lively

adjective
live·​ly | \ ˈlīv-lē How to pronounce lively (audio) \
livelier; liveliest

Definition of lively

1 : briskly alert and energetic : vigorous, animated a lively discussion lively children racing for home
2 : active, intense takes a lively interest in politics
3 : full of life, movement, or incident lively streets at carnival time
4 : brilliant, fresh a lively wit
5 : imparting spirit or vivacity : stimulating many a peer of England brews livelier liquor than the Muse— A. E. Housman
6 : quick to rebound : resilient a lively ball
7 : responding readily to the helm a lively boat
8 obsolete : living

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Other Words from lively

livelily \ ˈlīv-​lə-​lē How to pronounce lively (audio) \ adverb
liveliness \ ˈlīv-​lē-​nəs How to pronounce lively (audio) \ noun
lively adverb

Choose the Right Synonym for lively

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 lively in a Sentence

a very lively writing style The book is lively and well written. They had a lively debate. A lively atmosphere keeps people coming back to the café.
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Recent Examples on the Web One chair is typically filled by a liberal to generate lively debate. Stephen Battaglio Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 26 May 2021 The fat in dairy can dull flavors, and without it the corn tasted sweeter and brighter, the clams brinier, and the whole thing fresher and more lively than a chowder has any right to be. Amiel Stanek, Bon Appétit, 26 Aug. 2021 The couples seemed to begin their conversations warily, but, as the seconds ticked by, the room grew more lively and animated. Lizzie Widdicomb, The New Yorker, 21 Aug. 2021 The first half certainly was the more lively portion of the game. Dallas News, 8 May 2021 There’s now a lively debate among military historians about the true causes of the fall of France. Isaac Chotiner, The New Yorker, 12 Aug. 2021 The name change has sparked lively debate among the city’s passionate sports fans. Tom Withers, Anchorage Daily News, 23 July 2021 The name change has sparked lively debate among the city's passionate sports fans. CBS News, 23 July 2021 The name change has sparked lively debate among the city's passionate sports fans. Tom Withers, Chron, 23 July 2021

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

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First Known Use of lively

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 8

History and Etymology for lively

Middle English, from Old English līflīc, from līf life

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Time Traveler for lively

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near lively

livelong

lively

lively imagination

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Statistics for lively

Last Updated

21 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Lively.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/lively. Accessed 27 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for lively

lively

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of lively

: very active and energetic
: full of energy, excitement, or feeling
: full of movement or activity

lively

adjective
live·​ly | \ ˈlīv-lē How to pronounce lively (audio) \
livelier; liveliest

Kids Definition of lively

1 : full of life : active a lively puppy
2 : showing or resulting from active thought a lively imagination
3 : full of spirit or feeling : animated lively music

Other Words from lively

liveliness noun

More from Merriam-Webster on lively

Nglish: Translation of lively for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of lively for Arabic Speakers

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