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From Old English on live, on līfe (in life); līfe, dative of līf (life).



alive (comparative more alive, superlative most alive)

  1. Having life; living; not dead
    As long as the plant is alive, he will continue to water it.
  2. In a state of action; in force or operation; unextinguished; unexpired; existent
    to keep the fire alive
    to keep the affections alive
  3. Exhibiting the activity and motion of many living beings; swarming; thronged; busy.
    Although quite dull during the day, the main street comes alive at night, with many bars and clubs opening.
    The Boyne, for a quarter of a mile, was alive with muskets and green boughs. -- Thomas Babington Macaulay.
  4. Sprightly; lively; brisk.
  5. Having susceptibility; easily impressed; having lively feelings, as opposed to apathy; sensitive.
    Tremblingly alive to nature's laws. -- William Falconer.
  6. (as an intensifier) out of all living creatues.
    Northumberland was the proudest man alive. --Edward Hyde Clarendon.

Usage notes[edit]

  • As intensifier, used colloquially "man alive!", "sakes alive!".
  • Alive always follows the noun which it qualifies.


Derived terms[edit]


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.

Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.
(See the entry for alive in
Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.)