liv·​ing | \ ˈli-viŋ How to pronounce living (audio) \

Definition of living

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : having life
b : active, functioning living languages
2a : exhibiting the life or motion of nature : natural the wilderness is a living museum … of natural historyNEA Jour.
3a : full of life or vigor
b : true to life : vivid televised in living color
c : suited for living the living area
4 : involving living persons
5 : very used as an intensive scared the living daylights out of me



Definition of living (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : the condition of being alive
2a : means of subsistence : livelihood earning a living
b archaic : estate, property
c British : benefice sense 1
3 : conduct or manner of life the collegiate way of living— J. B. Conant

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Other Words from living


livingness noun

Examples of living in a Sentence

Adjective I was taught to respect all living things. His aunt is his closest living relative. He's one of our greatest living authors. It was the first time I had ever seen a living, breathing bear in the wild. Noun the challenges of city living It's summertime, and the living is easy. the living and the dead The world belongs to the living.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Officers found 69-year-old L.T. Thornton Jr. on his living-room couch. Tom Steele, Dallas News, 12 Aug. 2021 Housing is still the largest living expense for most retirees. Steve Vernon, Forbes, 5 May 2021 Yet the phrase implicitly upholds the status quo of employers paying their staff often sub-living wages—after all, if any person can do the job, and workers are endlessly abundant and replaceable, then why bother with benefits or a better salary? Sarah Todd, Quartz, 13 Aug. 2021 But neighbors questioned whether a co-living building of 450 micro-units would help alleviate the city’s housing crisis. Omar Shaikh Rashad, San Francisco Chronicle, 10 Aug. 2021 Jamie Burghardt believes that botanical gardens are best viewed, evaluated and documented as living art museums. Mary Ramsey, The Courier-Journal, 12 Aug. 2021 That means both living and dead vegetation in the forest is drier by the peak of fire season, inviting the massive, explosive fires the area has been experiencing. David Benda, USA TODAY, 12 Aug. 2021 Jennifer Lopez is a living fairy tale in her latest Instagram post. Quinci Legardye, Harper's BAZAAR, 7 Aug. 2021 As a living figure, Ross, a former Air Force enlistee who became a sideways American hero, was unusual. Washington Post, 30 July 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun But the journey also revealed a gulf between the Taliban's insistence on a strict new social order and locals' simple and desperate need to make a living. Ishtiaq Mahsud And Rob Picheta, CNN, 11 Sep. 2021 Since her drama school days, Coel has navigated this highwire act to make a living as a storyteller, centering the narratives of those traditionally on the outside into the mainstream. Elizabeth Nicholas, Vogue, 6 Sep. 2021 History books don’t often report on the everyday workers who toiled to make a living. Jeff Suess, The Enquirer, 5 Sep. 2021 Within the gig economy, there are a myriad of ways to make a living - from selling on Etsy to launching a YouTube channel. Chris Westfall, Forbes, 3 Sep. 2021 The redwoods and firs, old and graceful and lovely, now resembled nothing so much as fuel for a fire still menacing one of California’s great natural wonders and the people who make a living from it. Washington Post, 2 Sep. 2021 Settele is learning to make a living despite the quagga infestation by focusing his business on brown and lake trout — two species that keep the clients rolling in., 2 Sep. 2021 And for me that meant finding a way to make a living in sports after my dreams of becoming a professional basketball player and, later, a professional soccer player were extinguished. Michael Cohen, Detroit Free Press, 29 Aug. 2021 For one server who recently quit their job at a restaurant in Allston, a big part of the stress came from weighing the cost of tolerating harassment versus needing to make a living., 27 Aug. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'living.' 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 living


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


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for living

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near living



living death

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Statistics for living

Last Updated

22 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Living.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for living



English Language Learners Definition of living

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: not dead : having life
: currently active or being used
: having the form of a person who is alive



English Language Learners Definition of living (Entry 2 of 2)

: a way of earning money : the money that someone needs to pay for housing, food, etc.
: a way of living
: people who are alive


liv·​ing | \ ˈli-viŋ \

Kids Definition of living

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : not dead : alive We're his closest living relatives.
2 : true to life You are the living image of your parents.



Kids Definition of living (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : the condition of being alive
2 : conduct or manner of life healthy living
3 : what a person has to have to meet basic needs She made a living as a cook.

More from Merriam-Webster on living

Nglish: Translation of living for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of living for Arabic Speakers


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