Definition of lively in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈlʌɪvli/

adjective (livelier, liveliest)

1Full of life and energy; active and outgoing: a lively and uninhibited girl
More example sentences
  • He was so lively and full of energy that it dawned on us that he must have been in some sort of pain for a lot longer than we had thought.
  • Although a lively and outgoing teenager, he lives with the effects of what his father, Greg, termed ‘subtle neurological damage’.
  • Nine-year-old Ricky is described as a lively, active boy who loves reading, swimming, watching TV and playing computer games.
energetic, active, animated, vigorous, dynamic, full of life, outgoing, spirited, high-spirited, vivacious, enthusiastic, vibrant, buoyant, exuberant, effervescent, cheerful;
bouncy, bubbly, perky, sparkling, sprightly, spry, youthful, zesty, zestful, frisky, skittish;
fun, fun-loving
informal bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, full of beans, chirpy, go-go, chipper, peppy, zippy, zappy, full of vim and vigour
North American informal peart
1.1(Of a place or atmosphere) full of activity and excitement: Barcelona’s many lively bars
More example sentences
  • When the fast is broken, there are festive activities in a lively atmosphere.
  • The karaoke bar maintained a lively atmosphere, even at such a late hour.
  • The town was a lively place, buzzing with activity.
busy, crowded, bustling, hectic, swarming, teeming, astir, buzzing, thronging;
vibrant, boisterous, jolly, festive
informal hopping, jumping, buzzy
British informal like Piccadilly Circus
1.2Intellectually stimulating or perceptive: a lively discussion her lively mind
More example sentences
  • A bonus is the Reading Group Companion Section at the end of the novel, featuring 10 questions sure to stimulate a lively discussion of the book.
  • Thank you both very much for a spirited, lively, intelligent discussion.
  • However, it would be a foolish man who tried to dictate to three such lively and intelligent minds.
heated, vigorous, stimulating, animated, spirited, enthusiastic, forceful;
exciting, stirring, interesting, eventful, memorable
1.3 ironic, chiefly British Difficult or challenging: a lively homeward passage dodging aircraft and E-boats
More example sentences
  • The Young Consumers of the Year competition is a lively challenge for young people aged between 14 and 17.
  • But I hope for us it is not more lively and difficult than today, eh?
awkward, tricky, difficult, challenging;
eventful, exciting, busy
informal hairy
1.4(Of a boat) rising lightly to the waves.
Example sentences
  • But cleaning fish on a lively boat that is heading for home at best speed can be fraught with danger if proper precautions are not taken.
  • KSA owns several types of dinghy, from lively Laser Picos to family boats such as Wayfarers, which members can hire for a very reasonable £5 for two hours.


look lively

see look.





Old English līflic 'living, animate' (see life, -ly1).

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: live¦ly

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