lively [lahyv-lee] SynonymsExamplesWord Origin adjective, live·li·er, live·li·est.

  1. full or suggestive of life or vital energy; active, vigorous, or brisk: a lively discussion.
  2. animated, spirited, vivacious, or sprightly: a lively tune; a lively wit.
  3. eventful, stirring, or exciting: The opposition gave us a lively time.
  4. bustling with activity; astir: The marketplace was lively with vendors.
  5. strong, keen, or distinct; vivid: a lively recollection.
  6. striking, telling, or effective, as an expression or instance.
  7. vivid or bright, as color or light: a lively pink.
  8. sparkling, as wines.
  9. fresh or invigorating, as air: a lively breeze.
  10. rebounding quickly; springing back; resilient: a lively tennis ball.
  11. riding the sea buoyantly, as a ship.


  1. with briskness, vigor, or animation; briskly: to step lively.

Origin of lively before 1000; Middle English; Old English līflīc vital. See life, -ly Related formslive·li·ly, adverblive·li·ness, nouno·ver·live·li·ness, nouno·ver·live·ly, adjectiveun·live·li·ness, nounun·live·ly, adjective, adverbSynonyms for lively 1. alert, spry, nimble, agile, quick, pert. 2. gay, buoyant. 5. forceful, clear. 7. brilliant, clear, glowing.Antonyms for lively 1. inactive, torpid. 2. dull. 5. weak. 7. dim. Related Words for liveliest enjoyable, vigorous, provocative, cheerful, festive, frisky, buoyant, peppy, spirited, nimble, bright, entertaining, animated, stimulating, refreshing, bustling, agile, alert, animate, astir Examples from the Web for liveliest Contemporary Examples of liveliest

  • Here, she talks about what inspired her to start the liveliest protest since the Boston Tea Party.

    Boobquake 2010: The 6 Best Protest Videos

    The Daily Beast Video

    April 26, 2010

  • WATCH VIDEO of the liveliest protest since the Boston Tea Party.

    Boobquake 2010: The 6 Best Protest Videos

    The Daily Beast Video

    April 26, 2010

  • Not entirely, though I have always followed Arianna’s career with the liveliest interest.

    Q and A with Tina Brown

    The Daily Beast

    October 5, 2008

  • Historical Examples of liveliest

  • He was looking at her quizzically, but with the liveliest appreciation.

    Alice Adams

    Booth Tarkington

  • For the next few minutes it struck me as the liveliest I had ever seen.

    The Stark Munro Letters

    J. Stark Munro

  • They were simplest, their little tongues were liveliest, and they were most full of joy and wonder.

    The Scapegoat

    Hall Caine

  • Then it turned into the liveliest moving picture that ever I see.

    Cape Cod Stories

    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • His remarks leave no doubt that he takes the liveliest interest in your work.

    Erdgeist (Earth-Spirit)

    Frank Wedekind

  • British Dictionary definitions for liveliest lively adjective -lier or -liest

    1. full of life or vigour
    2. vivacious or animated, esp when in company
    3. busy; eventful
    4. characterized by mental or emotional intensity; vivid
    5. having a striking effect on the mind or senses
    6. refreshinga lively breeze
    7. springy or bouncy or encouraging springinessa lively ball
    8. (of a boat or ship) readily responsive to the helm

    adverb Also: ‘livelily

    1. in a brisk mannerstep lively
    2. look lively (interjection) make haste

    Derived Formsliveliness, noun Word Origin and History for liveliest lively adj.

    Old English liflic “living, existing,” literally “life-like;” from life + -ly (2). Sense of “active, energetic” developed by early 13c., from notion “full of life.”

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