liv·​en ˈlī-vən How to pronounce liven (audio)
livened; livening ˈlī-və-niŋ How to pronounce liven (audio)

transitive verb

: enliven
often used with up
he … livened up the editorial pageCurrent Biography

Example Sentences

He played some music to liven the atmosphere.
Recent Examples on the Web Having been criticised in recent years for producing dull pitches, curators around Australia have probably tried too hard to liven it up but the results have been uneven. Tristan Lavalette, Forbes, 19 Dec. 2022 Using an unexpected color can add personality and liven up a traditional facade. Sydney Price, Better Homes & Gardens, 19 Dec. 2022 Members often liven up the proceedings by shouting or standing when casting their vote. Farnoush Amiri, Chicago Tribune, 2 Jan. 2023 Jean Smart, Cheri Oteri, and Kevin Hart will liven up the festivities, plus special appearances by our old friend and foe: the effects of alcohol! Dan Snierson,, 29 Dec. 2022 Thanks to its boost of freshness, L’Eau D’Issey Pour Homme can liven up any occasion. Grooming Playbook, The Salt Lake Tribune, 16 Dec. 2022 The shaggy appearance also looks so chic tossed over your bed or a couch to liven up your space. Nicol Natale, Peoplemag, 20 Nov. 2022 The saturated doses of color liven up the space and immediately draw the eye to the headboard. Maria Sabella, Better Homes & Gardens, 14 Sep. 2022 Knit textures and tiny flowers liven up a regular ol' tank for strong cottagecore energy. Hannah Oh, Seventeen, 12 Dec. 2022 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

circa 1628, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

Time Traveler
The first known use of liven was circa 1628

Dictionary Entries Near liven

Cite this Entry

“Liven.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Feb. 2023.

Kids Definition


liv·​en ˈlī-vən How to pronounce liven (audio)
livened; livening ˈlīv-(ə-)niŋ How to pronounce liven (audio)
: to make or become lively
often used with up

More from Merriam-Webster on liven

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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