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

During his 37-year authoritarian leadership Zimbabwe descended from prosperity to economic crisis marked by hyperinflation, unemployment and a drastic drop in living conditions for its 16 million people. Washington Post, "Mugabe body being flown to Zimbabwe, burial place undecided," 12 Sep. 2019 And as living conditions worsen, nostalgia for ISIS' rule is beginning to brew. Arwa Damon And Tamara Qiblawi, CNN, "A forgotten camp in Syria could be the birthplace of ISIS' revenge generation," 12 Sep. 2019 Incoming Hamilton freshmen fill out a detailed questionnaire, and a team in the college’s residence-life office pairs each student with one or more living buddies. Alia Wong, The Atlantic, "When College Plays Cupid for Roommates," 26 Aug. 2019 After publishing child well-being trends for the past 30 years, the Kids Count data book from the Annie E. Casey Foundation used its 2019 edition to examine how living conditions have changed over the decades. Lydia Gerike,, "Poverty rates among children have risen in Connecticut over the past 30 years, especially among black and Latino children," 1 Aug. 2019 New retail and living spaces are planned at the corner of Jarvis and Telge Road, giving Cy-Fair area locals more places to shop and live in the future. Chevall Pryce, Houston Chronicle, "New residential, commercial development coming to Telge Road," 19 July 2019 Jason was 10 years old and living outside of Houston. CBS News, "Podcast spotlights Mississippi double murder – can new DNA technology solve the cold case?," 29 June 2019 Such comparisons suggest that, through his irreverent transformations of classical material, Twombly conceived of the ancient past as a vivid, living thing, something to be bent and reconfigured at will rather than admired from a distance. Andrew Martin, Harper's magazine, "Not Mere Projection," 10 Mar. 2019 Since switching fields, Tarnita has focused her work on how living things orchestrate themselves itself into patterns on different scales. Quanta Magazine, "A Mathematician Who Decodes the Patterns Stamped Out by Life," 20 Dec. 2017

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Their deaths are tragic illustrations of the risks fire officials say come with living in a mobile home. Washington Post, "Fire can be risky, deadly drawback of living in mobile homes," 16 Sep. 2019 But Morris, 86, who has been creating and experimenting in San Diego since the early 1960s, has always been an outsider, eking out a living in the art world. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Fall arts 2019 | Visual art: At 86, artist Richard Allen Morris still experimenting," 15 Sep. 2019 The Plume Labs Flow is a portable air quality sensor that monitors airborne chemical levels and particulate matter both indoors and out, which is really interesting to see how living in an armpit of poor outdoor air pollution impacts the inside air. Jennifer Jolly, USA TODAY, "Air pollution inside my house could kill me. What are you breathing in at your home?," 15 Sep. 2019 The challenge here for Cohen is to prove that the story of one Albert Hicks, a dangerously violent criminal living in the nastiest neighborhood of New York still holds potency today. Bill Daley,, "Rich Cohen’s ‘Last Pirate of New York’ recalls America’s gangster history. But is it truly history?," 5 Sep. 2019 There’s no glorification of small-town living in this story. Mary Ann Grossmann, Twin Cities, "Four local books debut this week for early sample of fall reads," 1 Sep. 2019 The Institute, Stephen King (Sept. 10) Luke Ellis is a 12-year-old living in Minnesota when his parents are murdered and he is kidnapped. Annabel Gutterman, Time, "The 42 Most Anticipated Books of Fall 2019," 30 Aug. 2019 The Mental Health Drain Jenna, a 26-year-old living in New Jersey, has been driving part-time with Lyft for two years, since July of 2017. Elizabeth King, Allure, "The Mental and Physical Toll on Gig Economy Laborers," 29 Aug. 2019 Her identity as a Pakistani-American living in a religious family in New Jersey whilst trying to find her own way has been a major focus of the stories. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Ewan McGregor confirms he will return as Obi-Wan for new Star Wars series," 24 Aug. 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

Last Updated

20 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

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

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miscellaneous remnants or debris

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