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


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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 Critics say the provision has outlived its usefulness because motorists have had nearly two years to get used to the hands-free law. David Wickert, ajc, "Georgia may scrap ‘get out of jail free card’ for distracted driving," 4 Mar. 2020 Although the movement may have outlived its original impetus, there are undoubtedly still things to protest. Stephen Paduano, The New Republic, "The Limits of Outrage Politics," 13 June 2019 The titular Miss Austen is Jane’s devoted older sister, Cassandra, who outlived her by 28 years and who, in Hornby’s telling, guarded her beloved sister’s legacy with zeal. Heller Mcalpin, The Christian Science Monitor, "Jane Austen’s sister destroyed her letters. ‘Miss Austen’ imagines the reasons.," 8 Apr. 2020 Elephant seals are one of the species in which females outlive males. Katie Hunt, CNN, "Like humans, most female mammals live longer than males, study finds," 23 Mar. 2020 During interviews by local newspapers when the facility first opened, several of the residents boasted of living well past 100 years and most outlived their family members. Dawn Mitchell, Indianapolis Star, "Female ex-slaves found security, community at Indianapolis' Alpha Home," 21 Feb. 2020 Still, Goldberg was optimistic that collective memory would outlive the survivors. NBC News, "'Never again': Anti-Semitism surges as memories of Holocaust fade," 24 Jan. 2020 By April, the airlines had already drastically cut their fleets, in moves that will likely far outlive COVID-19. Vivienne Walt, Fortune, "For airlines in freefall, the return route will be long and bumpy," 19 Apr. 2020 But even some who praise central banks for rescuing the world from catastrophe argue that easy money has outlived its usefulness. Peter S. Goodman, New York Times, "Coronavirus May Light Fuse on ‘Unexploded Bomb’ of Corporate Debt," 11 Mar. 2020

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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Time Traveler for outlive

Time Traveler

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

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Last Updated

23 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Outlive.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/outlive. Accessed 29 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for outlive


How to pronounce outlive (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for outlive

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with outlive

Spanish Central: Translation of outlive

Nglish: Translation of outlive for Spanish Speakers

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