Language: Old English
Origin: on life 'in life'


a‧live S2 W3 [not before noun]

not dead

still living and not dead:
It was a bad accident - they're lucky to be alive.
My grandparents are still alive.
We stayed alive by eating berries.
He was kept alive on a life-support machine.
Apparently he's alive and well and living in Brazil.

still existing

continuing to exist:
Ancient traditions are very much alive in rural areas.
Christianity is alive and well in Asia.
The sport is still very much alive and kicking in this country.


full of energy, happiness, activity etc:
It was the kind of morning when you wake up and feel really alive.
alive with
Her face was alive with excitement.
The whole house was alive with activity.

come alive

a) if a subject or event comes alive, it becomes interesting and seems real:
Hopefully, we can make history come alive for the children.
b) if someone comes alive, they suddenly become happy and interested in what is happening:
She only came alive when she sat down at the piano.
c) if a town, city etc comes alive, it becomes busy:
seaside resorts that come alive in the summer

be alive to a fact/possibility/danger etc

to know that a particular fact etc exists and that it is important:
The company is alive to the threat posed by foreign imports.

be alive with something

to be full of living things that are moving:
The pond was alive with fish.

bring something alive

to make something interesting and real:
The way he describes his characters really brings them alive.

➔ skin somebody alive

at skin2 (3)

Dictionary results for "alive"
Dictionary pictures of the day
Do you know what each of these is called?
What is the word for picture 1? What is the word for picture 2? What is the word for picture 3? What is the word for picture 4?
Click on any of the pictures above to find out what it is called.