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[uh-lahyv] /əˈlaɪv/

having ; ; existing; not dead or lifeless.
living (used for emphasis):
the proudest man alive.
in a state of action; in force or operation; active:
to keep hope alive.
full of energy and spirit; :
Grandmother’s more alive than most of her contemporaries.
having the quality of life; vivid; vibrant:
The room was alive with color.
Electricity. 2 (def 17).
alive to, alert or sensitive to; aware of:
City planners are alive to the necessity of revitalizing deteriorating neighborhoods.
alive with, filled with living things; swarming; teeming:
The room was alive with mosquitoes.
look alive!, pay attention! move quickly!:
Look alive! We haven’t got all day.
adjective (postpositive)
(of people, animals, plants, etc) living; having life
in existence; active: they kept hope alive, the tradition was still alive
(immediately postpositive and usually used with a superlative) of those living; now living: the happiest woman alive
full of life; lively: she was wonderfully alive for her age
(usually foll by with) animated: a face alive with emotion
(foll by to) aware (of); sensitive (to)
(foll by with) teeming (with): the mattress was alive with fleas
(electronics) another word for live2 (sense 11)
alive and kicking, (of a person) active and in good health
look alive!, hurry up! get busy!

c.1200, from Old English on life “in living.” The fuller form on live was still current 17c. Alive and kicking “alert, vigorous,” attested from 1859; “The allusion is to a child in the womb after quickening” [Farmer]. Used emphatically, especially with man; e.g.:

[A]bout a thousand gentlemen having bought his almanacks for this year, merely to find what he said against me, at every line they read they would lift up their eyes, and cry out betwixt rage and laughter, “they were sure no man alive ever writ such damned stuff as this.” [Jonathan Swift, Bickerstaff’s Vindication, 1709]

Thus abstracted as an expletive, man alive! (1845).


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