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

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 Through various interviews with reporters who covered WeWork, customers of the co-working and later co-living spaces, and employees, the documentary tries to characterize Neumann. Fortune, "WeWork’s distorted reality," 8 Apr. 2021 Along with individualized workspaces, the Barcelou-Batchelder tiny home includes vintage décor and expandable sides to provide more living space., "Small home. A really big deal.//People have been riding out the pandemic, stacks of toilet paper and all, in tiny homes, and these diminutive dwellings are more popular than ever.," 28 Mar. 2021 The fact that all life is interdependent, and interacting constantly with the non-living environment, has validated Humboldt’s compulsion to measure everything. Jonathon Keats, Forbes, "Are You A Citizen Of The Critical Zone? An Important Exhibit Shows That Your Life Depends On It," 10 Mar. 2021 Chromatically speaking, however, those pale in comparison to the Midwest bracket, where there is — in very living color — a pigment that is not often a primary one in the world of sports: orange. New York Times, "At This N.C.A.A. Tournament, Orange Is the New Bracket," 19 Mar. 2021 There is the living experience of every indigenous community in the United States, and of others around the globe that have been forced to invent ways to resist and survive a system determined to erase them. Ben Ehrenreich, The New Republic, "We’re Hurtling Toward Global Suicide," 18 Mar. 2021 Millennials, the largest living adult generation, continue to age into their prime homebuying years and plunk down savings for homes. Nicole Friedman, WSJ, "The Pandemic Ignited a Housing Boom—But It’s Different From the Last One," 15 Mar. 2021 The village has several projects in the works in the downtown area, which are almost all apartments and multi-living building developments. James T. Norman,, "Mundelein Mayor Lentz hopeful of village outlook but deems 2020 likely ‘one of the most difficult years’ in State of Village address," 13 Mar. 2021 The suburbs, which have long been attracting buyers who want more living and yard space, are even more valuable during COVID 19-driven confinement. oregonlive, "On the market: Homes for sale at West Linn and Lake Oswego’s average price of $812,700," 13 Feb. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Baking cakes, pies and a weekly-changing rotation of pastries and selling them through Instagram helped Shea pull together a living after she was laid off from her job in July at the Rose in Venice. Bill Addison, Los Angeles Times, "How L.A. cake virtuosos learned to thrive on Instagram," 17 Apr. 2021 Berman recently moved into a senior living community, and is preparing to sell her longtime home. Kim Palmer, Star Tribune, "It's still 1970 in this 'time capsule' home in Minnetonka," 16 Apr. 2021 Others zoom in on people — working, walking, and living., "‘Postcards from Allston’ photographer captures a changing neighborhood and its residents," 16 Apr. 2021 Shelton senior living campus, Wesley Village, and Attorney Mortati to present this webinar., "Community News For The Farmington Valley Edition," 16 Apr. 2021 The vast majority of the migrant children are housed temporarily in federal shelters then reunited with a parent or relative living in the United States as their cases proceed through immigration court. USA Today, "Becoming American: This unaccompanied minor nearly drowned coming to the US. Now he has a new life in Florida," 16 Apr. 2021 Shari works in senior living, and said she's followed health protocols to keep herself, her facility and her family safe. Alia E. Dastagir, USA TODAY, "A father, his baby, and a family divided by the pandemic," 16 Apr. 2021 Jim Cramer, the Mad Money host who has made a living talking about stocks on CNBC, used another investment to pay for his house. Chris Morris, Fortune, "Jim Cramer sold Bitcoin to pay his mortgage," 15 Apr. 2021 As more and more people took to the road for vacations and sought the comfort of living in the suburbs, fast-food outlets took notice. Andrea Ruth, Washington Examiner, "The fast-food industry is innovating and reducing face-to-face contact with customers," 15 Apr. 2021

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

19 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Living.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Apr. 2021.

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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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