1
: having life : not dead or inanimate
2
a
: still in existence, force, or operation : active
kept hope alive
b
: still active in competition with a chance of victory
must win to stay alive in the playoffs
3
: knowing or realizing the existence of something : sensitive
alive to the danger
4
: marked by alertness, energy, or briskness
his face came alive at the mention of food
5
: marked by much life, animation, or activity : swarming
streets alive with traffic
6
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

Example Sentences

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 Garteski shot another great whitetail a few days later and was relieved to learn that the Jam-4 buck was alive and well after the season. Scott Bestul, Field & Stream, 9 Jan. 2023 Disco & Cocktail Club, the dream of the 1970s is alive and well. Los Angeles Times, 4 Jan. 2023 Tom Cruise fever is alive and well, which will take the series to new box office heights. Rebecca Rubin, Variety, 3 Jan. 2023 The Green Bay Packers playoff push is alive and well. Ryan Gaydos, Fox News, 25 Dec. 2022 He was taken to a hospital with life threateing injuries but had remained alive and in continuous medical care since the shooting. Michael Cabanatuan, San Francisco Chronicle, 20 Dec. 2022 Legacy is alive and well at some schools more than others. Nicole Laporte, Town & Country, 20 Dec. 2022 The Christmas spirit is alive and well at the Affleck house. Rosa Sanchez, Harper's BAZAAR, 19 Dec. 2022 Although Woodson never lived to see Obama elected as the nation’s first Black president in 2008 or Negro History Week transition into Black History Month and witness its impact in the U.S., Canada and beyond, his dream is alive and well. Chanté Griffin, Good Housekeeping, 19 Dec. 2022 See More

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

Word History

Etymology

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 Feb. 2023.

Kids Definition

alive

adjective
1
: having life : not dead
2
: still in existence, force, or operation : active
kept hope alive
3
: extremely aware or conscious : sensitive
alive to the beauty of life
4
: marked by much life or activity
blossoms alive with bees
aliveness noun

Medical Definition

alive

adjective
: having life : not dead or inanimate

More from Merriam-Webster on alive

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