\ ˈliv How to pronounce live (audio) \
lived; living; lives

Definition of live

 (Entry 1 of 3)

intransitive verb

1 : to be alive : have the life of an animal or plant one of the greatest writers who ever lived
2 : to continue alive lived to a ripe and vigorous old age
3 : to maintain oneself : subsist lived on rice and peas — see also live off
4a : to occupy a home : dwell living in a shabby room They had always lived in the country.
b : to be located or stored the silverware lives here
5 : to attain eternal life though he die, yet shall he live — John 11:25 (Revised Standard Version)
6 : to conduct or pass one's life lived only for his work
7 : to remain in human memory or record … the past lives in us all …— W. R. Inge
8 : to have a life rich in experience "You haven't really lived until you've worn cashmere socks. …"— Carson Kressley, quoted in Cosmopolitan
9 : cohabit She lived with that actor for over a year.

transitive verb

1 : to pass through or spend the duration of lived their lives alone
2 : act out, practice often used with out to live out their fantasies
3 : to exhibit vigor, gusto, or enthusiasm in lived life to the fullest
4a : to experience firsthand living a dream
b : to be thoroughly absorbed by or involved with she lives her work
live it up
: to live with gusto and usually fast and loose lived it up with wine and songNewsweek
live up to
: to act or be in accordance with had no intention of living up to his promise
live with
: to put up with : accept, tolerate had to live with their decision


\ ˈlīv How to pronounce live (audio) \

Definition of live (Entry 2 of 3)

1a : having life : living a live lobster
b : existing in fact or reality : actual spoke to a real live celebrity
2 : exerting force or containing energy: such as
a : afire, glowing live coals
b : connected to electric power
c : charged with explosives and containing shot or a bullet live ammunition also : armed but not exploded a live bomb
d : imparting or driven by power a live axle
e : being in operation a live microphone
3 : abounding with life : vivid
4 : being in a pure native state
5 : of bright vivid color
6 : of continuing or current interest live issues
7a : not yet printed from or plated live type
b : not yet typeset live copy
8a : of or involving a presentation (such as a play or concert) in which both the performers and an audience are physically present a live record album a nightclub with live entertainment
b : broadcast directly at the time of production a live radio program
9 : being in play a live ball


\ ˈlīv How to pronounce live (audio) \

Definition of live (Entry 3 of 3)

: at the actual time of occurrence : during, from, or at a live production the program was broadcast live

