Definition of alive in English:


See synonyms for alive

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  • 1(of a person, animal, or plant) living, not dead.

    ‘hopes of finding anyone still alive were fading’
    • ‘he was kept alive by a feeding-tube’
    • ‘I like to be reminded of the spring miracle, especially in the depth of winter, when the vibrantly alive trees look so dead.’
    • ‘Even when pigs are alive they aren't revered as the smartest animals.’
    • ‘When the creature was alive, 94 million years ago, the area of the Sahara where its remains were found was very different from the way it appears now.’
    • ‘A police spokesman said: ‘The news that his dog was alive and had come home seems to have made all the difference.’’
    • ‘I'd be happier if my house were still intact, my pictures of my kids and the rest of my belongings were safe, and my cat were still alive.’
    • ‘Now, Mr. Gibbons' position is that all of those fossil species were alive at the same time on this planet.’
    • ‘Ensuring that the animals are worth more alive than dead may be their only shot at survival.’
    • ‘There are thousands of animals and plants alive today that are no different from the way they appear in the fossil record!’
    • ‘It cannot be determined, however, whether those animals were alive or dead at the time of the bite.’
    • ‘A look at the distribution of the major groups of plants and animals alive today is instructive.’
    • ‘The dogs were still alive, and looked to be in their prime.’
    • ‘He took a small comfort in knowing that the horse was alive.’
    • ‘How could I be so callous when the poor creature was still alive?’
    • ‘Now that the mouse is not alive, does its brain still work?’
    • ‘Those lambs were still alive, but the ewes were dead.’
    living, live, having life, not dead
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    1. 1.1Continuing in existence or use.
      ‘keeping hope alive’
      • ‘militarism was kept alive by pure superstition’
      • ‘They kept his memory alive by continuing to cook up The Recipe.’
      • ‘Teams want to help keep Joel's memory alive by continuing his work, and the response really has been something else.’
      • ‘Joe realises that younger people may find it difficult to realise why this sense of nostalgia is so important to him but he continues to try to keep the memory of bygone days alive.’
      • ‘The cultural text remains alive and continues to speak in a discourse of oppression.’
      • ‘Nimba is seeking to keep the memory of Africa alive among immigrants from the continent.’
      • ‘An intense research spirit is still alive, if not continentally disseminated.’
      • ‘As we grow and numbers increase it's going to be a big challenge to keep this alive especially across continents.’
      • ‘She said it was imperative that the sugar industry continues to stay alive in a globalised world.’
      • ‘And embodied in all of this, central to all of this, is a tradition that you keep alive, that you continue, that you believe in - the hunt.’
      • ‘Despite all that I have outlined, it should be recognised that science is still very much alive and will continue to have an important role to play in society.’
      • ‘Though members argue that the Press Club remains alive, it currently has no physical location.’
      • ‘Sometimes I think the only thing that keeps the Tory party alive is continuing to write its suicide note.’
      • ‘Our forces do indeed continue to keep alive the flames of freedom in the world.’
      • ‘Today, in Venezuela, the reputation generated by his work continues to keep his memory alive.’
      • ‘Mary's charity and holocaust survivor organizations are both doing something to keep the memories alive.’
      • ‘By attacking Russia, he realigned the board so that France could expect greater benefits from keeping Italy alive than from continuing the alliance with Germany.’
      • ‘Argentina also had a policy of encouraging settlers and descendants of Welsh emigrants to Patagonia continue to keep alive Welsh culture there to this day.’
      • ‘Some girls even admit to enjoying the drama of keeping a story or incident alive by continuing to retell it, so it may never really be over.’
      • ‘When that happens, keep hope alive by continuing to expect the best - even if it doesn't pan out.’
      • ‘He also hopes shoppers will keep Cheam alive by supporting the local economy in the face of growing development.’
      active, existing, in existence, existent, extant, functioning, in operation, ongoing, going on, continuing, surviving, persisting, remaining, abiding
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  • 2(of a person or animal) alert and active; animated.

