Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Language: Old English
Origin: libban

live

1 verb
     
live1 S1 W1
1

in a place/home

[intransitive always + adverb/preposition] if you live in a place, you have your home there
live in/at/near etc
They lived in Holland for ten years.
He lives just across the street from me.
We live only a few miles from the coast.
A rather odd family came to live next door to us.
As soon as I saw the place, I knew I didn't want to live there.
Does Paul still live here?
We're still looking for somewhere to live.
They've finally found a place to live.
live with
My grandmother came to live with us when I was ten.
Most seventeen-year-olds still live at home (=live with their parents).
I'm quite happy living alone.
The house has 3,600 square feet of living space (=the areas of a house you live in).
the number of young people living rough (=living outside because they have no home) British English
2

plant/animal

[intransitive always + adverb/preposition] a plant or animal that lives in a particular place grows there or has its home there
live in/on etc
These particular birds live on only one island in the Pacific.
3

at a particular time

[intransitive always + adverb/preposition] if you live at a particular time, you are alive then
live before/in/at
He lived in the eighteenth century.
She lived at a time when women were not expected to work.
Gladstone lived during a period of great social change.
the best/greatest etc that/who ever lived (=the best, greatest etc who has been alive at any time)
He's probably the best journalist who ever lived.
4

be/stay alive

[intransitive] to be alive or be able to stay alive:
Without light, plants couldn't live.
He is extremely ill and not expected to live.
The baby only lived a few hours.
People on average are living much longer than before.
I'll never forget this for as long as I live.
live to (be) 80/90 etc/live to the age of 80/90 etc
My grandmother lived to 85.
She lived to the age of 79.
have two weeks/six months etc to live
He knows he's only got a few months to live.
He did not live to see (=live long enough to see) the realization of his dream.
5

way of life

[intransitive always + adverb/preposition, transitive] to have a particular type of life, or live in a particular way
live in peace/poverty etc
The people in this country just want to live in peace.
People should not live in fear of crime.
We live in hope that a cure will be found.
live peacefully/quietly/happily etc
The two communities live peacefully alongside each other.
She thought that she would get married and live happily ever after (=like in a children's story).
Some people like to live dangerously.
Most elderly people prefer to live independently if they can.
They earn enough money to live well (=have plenty of food, clothes etc).
I just want to live my life in my own way.
He's not well enough to live a normal life.
live a quiet/active/healthy life
She lives a very busy life.
He had chosen to live the life of a monk.
She's now in Hollywood living a life of luxury.
live by
I have always tried to live by my faith (=according to my religion).
We struggle on, living from day to day (=trying to find enough money each day to buy food etc).
He was tired of living out of a suitcase (=spending a lot of time travelling).
6

earn a living

[intransitive] the way that someone lives is the way that they earn money to buy food etc:
Fishing is the way their families have lived for generations.
live by doing something
They live by hunting and killing deer.
7

exciting life

[intransitive] to have an exciting life:
She wanted to get out and live a little.
We're beginning to live at last!
8

imagine something

[intransitive always + adverb/preposition] to imagine that things are happening to you
live in
He lives in a fantasy world.
live through
She lived through her children's lives.
You must stop living in the past (=imagining that things from the past are still happening).
9

be kept somewhere

[intransitive always + adverb/preposition] British English informal the place where something lives is the place where it is kept:
Where do these cups live?
Those big dishes live in the cupboard next to the fridge.
10

still exist/have influence

[intransitive] if an idea lives, it continues to exist and influence people:
Democracy still lives!
His name will live forever.
That day will always live in my memory.
11

living quarters

the part of a building where people live, especially a building that is used by many people or is used for several different purposes:
the White House living quarters
12

living expenses

the money you need to spend in order to live, for example on food or a house:
His tuition is paid, but he'll work to cover his living expenses.
13

living arrangements

the way someone organizes how and where they will live:
Her mother disapproved of the living arrangements, saying that two girls living with four boys was bound to cause problems.
14

