From Middle English alive, alife, olive, olife, on live, on life, from Old English on līf (“alive”, literally “in life" or "in (the) body”), from on (“on, in”) + līf, dative singular of līf (“life”). In this sense, replaced Old English cwic (whence English quick). Equivalent to a- + life. Compare Dutch in leven (“alive”, literally “in life”), German am Leben (“alive”, literally “at life" or "at living”).
- Having life; living; not dead.
- As long as the plant is alive, he will continue to water it.
- In a state of action; in force or operation; existent.
- to keep the fire alive
- to keep the affections alive
- Busy with activity of many living beings; swarming; thronged; busy.
- Although quite dull during the day, the main street comes alive at night, with many bars and clubs opening.
- 1848, Thomas Babington Macaulay, The History of England from the Accession of James the Second:
- The Boyne, for a quarter of a mile, was alive with muskets and green boughs.
- (of electrical wiring) Carrying electrical current; energized.
- DANGER: OVERHEAD CATENARY - WIRE IS ALIVE
- (in the construction "alive to") Aware of; sensitive to.
- We are alive to the ongoing potential for terrorist attacks.
- 1925, Godfrey W. Mathews, The Chester Mystery Plays […] ., Liverpool: Edward Howell LTD, page 5:
- We may be sure that the Church would be alive to the dangers of allowing the plays to be performed outside the sacred edifice.
- Sprightly; lively; brisk.
- 1836 March – 1837 October, Charles Dickens, “(please specify the chapter name)”, in The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club, London: Chapman and Hall, […], published 1837, →OCLC:
- Smouch, requesting Mr. Pickwick in a surly manner ‘to be as alive as he could, for it was a busy time,’ drew up a chair by the door and sat there, until he had finished dressing.
- 2018 May 26, Daniel Taylor, “Liverpool go through after Mohamed Salah stops Manchester City fightback”, in The Guardian (London):
- Susceptible, sensitive; easy to impress; having keen feelings, as opposed to apathy.
- 1762, William Falconer, The Shipwreck:
- Though tremblingly alive to Nature's laws, Yet ever firm to Honour's sacred cause
- (intensifier) Out of all living creatures.
- (programming) Synonym of
Usage notes edit
- Alive always follows the noun which it qualifies; for example, "The bee is alive". Before a noun, the adjectives living or live may be used with a similar meaning.
- (having life): alive and kicking, extant, vital; see also Thesaurus:alive
- (in a state of action): existing, extant; See also Thesaurus:existent
- (sprightly, lively, brisk): frisky, peppy, zestful; see also Thesaurus:active
- (carrying electrical current): energized, hot, live
- (out of all living creatures): ever, in the world
Derived terms edit
- alive and kicking
- alive and well
- Christ alive
- come alive
- dead or alive
- eat someone alive
- for land's sake alive
- for land's sakes alive
- for the land's sake alive
- for the land's sakes alive
- keep hope alive
- land sake alive
- land sakes alive
- land's sake alive
- land's sakes alive
- look alive
- man alive
- mercy sake's alive
- sakes alive
- snakes alive
- The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.
Middle English edit
- Alternative form of