    ‘Ken comes alive when he hears his music played’
    • ‘Paradoxically, the librarian comes alive in his animated form.’
    • ‘On stage he comes alive and places the audience under a spell; outside of it, he works fiercely with a number of charities and human rights organisations.’
    • ‘He relaxes, and he comes alive - he turns on the charm.’
    • ‘Edmonton certainly comes alive in June, July and August: three fabulous months chocked full of festival and music happenings.’
    • ‘Coetzee has obviously immersed himself in his adoptive hometown, and the city comes alive in all its banal, suburban Australianness.’
    • ‘The river is where much of Southeast Asia comes alive, so expect to see children frolicking, men cormorant fishing and women washing and cooking in the shallows.’
    • ‘Everyone comes alive as we start gathering up our stuff and the loadmasters stop to prepare to drop the ramp and unload our baggage palate.’
    • ‘The town of Rokewood, about 47 km south west of Ballarat, comes alive this weekend as the Annual Rodeo begins.’
    • ‘Ken comes alive in a theatre situation, and his wit and intelligence are a refreshing change to the mundane stand-up acts as he makes you see life through new eyes.’
    • ‘Billy comes alive and is able to relate meaningfully to others outside the town, in the surroundings of the moors and the sky.’
    • ‘The director used to say, ‘Oh God, the minute she gets that gun, she comes alive.’’
    • ‘In such scenes the artiste's whole being comes alive as he pushes himself to get the maximum effect.’
    • ‘Inevitably, she only really comes alive for her raunchy dance number.’
    • ‘Brown comes alive as he talks of the Romantic poets and their exploration of what it means to be British.’
    • ‘He can appear distant, but show him a beautifully made shoe and he comes alive.’
    • ‘One actor in this film never comes alive, and the other seems too agonised and solemn for the role.’
    • ‘On such a stark platform, it isn't until half a dozen songs in that the band really comes alive.’
    • ‘The actor really comes alive only when his character is victimizing.’
    • ‘Seconds later the Ballyduff support really came alive as Jack Kennedy put his side into the lead for the first time.’
    • ‘Now, they have come alive, taken on familial roles and line up to fondle 20-day-old Mose.’
    animated, lively, full of life, alert, active, energetic, vigorous, spry, sprightly, vital, vibrant, vivacious, buoyant, exuberant, ebullient, zestful, spirited, enthusiastic, eager, bouncy, bubbly, perky, sparkling
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    1. 2.1Having interest and meaning.
      ‘we hope we will make history come alive for the children’
      • ‘It is a gifted novelist, indeed, who can make ordinary events come alive, and who can interest the reader in ordinary, even dull, characters.’
      • ‘It was really interesting to watch the levels come alive as the team found better and smarter ways of doing things.’
      • ‘The channel did, after all, make northern Jersey come alive.’
      • ‘Open air, under a darkening Delhi sky, is an extraordinarily effective setting in which to watch 200 years of history come alive.’
      • ‘In a rural ambience, the games come alive again.’
      • ‘Only then can a story, and the ghosts, come alive.’
      • ‘And then you're writing, and after that it's just a matter of putting the words down in a way that makes the story come alive for someone else.’
      • ‘The parents who had come to visit the school were equally appreciative of the effort the staff had made to make the day come alive for the children.’
      • ‘A wide range of subjects come alive on the canvas exhibited here.’
      • ‘The idea is that history should come alive for the pupils rather than them merely seeing or being told about things that happened from books.’
      • ‘What could have been an important but dry history lesson in lesser hands comes alive in this vibrant exploration of the Black Church in Canada.’
      • ‘Wildlife comes alive in the paintings of S. Vadivel.’
      • ‘Thanks to superior recording, the event comes alive in all its majesty, although watching such a performance on the TV is never the same as the real thing.’
      • ‘It's the kind of thing you read in those psychology textbooks and it comes alive for you, doesn't it?’
      • ‘But when you are perched high atop it all, the beauty really comes alive.’
      • ‘Scotland, all of five million strong, comes alive through Sue.’
      • ‘The screen comes alive when either the protagonist, or his worthy antagonist, are present.’
      • ‘Comedy only comes alive when it's performed so this was my apprenticeship.’
      • ‘The weaving in her hands comes alive, binding into everything, coiling into the souls of men, tying the whole picture together.’
      • ‘Paris comes alive in this writer's pages in highly personal ways.’
  • 3alive toAware of and interested in; responsive to.

