- The definition of lively is moving quickly, full of life or full of spirit.
An example of lively used as an adjective is in the phrase, "a lively song," which means an upbeat song.
- full of life; active; vigorous
- full of spirit; exciting; animated: a lively debate
- showing or inspiring liveliness; cheerful
- moving quickly and lightly, as a dance
- brisk: a lively breeze
- vivid; keen; intense: lively colors
- ☆ bounding back with, or having, great resilience: a lively ball
Origin of livelyMiddle English liflich ; from Old English liflic: see life and amp; -ly
- a. Full of energy or alertness; vigorous or animated: a lively baby; lively eyes.b. Characterized by much activity or excitement: “You would have &ellipsis; indulged in the rides, games and fast food on the lively boardwalks” (Sarah Milstein). See Synonyms at active.
- a. Quick-paced: a lively tune.b. Full of flavor or spice: a lively sauce.c. Stimulating and invigorating: a lively breeze.
- Rebounding readily upon impact; resilient: a lively tennis ball.
Origin of livelyMiddle English lifli, from Old English līflīc, from līf, life; see leip- in Indo-European roots.
(comparative livelier, superlative liveliest)
- Nouns to which "lively" is often applied: person, character, lady, woman, man, audience, personality, art, guide, activity, game, lesson, introduction, discussion, debate, writing, image, town, city, village, etc.
- (nautical) Term of address.
From Middle English lyvely, lifly, from Old English līflīċ (“living, lively, long-lived, necessary to life, vital”), equivalent to life + -ly. Cognate with Scots lively, lifely (“of or pertaining to life, vital, living, life-like”).
(comparative more lively, superlative most lively)
- 1603, John Florio, translating Michel de Montaigne, Essays, Folio Society 2006, vol. 1, p. 220-1:
- the Painter Protogenes [...] having perfected the image of a wearie and panting dog, [...] but being unable, as he desired, lively to represent the drivel or slaver of his mouth, vexed against his owne worke, took his spunge, and moist as it was with divers colours, threw it at the picture [...].
- vibrantly, vividly.
Old English līflīċe.