vi·​va·​cious və-ˈvā-shəs How to pronounce vivacious (audio)
 also  vī-
: lively in temper, conduct, or spirit : sprightly
vivaciously adverb
vivaciousness noun

Did you know?

It's no surprise that vivacious means "full of life," since it can be traced back to the Latin verb vivere, meaning "to live." The word was created around the mid-17th century using vivax, a vivere derivative meaning "long-lived, vigorous, or high-spirited." Other descendants of vivere in English include survive, revive, and victual—all of which came to life during the 15th century—and vivid and convivial, both of which surfaced around the same time as vivacious. Somewhat surprisingly, the word live is not related; it comes to us from the Old English word libban.

Choose the Right Synonym for vivacious

lively, animated, vivacious, sprightly, gay mean keenly alive and spirited.

lively suggests briskness, alertness, or energy.

a lively debate on the issues

animated applies to what is spirited and active.

an animated discussion of current events

vivacious suggests an activeness of gesture and wit, often playful or alluring.

a vivacious party host

sprightly suggests lightness and spirited vigor of manner or wit.

a tuneful, sprightly musical

gay stresses complete freedom from care and overflowing spirits.

the gay spirit of Paris in the 1920s

Example Sentences

Historically, in nations where city economies are dying and where, as well, cities are drained in service to transactions of decline, one city remains vivacious longest: the capital city. Jane Jacobs, Cities and the Wealth of Nations, (1984) 1985
You see, for years I have built my figure on the premise that "fat people are jolly." I have eaten my way through: pleasant, cheery, sunny, smiling, gay, spirited, chipper, vivacious, sparkling, happy, and sportive and was well on my way to becoming hysterical. Erma Bombeck, The Best of Bombeck, (1965) 1967
She could follow every word that the ramblers uttered. They were talking no secrets. They were merely indulging in the ordinary vivacious chat of relatives who have long been parted in person though not in soul. Thomas Hardy, The Return of the Native, 1878
an outgoing, vivacious girl who became a successful sales rep the poem is a vivacious expression of his love for her
Recent Examples on the Web Cassidy Jo Jacks is vivacious, outgoing and a former Miss Alabama contestant. Mary Colurso |, al, 15 Mar. 2023 More 'SNL':Donald Trump crashes The Last Supper, calls Jesus a 'nepo baby' in Easter sketch Enter Shannon’s O’Malley, a vivacious 50-year-old dressed in a ruffled red shirt and matching stretch pants. Edward Segarra, USA TODAY, 9 Apr. 2023 Sitting on a couch in a Midtown hotel one recent morning, legs angled at a position only a lifelong dancer could achieve, Moreno was vivacious despite having been on an interview blitz (the documentary had just screened at the Tribeca Film Festival). New York Times, 25 June 2021 Apart from his new major label deal, AG Baby flexes his co-sign from Oluwa (which means God in Yoruba) and his riches on the vivacious beat, co-produced by Kel-P and Monro, which ensures the vibes are not just immaculate but also eternal. Heran Mamo, Billboard, 29 Mar. 2023 As your vivacious ruler Mars enters your 4th House of Foundations after a lengthy tour of your busy 3rd house, the time is right to back away from the outside world. Tarot Astrologers, Chicago Tribune, 24 Mar. 2023 The orchestra sounded bright, vivacious and confident. Michael Andor Brodeur, Washington Post, 20 Feb. 2023 The storyline remains the same, focusing on a vivacious call girl who’s hired by an uptight executive. Mary Colurso |, al, 11 Mar. 2023 The monologue Kevin creates is recited with amusing earnestness by Nina (a vivacious Aleyse Shannon), the aspiring actress Kevin loves but who, with tragic consequences, doesn’t love him back. Peter Marks, Washington Post, 10 Mar. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'vivacious.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Latin vivac-, vivax long-lived, vigorous, high-spirited, from vivere to live

First Known Use

circa 1645, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of vivacious was circa 1645


Dictionary Entries Near vivacious

Cite this Entry

“Vivacious.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Jun. 2023.

Kids Definition


vi·​va·​cious və-ˈvā-shəs How to pronounce vivacious (audio)
 also  vī-
: full of life and good spirits
vivaciously adverb
vivaciousness noun

More from Merriam-Webster on vivacious

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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