out·​live | \ ˌau̇t-ˈliv How to pronounce outlive (audio) \
outlived; outliving; outlives

Definition of outlive

transitive verb

1 : to live beyond or longer than outlived most of his friends outlive its usefulness
2 : to survive the effects of universities … outlive many political and social changes— J. B. Conant

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Synonyms for outlive


outlast, outwear

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Examples of outlive in a Sentence

No mother wants to outlive her children. He outlived his wife by 10 years.

Recent Examples on the Web

No mother ever wants to outlive her children, but Vanderbilt actually witnessed her son's plunge from the 14th floor of her New York apartment in 1988, The New York Times reported. Amy Haneline, USA TODAY, "Gloria Vanderbilt, the mom: What she said about the loss of a child, Anderson Cooper coming out," 17 June 2019 Howe outlived Melville and Whitman, both of whom died at the age of seventy-two, in 1891 and 1892 respectively. Elaine Showalter, The New York Review of Books, "Whitman, Melville, & Julia Ward Howe: A Tale of Three Bicentennials," 27 May 2019 But texts outlive the people who write them, memory of their initial purpose fades, and words take on new meaning and power. Sara Lipton, The New York Review of Books, "A Terribly Durable Myth," 17 June 2019 Black Mirror may have already outlived its relevance. Judy Berman, Time, "Black Mirror Used to Be a Terrifying Vision of the Future. Season 5 Is Just Silly," 5 June 2019 That person’s family and their descendants outlived and out-reproduced their peers at an astonishing rate. Megan Molteni, WIRED, "A Study Exposes the Health Risks of Gene-Editing Human Embryos," 3 June 2019 But that viewpoint may have outlived its usefulness. Quanta Magazine, "Goals and Rewards Redraw the Brain’s Map of the World," 28 Mar. 2019 Storage drives frequently outlive PC builds, so my DIY Franken-system is loaded with a variety of drive types from past machines. Brad Chacos, PCWorld, "Windows 10's latest Insider preview gives Task Manager a simple, stellar storage enhancement," 15 May 2019 Cole survived, and would outlive all his 79 fellow raiders.... Laura Hillenbrand, WSJ, "The Last of the Doolittle Raiders Is Gone," 11 Apr. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'outlive.' 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 outlive

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for outlive

Last Updated

5 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for outlive

The first known use of outlive was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for outlive



English Language Learners Definition of outlive

: to live longer than (someone)
: to continue to exist longer than (something) : to outlast (something)


out·​live | \ au̇t-ˈliv How to pronounce outlive (audio) \
outlived; outliving

Kids Definition of outlive

: to live or last longer than That rule has outlived its usefulness.

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More from Merriam-Webster on outlive

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with outlive

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for outlive

Spanish Central: Translation of outlive

Nglish: Translation of outlive for Spanish Speakers

Comments on outlive

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


to form ideas or theories about something

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