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See also: Leben and lében



From Old High German lebēn, from Proto-Germanic *libjaną, from Proto-Indo-European *leyp- (leave, cling, linger). Cognate with Old Saxon libbian (Middle Low German leven, German Low German lęven, lewen (to live)), Dutch leven, English live, West Frisian libje, Old Norse lifa (Swedish leva), Gothic 𐌻𐌹𐌱𐌰𐌽 (liban).


  • IPA(key): /ˈleːbən/, [ˈleːm̩], [ˈleːb(ə)n]
  • (file)
  • (file)


leben (third-person singular simple present lebt, past tense lebte, past participle gelebt, auxiliary haben)

  1. (intransitive) to live, to be alive
  2. (intransitive) to dwell, to reside
    • 2010, Der Spiegel, issue 35/2010, page 102:
      Es leben etwa 300 000 Bürger des ehemaligen Jugoslawien in der Schweiz, kaum ein Staat hat damals im Verhältnis zu seiner Einwohnerzahl so viele Flüchtlinge aufgenommen.
      There are (=reside) about 300,000 citizens of the former Yugoslavia living in Switzerland, hardly any state took in so many refugees in relation to its population at that time.
    Ich lebe in der Schillerstraße in der Nähe des Stadtzentrums. - I live in the Schiller-street near the city's center.
  3. (intransitive) to live, to exist, to occupy a place
    Die Dinosaurier lebten für Jahrmillionen auf der Erde bevor der Mensch erschien. - The dinosaurs existed on Earth for millions of years prior to the rise of man.
  4. (intransitive, hyperbolic) To cope with, to live with, to deal with.
    Du wirst wohl damit leben müssen! - You'll have to cope with it!
    Jeder muss mit seinen eigenen Problemen leben! - Everybody has to deal with his own issues.


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Further reading[edit]

Old High German[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

Derived from the verb lebēn.


lebēn n

  1. life

Etymology 2[edit]

From Proto-Germanic *libjaną, related to Old English libban, Old Norse lifa. Ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *leyp- (leave, cling, linger).



  1. to live