    ‘always alive to new ideas’
    • ‘In foreign affairs we have pursued our national interest robustly while remaining alive to the needs and interests of others.’
    • ‘The respondent must have been alive to the possibility that a cyclist could come along.’
    • ‘He was socially conscious in every sense, alive to the possibilities of celebrating what he found.’
    • ‘Because of their slight outsiderishness they are alive to the social nuances in the American atmosphere.’
    • ‘This is an important work: very well researched, reflective, sharp in judgment yet alive to complexity.’
    • ‘It is because of this style that the young boy Maqbool easily comes alive to us.’
    • ‘Fortunately, for Dundee, Steven Tweed was alive to the danger and made a timely intervention to deny Parker a clear run on goal.’
    • ‘As a journalist living in the most expensive city in the country, I am keenly alive to to the issue.’
    • ‘As I say, Angell resists sentimentality, but he is alive to sentiment.’
    • ‘Clonaslee came alive to the sound of music on Sunday June 2 as the annual festival got under way.’
    • ‘At times he sounds like the great EB White, a gentle man consumed with the plight of the world but alive to the simple pleasures.’
    • ‘He has brought the saga alive to visitors and locals alike.’
    • ‘The Prime Minister is clearly alive to the danger of being seen as neglectful of his home front because he is too preoccupied with foreign affairs.’
    • ‘In your language, in your thought, be alive to the form of things.’
    • ‘As the players run onto the field, the stands come alive to the sound of cheers and support that echo across the river.’
    • ‘The nation is fully alive to the pressures that the world powers are exerting on his government’
    • ‘Her addiction, she says, is studying people, alive to the way they look and move, wondering how she would paint them.’
    • ‘It is alive to the need for strong internal morale and discipline.’
    • ‘She is also alive to the reality that a career in acting would be short-lived.’
    • ‘For the second year in a row the North East Kilkenny landscape came alive to the sound of all things vintage.’
    alert to, awake to, aware of, sensitive to, conscious of, mindful of, heedful of, watchful of, responsive to
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  • 4alive withSwarming or teeming with.

    ‘in spring those cliffs are alive with auks and gulls’
    • ‘The format of this book is alive with visuals and packed with persuasive language.’
    • ‘The town will be alive with an abundance of colour and plenty of entertainment for all the family.’
    • ‘Obscure slices of history and allegories abound and every spot comes alive with some parable or other.’
    • ‘Some moments are startling; when you see one of their faces come alive with an emotion, you almost forget.’
    • ‘The huge screen in a corner came alive with live action straight from the South Korean capital, Seoul.’
    • ‘At almost any time of the day, a casual stroll through these public areas will reveal them to be alive with activity.’
    • ‘It was spanned by a hump-back bridge leading to a jungle path alive with the orchestrated hum of insects.’
    • ‘In many homes today kitchens and bathrooms are alive with chrome and stainless steel accessories.’
    • ‘This is a beautiful album and interesting concept, alive with energy and cultural diversity.’
    • ‘The blackcurrant bush is alive with the wings and chirps of greedy blackbirds gorging themselves.’
    • ‘The main street was alive with colour as the schoolchildren waved their flags and greeted the visitors.’
    • ‘Few places are so alive with children smiling, laughing and throwing up in giant rotating teacups.’
    • ‘It's a dreary beach, too: no real surf and mounds of weed lie rotting and stinking, alive with flies.’
    • ‘In the sunlight, the steel surface comes alive with reflections, picking up the green of the surrounding grass.’
    • ‘Only a person who has recently moved could have an office not fully furnished but alive with an air of enthusiasm.’
    • ‘The massive bronze doors are alive with figures representing almost every facet of human experience and emotion.’
    • ‘In his head, Stewart plunged down hurtling depths and into inky water alive with worms and bones.’
    • ‘The field was alive with activity as the many livestock contests took place.’
    • ‘The village was alive with colour and music - which continued into the early hours.’
    • ‘Shop windows are alive with colourful summer clothing and the summer holidays will be with us sooner than we can imagine.’
    teeming, swarming, thronged, overflowing, overrun, bristling, bustling, rife, infested, thick, crowded, packed
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/əˈlīv/ /əˈlaɪv/


    alive and kicking
    • Prevalent and very active.

