see also: Lively
  • (GA, RP) IPA: /ˈlaɪvli/

lively (comparative livelier, superlative liveliest)

  1. Full of life; energetic.
    • 1671, John Milton, “Samson Agonistes, […]”, in Paradise Regain’d. A Poem. In IV Books. To which is Added, Samson Agonistes, London: Printed by J. M[acock] for John Starkey […], OCLC 228732398 ↗, lines 452–455, page 85 ↗:
      But wherefore comes old Manoa in such haste#English|haſt, / With youthful ſteps? much livelier then e're while / He ſeems.
    • 1918, W[illiam] B[abington] Maxwell, chapter XII, in The Mirror and the Lamp, Indianapolis, Ind.: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, OCLC 4293071 ↗, page 77 ↗:
      [...] St. Bede's at this period of its history was perhaps the poorest and most miserable parish in the East End of London. Close-packed, crushed by the buttressed height of railway viaducts, rendered airless by huge walls of factories, it at once banished lively interest from a stranger's mind and left only a dull oppression of the spirit.
  2. Bright, glowing#Adjective|glowing, vivid; strong, vigorous.
    • 1704, Isaac Newton, Opticks: Or, A Treatise of the Reflections, Refractions, Inflections and Colours of Light
      The colours of the prism are manifestly more full, intense, and lively that those of natural bodies.
    • 1688, Robert South, Sacramental Preparation: Set forth in a Sermon on Matthew 5, 12.
      His faith must be not only living, but lively too.
  3. (archaic) Endowed with or manifest#Verb|manifesting life; living#Adjective|living.
    • c. 1600, Philemon Holland
      chaplets of gold and silver resembling lively flowers and leaves
  4. (archaic) Representing life; lifelike.
    • 1632, Philip Massinger and Nathan Field, The Fatal Dowry
      I spied the lively picture of my father.
  5. (archaic) Airy; animated; spirited.
    • 1734, [Alexander Pope], An Essay on Man. […], epistle IV, London: Printed for J[ohn] Wilford, […], OCLC 960856019 ↗, line 775, page 80 ↗:
      From grave to gay, from lively to ſevere, [...]
  6. (of beer) Fizzy; foamy; tending to produce a large head in the glass.
Synonyms Translations Translations Noun

lively (plural livelies)

  1. (nautical, informal) Term of address.
    • 1846, Herman Melville, Typee
      Speak the word, my livelies, and I'll pilot her in.


  1. Vigorously.
  2. Vibrantly, vividly.
  3. (obsolete) In a lifelike manner.
    • 1590, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Qveene. […], London: Printed [by John Wolfe] for VVilliam Ponsonbie, OCLC 960102938 ↗, book III, canto I:
      Him to a dainty flowre she did transmew, / Which in that cloth was wrought, as if it liuely grew.
    • 1603, Michel de Montaigne, John Florio, transl., The Essayes, […], printed at London: By Val[entine] Simmes for Edward Blount […], OCLC 946730821 ↗:
      , Folio Society, 2006, vol.1, p.220-1:
      the Painter Protogenes […] having perfected the image of a wearie and panting dog, […] but being unable, as he desired, lively to represent the drivel or slaver of his mouth, vexed against his owne worke, took his spunge, and moist as it was with divers colours, threw it at the picture  […].
  • IPA: /ˈlaɪvli/
Proper noun
  1. Surname
  2. An urban area in Sudbury, Ontario.
  3. An unincorporated community in Benton County, Missouri.
  4. An unincorporated community in Kaufman County, Texas.
  5. An unincorporated community in Lancaster County, Virginia.
  6. An unincorporated community in Fayette County, West Virginia.

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