: having life : not dead or inanimate
: still in existence, force, or operation : active
kept hope alive
: still active in competition with a chance of victory
must win to stay alive in the playoffs
: knowing or realizing the existence of something : sensitive
alive to the danger
: marked by alertness, energy, or briskness
his face came alive at the mention of food
: marked by much life, animation, or activity : swarming
streets alive with traffic
used as an intensive following the noun
the proudest boy alive
aliveness noun
Choose the Right Synonym for alive

aware, cognizant, conscious, sensible, alive, awake mean having knowledge of something.

aware implies vigilance in observing or alertness in drawing inferences from what one experiences.

aware of changes in climate

cognizant implies having special or certain knowledge as from firsthand sources.

not fully cognizant of the facts

conscious implies that one is focusing one's attention on something or is even preoccupied by it.

conscious that my heart was pounding

sensible implies direct or intuitive perceiving especially of intangibles or of emotional states or qualities.

sensible of a teacher's influence

alive adds to sensible the implication of acute sensitivity to something.

alive to the thrill of danger

awake implies that one has become alive to something and is on the alert.

a country always awake to the threat of invasion

Examples of alive in a Sentence

It feels great to be alive. The patient was barely alive. The sheriff was ordered to find the killer and bring him back alive. He managed to stay alive for a week without any food. The patient is being kept alive by artificial means. an old tradition that is still alive We need to keep hope alive. The team needs to win tonight in order to stay alive in the play-offs. I love to sail because it makes me feel so alive. See More
Recent Examples on the Web Kenneth wants to go to the past to save his former girlfriend Belinda, but it’s discovered that Belinda is still alive. Jennifer Ouellette and Sean M. Carroll, Ars Technica, 24 Nov. 2023 But Katzir, who is 77, according to Israel's Hostages and Missing Families Forum, is alive, said the spokeswoman. Chao Deng, WSJ, 24 Nov. 2023 Among other things, Hamas had not provided any proof that the hostages were still alive. Peter Baker, New York Times, 22 Nov. 2023 Become a Subscriber André 3000’s intuition long ago earned him a claim to being one of the greatest rappers alive. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, 22 Nov. 2023 In harrowing stories told to local and international press, of kids snatched from their homes and sleepless nights spent wondering if relatives were still alive, the families appealed to the pathos of a nation particularly sensitive to the plight of hostages. Claire Parker, Washington Post, 22 Nov. 2023 The two then discuss hacks on how to keep your tree alive as long as possible. Natalia Senanayake, Peoplemag, 20 Nov. 2023 The appellate court agreed that Carpenter could not be prosecuted for actions and decisions made during pregnancy, but said she could be charged for actions taken after the baby was born alive. Teri Figueroa, San Diego Union-Tribune, 18 Nov. 2023 Quieter than nearby Lake Como, Lake Maggiore has kept its identity alive despite being a popular tourism destination. Vittoria Traverso, Smithsonian Magazine, 13 Nov. 2023 See More

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

Word History


Middle English, from Old English on life, from on + līf life

First Known Use

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of alive was in the 13th century

Dictionary Entries Near alive

Cite this Entry

“Alive.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/alive. Accessed 2 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


: having life : not dead
: still in existence, force, or operation : active
kept hope alive
: extremely aware or conscious : sensitive
alive to the beauty of life
: marked by much life or activity
blossoms alive with bees
aliveness noun

Medical Definition


: having life : not dead or inanimate

More from Merriam-Webster on alive

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!