Examples of live in a Sentence

Verb We learned about the people who lived during colonial times. I wonder what it was like to live then. She's one of the greatest writers who ever lived. It was one of the largest animals that has ever lived. He lived to the age of 92. He's very sick and he may not live much longer. I hope I live to see the day when you admit you've been wrong about me! I'll remember that day for as long as I live. He lives next door to his parents. We lived in the city. Adjective They object to the use of live animals in scientific experiments. a nightclub with live music She was nervous about being interviewed on live radio. The network is providing live coverage of the debate. Use caution when you are working near live electrical wires. Adverb The program was shown live. We are broadcasting live from downtown. Here he is—live in concert! The album was recorded live. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb And people with a certain rare disease are widely dispersed and live with a variety of symptoms, subtypes, and stages of the disease. Ambar Castillo, STAT, 21 Sep. 2022 Patchey and other friends and neighbors keep watch over the monastery itself, although Brother Victor’s adored sheep, chickens and other animals had to be rehomed to live out their lives at nearby sanctuaries and farms. Kristen Hartke, Washington Post, 20 Sep. 2022 And researchers believe that the connection between ever-shifting hormones and chronic migraine may explain why women disproportionately live with this condition. Petra Guglielmetti, Glamour, 20 Sep. 2022 Bats feed on the nectar of the flowers sprouting at the top of the saguaro, while in other parts of the plant, bird species live inside cavities carved by other birds. Sarah Lapidus, The Arizona Republic, 20 Sep. 2022 That autumn, John was kicked out of a board and care home — a small facility where people with mental illnesses can live independently with 24/7 support — in West Covina. Los Angeles Times, 20 Sep. 2022 And the children who live there are often most impacted. al, 20 Sep. 2022 Families with seasonal camps past Safety Sound, along with few dozen old-timers who live most of the year out around Council, will have to find new ways of getting into town. Zachariah Hughes, Anchorage Daily News, 20 Sep. 2022 Contestants try to sell their homes to four real estate tycoons, who negotiate their offers live on stage. Genevieve Redsten, Journal Sentinel, 20 Sep. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective QAnon is not an ARG, or a role-playing game (RPG), or even a live-action role-playing game (Larp). WIRED, 21 Sep. 2022 This is a new high-water mark for live-action Star Wars storytelling, at least through four episodes. Jacob Siegal, BGR, 20 Sep. 2022 Much to the dismay of racists online, Halle Bailey — of the celebrated sister duo Chloe x Halle — has embodied the titular red-haired mermaid in Disney’s forthcoming live-action reboot of The Little Mermaid. Emily Zemler, Rolling Stone, 20 Sep. 2022 The teaser trailer for Disney’s upcoming live-action remake of The Little Mermaid dropped earlier this month, giving fans their first glimpse of Halle Bailey as Ariel. Rania Aniftos, Billboard, 20 Sep. 2022 The Movie is a live-action musical fantasy film based on Mattel's iconic Monster High fashion doll. Jasmine Washington, Seventeen, 20 Sep. 2022 Through LuckyChap, the couple worked on several films that Robbie starred in, including I, Tonya, Birds of Prey, and the upcoming live-action Barbie, which has real-life couple Greta Gerwig and Noah Baumbach attached as writers. Savannah Walsh, ELLE, 18 Sep. 2022 Now, following the release of Disney’s live-action The Little Mermaid trailer, starring Halle Bailey as Ariel, the racists have lost their minds. Essence, 16 Sep. 2022 The series will be the first live-action treatment of Blade Runner for TV; Adult Swim aired an anime series titled Blade Runner: Black Lotus that debuted in November 2021. Rick Porter, The Hollywood Reporter, 15 Sep. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb The finish line will also be live streamed on the Akron Marathon Facebook page. Megan Becka, cleveland, 19 Sep. 2022 The Bass Pro Shops Night Race can be live streamed on the NBC Sports website (for those with a cable/satellite provider) and on the NBC Sports app. Ellen J. Horrow, USA TODAY, 18 Sep. 2022 The meeting will be live streamed on the county’s website. Baltimore Sun, 14 Sep. 2022 Both events also will be live streamed and available for viewing later on the BATV YouTube Channel and the and websites. Mike Danahey, Chicago Tribune, 14 Sep. 2022 The infectious disease expert said that although OPV is not offered in the U.S., some other vaccines such as the measles, mumps, rubella vaccine or the chickenpox vaccine are live attenuated immunizations. Fox News, 23 July 2022 An array small college, mid-major and some big-time non-conference football games will be live streamed on ESPN Plus during the 2022 college football season -- ESPN’s à la carte, low-cost sports streaming service. Tim Brown | The Oregonian/oregonlive, oregonlive, 3 Sep. 2022 The forums will be live streamed and recorded for broader access. Arkansas Democrat-gazette, Arkansas Online, 2 Sep. 2022 The campaign will be live through September 6 and adheres to Kickstarter’s all-or-nothing funding rules, but that last detail is of little concern now—the initial goal of $10,000 was reached in just five hours. Steve Larese, Outside Online, 24 Aug. 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of live


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1


1531, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1946, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for live


Middle English, from Old English libban; akin to Old High German lebēn to live


short for alive

Learn More About live

Time Traveler for live

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The first known use of live was before the 12th century

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Last Updated

22 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Live.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Sep. 2022.

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More Definitions for live


\ ˈliv How to pronounce live (audio) \
lived; living

Kids Definition of live

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to be alive Dinosaurs lived long ago.
2 : to continue in life My grandmother lived to the age of 98.
3 : dwell sense 1 They live in Indiana.
4 : to spend life Let them live in peace.
live it up
: to live with great enthusiasm and excitement
live up to
: to be good enough to satisfy expectations


\ ˈlīv How to pronounce live (audio) \

Kids Definition of live (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : having life : alive If the public gets to know we've got a live dinosaur here, they'd be swarming all over the place …— Oliver Butterworth, The Enormous Egg
2 : broadcast at the time of production a live television program
3 : charged with an electric current a live wire
4 : burning usually without flame live coals
5 : not exploded a live bomb


intransitive verb
\ ˈliv How to pronounce live (audio) \
lived; living

Medical Definition of live

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to be alive : have the life of an animal or plant
2 : to continue alive lived for 50 years
3 : to maintain oneself lives on a vegetarian diet
4 : to conduct or pass one's life a parasite living in the body of a host


\ ˈlīv How to pronounce live (audio) \

Medical Definition of live (Entry 2 of 2)

: having life : living

More from Merriam-Webster on live

Nglish: Translation of live for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of live for Arabic Speakers


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