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?

Vivacious may not be onomatopoeic in a strict sense, but there’s definitely something lively—maybe even a bit va-va-voom—in the way its three syllables trip off the tongue. Perhaps this is why it has appealed to English speakers since the mid-1600s, when it was formed from the Latin adjective vivax meaning “long-lived, vigorous, or high-spirited.” Vivax comes from the verb vivere, meaning “to live.” Other English descendants of vivere 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 unrelated; 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

Examples of vivacious in a Sentence

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 The vivacious and magnetic Pallenberg died in 2017 at the age of 75. Lily Moayeri, SPIN, 2 May 2024 As if charting the cartography of her soul from her vivacious 20s through the profound 30s to the contemplative 40s, each iteration of Xiao Xia encapsulates the multifaceted essence of a woman’s pilgrimage through life. Billboard China, Billboard, 6 Mar. 2024 See all Example Sentences for vivacious 

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 23 May. 2024.

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

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