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Sheep's liver

Etymology 1Edit

From Middle English liver, from Old English lifer, from Proto-Germanic *librō. Cognate with Dutch lever, German Leber, Danish, Norwegian and Swedish lever (the last three from Old Norse lifr). Related to live.


  • IPA(key): /lɪvə(ɹ)/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɪvə(ɹ)


liver (countable and uncountable, plural livers)

  1. (anatomy) A large organ in the body that stores and metabolizes nutrients, destroys toxins and produces bile. It is responsible for thousands of biochemical reactions.
    Steve Jobs is a famous liver transplant recipient.
  2. (countable, uncountable) This organ, as taken from animals used as food.
    I'd like some goose liver pate.
    You could fry up some chicken livers for a tasty treat. — Nah, I don't like chicken liver.
    • 1993, Philippa Gregory, Fallen Skies, →ISBN, page 222:
      "I should think you've rocked the boat enough already by refusing to eat liver."
  3. A dark brown colour, tinted with red and gray, like the colour of liver.
    liver colour:  
Usage notesEdit
  • The noun is often used attributively to modify other words. Used in this way, it frequently means "concerning the liver", "intended for the liver" or "made of liver" .
Derived termsEdit


liver (not comparable)

  1. Of the colour of liver (dark brown, tinted with red and gray).
    • 2006, Rawdon Briggs Lee, A History and Description of the Modern Dogs of Great Britain & Ireland, →ISBN, page 298:
      His friend Rothwell, who had the use of the best Laveracks for breeding purposes, wrote him that one of his puppies was liver and white.

See alsoEdit

Etymology 2Edit

From Middle English livere, equivalent to live +‎ -er.



liver (plural livers)

  1. Someone who lives (usually in a specified way).
    • 1603, Michel de Montaigne, chapter 31, in John Florio, transl., The Essayes, [], book II, printed at London: By Val[entine] Simmes for Edward Blount [], OCLC 946730821:
      Ephori of Sparta, hearing a dissolute liver propose a very beneficial advise unto the people, commaunded him to hold his peace, and desired an honest man to assume the invention of it unto himselfe and to propound it.
    • 1621, Democritus Junior [pseudonym; Robert Burton], The Anatomy of Melancholy, Oxford: Printed by Iohn Lichfield and Iames Short, for Henry Cripps, OCLC 216894069; The Anatomy of Melancholy: [], 2nd corrected and augmented edition, Oxford: Printed by John Lichfield and James Short, for Henry Cripps, 1624, OCLC 54573970, partition II, section 3, member 7:
      a wicked liver may be reclaimed, and prove an honest man [].
    • Prior
      Try if life be worth the liver's care.

Etymology 3Edit

live (adjective) +‎ -(e)r.




  1. comparative form of live: more live
    Seeing things on a big screen somehow makes them seem liver.

Further readingEdit




liver m

  1. painter

Norwegian NynorskEdit



  1. (non-standard since 1917) present of liva