      • ‘bigotry is still alive and kicking’
      • ‘It needs a demonstration that it is alive and kicking.’
      • ‘People have been forecasting that for a long time and could I tell you they're still very much alive and kicking.’
      • ‘History was alive and kicking on Saturday when around 100 people brought their archaeological finds to Westbury Visitor Centre.’
      • ‘All in all, Teddy Hall were deserving winners but with sailing at all levels of the University alive and kicking, they'll have to fight to keep the cup next year.’
      • ‘Not receiving any response to a knock on the door, the employee let himself in the room in an effort to determine if she was alive and kicking.’
      • ‘Now in his 60s, Clough is very much alive and kicking, as alert and acerbic as ever, and still with a myriad of views to express on any subject you care to mention.’
      • ‘Laois were very much alive and kicking and all other pretenders to the crown sat up and took notice after a superb performance at O'Moore Park.’
      • ‘But the event proved in great style that British brewing is very much alive and kicking.’
      • ‘IT seems community spirit is alive and kicking in Swindon.’
      • ‘Post-revolution, there is plenty of evidence to suggest that Romanian rugby was alive and kicking.’
      • ‘Windsurfers may be a dying breed in the United States, but the sport is alive and kicking on the Italian Riviera.’
      • ‘Neither can he recall the age of his mother's mother who is still alive and kicking in Christchurch today at the grand age of 77 or 78.’
      • ‘The nurse simply laughed at this, observing that I was indeed alive and kicking, and simply moved on to the next passenger.’
      • ‘The message appeared to be clear: in 2004, racial tension in Australia was alive and kicking.’
      • ‘Already, despite a hefty 40 per cent tariff, foreign competition is alive and kicking.’
      • ‘On the contrary, their availability in computer stores everywhere tells us that it remains alive and kicking.’
      • ‘The staff Christmas party is still alive and kicking, too.’
      • ‘Democracy, we are invited to believe, is alive and kicking.’
      • ‘This was late 1986, and Doolin's music scene was alive and kicking.’
      • ‘In the desolate reaches of Africa, the real thrill of hunting a leopard and an elephant is alive and kicking.’
      living, live, having life, not dead
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    alive and well
    • Still existing or active (often used to deny rumors or beliefs that something has disappeared or declined)

      ‘Jefferson's ideas are alive and well today in Washington’
      • ‘Forget the market reaction to the interim banking profits so far, the industry is alive and well.’
      • ‘He may have disappeared from British politics, but the former Prime Minister is alive and well and ruling Australia.’
      • ‘Missing student Vicky Stephenson was today found alive and well in Dublin.’
      • ‘The trend from the extreme left to extreme right, so obvious today, was alive and well then.’
      • ‘Apparently the law of unintended consequences is alive and well in the pawn industry.’
      • ‘The sex industry is alive and well, and nothing anyone has done has managed to change that.’
      • ‘Heritage in Abbeyleix is alive and well and Abbeyleix Heritage House is now in a safe pair of hands.’
      • ‘It is alive and well in today's Glasgow via the services of the Catholic Church.’
      • ‘After almost disappearing from the linguistic map, Galician is now alive and well.’
      • ‘Contrary to popular belief, the commercial sex scene is alive and well in Singapore.’
      • ‘I would like to think that that spirit is still alive and well in the company today.’
      • ‘This case clearly demonstrates that the legal fiction is alive and well today.’
      • ‘It is encouraging to see that Saskatchewan's progressive tradition is alive and well.’
      • ‘Democracy is alive and well in Canada as thousands were able to express their opposition to this policy.’
      • ‘It's nice to know that street entertainment is alive and well in York.’
      • ‘Police called off an intensive search after a woman missing from Warminster was found alive and well in Somerset.’
      • ‘Is this something I could live without and still remain alive and well?’
      • ‘Calgary's first beer festival is not only alive and well, but getting bigger and better.’
      • ‘But her family in Bonnybridge confirmed last week that she was alive and well.’
      • ‘But in one of the few good news stories to emerge from the tragedy, the couple were later found to be alive and well.’


Old English on līfe, literally ‘in life’.