Your Peek," 24 June 2020 Union officials have blamed poor working and living conditions that migrant workers faced under a loosely regulated sub-contractor. Menelaos Hadjicostis, Time, "Surge in Coronavirus Infections as Restrictions Loosen Globally," 23 June 2020 Some new houses include a flexible living space with a separate entrance that grants privacy to a member of a multigenerational family or tenant. oregonlive, "On the market: Homes with a second, rental living space for relatives or tenants," 27 June 2020 What works in a dish of monkey cells may not work in a living animal, much less human lungs. Gregory Barber, Wired, "Old Drugs Could Reveal a New Way to Attack the Coronavirus," 27 June 2020 The animals' living quarters are air-conditioned, and dogs can play on splash pads in the summer. Kimi Robinson, The Arizona Republic, "New animal shelter opens in Phoenix. Here's how rescue dogs, cats could benefit from it," 27 June 2020 Dorm and apartment living, roommates, and new schedules can be disruptive. Kristina Mcguirk, Better Homes & Gardens, "19 Care Package Ideas That Will Make Any College Student Feel Loved," 26 June 2020 Researchers are looking at whether the racial disparities can be explained by factors such as underlying health conditions, crowded living situations, vitamin D deficiencies or insufficient access to protective equipment. Washington Post, "How France’s aversion to collecting data on race affects its coronavirus re...," 26 June 2020 Steve Wynn’s 13,500-square-foot Las Vegas villa holds six bedrooms, 10 bathrooms and a handful of high-tech living spaces. Jack Flemming, Los Angeles Times, "Steve Wynn lists lavish Las Vegas mansion for $25 million," 26 June 2020

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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Time Traveler for living

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for living

Last Updated

17 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Living.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for living


How to pronounce living (audio)

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

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