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Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English beliven, from Old English belīfan (to remain), from Proto-Germanic *bilībaną (to remain), from Proto-Indo-European *lip- (to stick, glue). Cognate with West Frisian bliuwe (to stay), Dutch blijven (to remain), German bleiben (to remain), Danish blive (to be, remain). More at leave.

Alternative forms[edit]


belive (third-person singular simple present belives, present participle beliving, simple past belove, past participle beliven)

  1. (intransitive, obsolete outside dialectal) To remain, stay.
    • 1843 (original date: 1475), Geoffrey Chaucer, Thomas Tyrwhitt, The Poetical Works of Geoffrey Chaucer - Page 321:
      [...] God helpe me so, the best is thus to done. “Rise, let us speake of lustie life in Troy That we have lad, and forth the time drive, And eke of time coming us rejoy, That bringen shall our blisse now to blive, [...]"
    • 1900 (original date: 1483), Jacobus (de Voragine), William Caxton, Frederick Startridge Ellis, The golden legend, or, Lives of the saints:
      So there bleveth no more, but I that am servant to the spirit, may lie down and die. In which death I glorify myself, but I am greatly troubled in my mind, that my riches which I had ordained to God be wasted and spent in foul things.
Related terms[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

From Middle English belive, bilife (actively", literally, "by life). More at by, life.

Alternative forms[edit]


belive (comparative more belive, superlative most belive)

  1. (obsolete outside Scotland) Quickly, forthwith.
    • 1590, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, I.v:
      By that same way the direfull dames doe driue / Their mournefull charet, fild with rusty blood, / And downe to Plutoes house are come biliue [...].
  2. (dialectal, chiefly Scotland) Soon, presently, before long; by and by; anon