live wire

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See also: livewire and live-wire


Alternative forms[edit]


  • IPA(key): /ˈlaɪv ˈwaɪə(ɹ)/
  • (file)


live wire (plural live wires)

  1. (electricity) An electrical wire through which there is a flow of electrical current.
    • 2006 September 27, “Two boys electrocuted”, in The Hindu, India, retrieved 24 December 2008:
      Two boys got electrocuted when a live wire fell on the auto-rickshaw in which they were sitting.
  2. (figurative) An especially energetic, alert, or vivacious person.
    Synonyms: go-getter, life of the party, self-starter
    • 1925 July – 1926 May, A[rthur] Conan Doyle, “Which Describes an Evening in Strange Company”, in The Land of Mist (eBook no. 0601351h.html), Australia: Project Gutenberg Australia, published April 2019:
      With his thin, eager face and darting hands he was more than a live wire - he was a whole bundle of live wires.
    • 1927 December 19, “Will Not Go”, in Time:
      Mr. Black is a kindly, gentle, fine individual, but as a leader, an up-to-date fellow, a go-getter—why he just doesn't know the first thing about it. . . . In a growing community like Douglaston we need a live wire.
    • 1977, “Psycho Killer”, in Talking Heads: 77, performed by Talking Heads:
      I can't sleep 'cause my bed's on fire / Don't touch me, I'm a real live wire
    • 2007, Charlaine Harris, Real Murders: An Aurora Teagarden Mystery, →ISBN, page 95:
      She was irresistible—a laughing, chattering live wire, never at a loss for a word.



  • live wire”, in OneLook Dictionary Search.