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Etymology 1[edit]

Shortening of enliven.


liven (third-person singular simple present livens, present participle livening, simple past and past participle livened)

  1. (transitive, intransitive) To cause to be more lively, or to become more lively.
    Let's liven up this party!
    • 1905: The American Historical Review, published by the American Historical Association, page 380
      Bacon's Rebellion (p. 54) has no political meaning for Mr. Bruce. Champlain's fight with the Iroquois is told to liven the narrative with a fight (p. 36), but the far-reaching result is merely hinted in a manner that means nothing to one who doesn't know. The ideals and purposes of the Jesuits are not mentioned.
    • 1930: Bim Sherman, The Century
      [] and he fought for others' banners,
      And he dined at others' tables, and he droned in others' hives,
      And he livened others' journeys, and he rhymed of others' tourneys,
      And he emptied others' flagons, and he flirted others' wives.
    • 1958: Marco Polo, Ronald Latham (translator), The Travels of Marco Polo
      Instead of the picturesque fables* that liven the pages of ‘Sir John Mandeville’ and of many more authentic travellers, he gives us no less picturesque facts, and facts in great abundance.
    • 1979: The American School Board Journal, volume 166, no. 1, January 1979, published by the National School Boards Association, caption to an image in the May 1979 section
      Visiting professionals frequently liven the day at the Elm Creative Arts School.
    • 1997: David Nevin, 1812
      Anacreon [] celebrated wine and love and must have been a rousing fellow. Probably he livened heaven when he arrived.
    • 2003, Sarah Garland, The Herb Garden, page 69
      [] to invigorate and liven the spirits.
    • 2005: Michael Winter, The Big Why: A Novel
      The fact of this made him realize he had a story. He livened. Father was washed overboard, Rupert said. He was going through the water like a duck.
    Synonym: liven up


Etymology 2[edit]

From Middle English liven, equivalent to live +‎ -en.



  1. (obsolete) plural simple present of live
    • 1471, Margaret Paston, The Paston Letters:
      We liven in fear, but we wot not whither to flee for to be better than we arn here.
    • 1579, Edmund Spenser, The Shepheardes Calender
      What shoulden shepheards other things tend,
      Then, sith their God his good does them send,
      Reapen the fruite thereof, that is pleasure,
      The while they here liven, at ease and leasure?
    • 1647, Henry More, The Confutation of the Sleep of the Soul, Canto III:
      Wherefore so long as they make their abode
      In Him, incorp'rate by due Unitie
      They liven in eternall energie,




From live (on the left) +‎ -n (lative ending)



  1. (neologism) to the left
    Synonym: maldekstren
    Antonym: dekstren

Middle English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]


From Old English libban, from Proto-Germanic *libjaną.


  • IPA(key): /ˈlivən/, /ˈliːvən/


liven (third-person singular simple present liveth, present participle livende, first-/third-person singular past indicative and past participle lived)

  1. To live



  • English: live
  • Scots: leeve




  1. definite plural of liv

West Frisian[edit]



  1. plural of liif




  1. prone to vomiting