adjective viv·id \ ˈvi-vəd \
|Updated on: 18 Aug 2018

Definition of vivid

1 of a color : very strong : very high in chroma
2 : having the appearance of vigorous life or freshness : lively
  • a vivid sketch
3 : producing a strong or clear impression on the senses : sharp, intense; specifically : producing distinct mental images
  • a vivid description
4 : acting clearly and vigorously
  • a vivid imagination





Examples of vivid in a Sentence

  1. He gave a vivid description of the scene.

  2. The book includes many vivid illustrations.

  3. The dream was very vivid.

  4. She could remember the dream in vivid detail.

  5. The fabric was dyed a vivid red.

Recent Examples of vivid from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'vivid.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of vivid

Latin vividus, from vivere to live — more at 1quick

Synonym Discussion of vivid

graphic, vivid, picturesque mean giving a clear visual impression in words. graphic stresses the evoking of a clear lifelike picture.
    • a graphic account of combat
vivid suggests an impressing on the mind of the vigorous aliveness of something.
    • a vivid re-creation of an exciting event
picturesque suggests the presentation of a striking or effective picture composed of features notable for their distinctness and charm.
    • a picturesque account of his travels

VIVID Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of vivid for English Language Learners

  • of a picture, memory, etc. : seeming like real life because it is very clear, bright, or detailed

  • : very bright in color

VIVID Defined for Kids


adjective viv·id \ ˈvi-vəd \

Definition of vivid for Students

1 : producing strong mental images
  • a vivid description
2 : very strong or bright
  • vivid red
3 : acting clearly and powerfully
  • a vivid imagination
4 : seeming full of life and freshness
  • a vivid painting


  • That scene of two years before flashed back into her recollection as vividly as if it had taken place yesterday.
  • —Lucy Maud Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables



Word Root of vivid

The Latin word vivere, meaning “to live,” gives us the root viv. Words from the Latin vivere have something to do with living. To survive is to remain alive. To revive is to bring back to life. Someone vivacious is full of life and is lively and energetic. Something, such as a story, that is vivid appears to be full of life and freshness.

Headscratcher for vivid

If you have studied Roman numerals, you might see something special about the word vivid. It is spelled with letters that are all Roman numerals. (V equals 5, I equals 1, and D equals 500.) Some other words spelled with letters that are Roman numerals are dill, mill, livid, civil, and civic.

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fullness to the point of excess

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