live it up

informal to do things that you enjoy and spend a lot of money:
Sam was living it up in London.
15

live by your wits

to get money by being clever or dishonest, and not by doing an ordinary job
16

live a lie

to pretend all the time that you feel or believe something when actually you do not feel that way:
I knew that I could not continue to live a lie.
17

be living on borrowed time

to be still alive after the time that you were expected to die:
She's been living on borrowed time for the last year.
18

live in sin

old-fashioned if people live in sin, they live together and have a sexual relationship without being married [↪ live together]
19

live and breathe something

to enjoy doing something so much that you spend most of your time on it:
Politics is the stuff I live and breathe.
20

you live and learn

spoken used to say that you have just learned something that you did not know before
21

live and let live

used to say that you should accept other people's behaviour, even if it seems strange
22

you haven't lived (if/until...)

spoken used to say that someone's life will be boring if they do not do a particular exciting thing:
You haven't lived until you've tasted champagne.
23

somebody will live to regret it

used to say that someone will wish that they had not done something:
If you marry him, you'll live to regret it.
24

live to see/fight another day

to continue to live or work after a failure or after you have dealt with a difficult situation:
Hopefully, the company will live to fight another day.
25

live life to the full

to enjoy doing a lot of different things:
She believes in living life to the full.
26

live high on the hog

used to say that someone has a nice life because they have a lot of money and buy expensive things - often used to show disapproval
27

live from hand to mouth

to have only just enough money to buy food:
We lived from hand to mouth, never knowing where the next meal was coming from.
28

long live the King/Queen! etc

spoken used as an expression of loyal support for a person
29

long live democracy/freedom etc

used to say that you hope something continues to exist for a long time:
Long live free education!

live something ↔ down

phrasal verb
if someone does not live something down, people never forget about it and never stop laughing at them for it:
She'll never live that down!

live for something

phrasal verb
if you live for something, it is the thing that you enjoy or hope for most in your life:
He lived for his art.
She had nothing left to live for.
She lives for the day when she can have a house of her own.

live in

phrasal verb
if someone lives in, they live in the place where they work [↪ live-in]:
Sometimes it can be easier if you have a nanny who lives in.

live off somebody/something

phrasal verb
to get your income or food from a supply of money or from another person:
Mom used to live off the interest from her savings.
Dad lost his job and we had to live off welfare.
Most people in the countryside live off the land (=live by growing or finding their own food).

live on

phrasal verb
1 if something lives on, it continues to exist:
Alice's memory will live on.
2

live on something

to have a particular amount of money to buy food and other necessary things:
I don't know how they manage to live on £55 a week.
the number of families who live on benefits
3

live on something

to eat a lot of a particular type of food:
They live on bread and potatoes.
He practically lives on fish and chips!

live out

phrasal verb
1 British English if someone lives out, they do not live in the place where they work:
Most home helps prefer to live out.
2

live out something

to experience or do something that you have planned or hoped for [= fulfil, realize]:
The money enabled them to live out their dreams.
3

live out your life

to continue to live in a particular way or place until you die:
He lived out his life in solitude.

live through something

phrasal verb
to experience difficult or dangerous conditions [= endure]:
the generation that lived through the Second World War
It was hard to describe the nightmare she had lived through.

live together

phrasal verb
if people live together, they live in the same house and have a sexual relationship but are not married [↪ live with]:
They lived together for two years before they got married.

live up to something

phrasal verb
if something or someone lives up to a particular standard or promise, they do as well as they were expected to, do what they promised etc:
The bank is insolvent and will be unable to live up to its obligations.
The film has certainly lived up to my expectations.

live with somebody/something

phrasal verb
1 to accept a difficult situation that is likely to continue for a long time [= put up with, tolerate]:
You have to learn to live with stress.
He has lived with his illness for most of his life.
2 to live in the same house as someone and have a sexual relationship with them without being married [↪ live together]:
She's living with her boyfriend now.
3 if something lives with you, it stays in your mind:
That episode has lived with me all my life.

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.

Explore our topic dictionary