before 1000; earlier liveliod, livelihod, alteration (by reanalysis as lively + hood; compare obsolete livelihood liveliness) of Middle Englishlivelod,Old Englishlīflād conduct of life, way of life (see life, lode, load)
1610s, alteration of livelode "means of keeping alive" (c.1300), from Old English lifad "course of life," from lif "life" + lad "way, course" (see load). Cf. Old High German libleita. Spelling assimilated to words in -hood. Earlier livelihood was a different word, meaning "liveliness," from lively.