"You canker blossom!" 3 Shakespearean Insults


[uh-lahyv] /əˈlaɪv/
having life; living; 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; lively:
Grandmother's more alive than most of her contemporaries.
having the quality of life; vivid; vibrant:
The room was alive with color.
Electricity, live2 (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.
Origin of alive
before 1000; Middle English; Old English on līfe in life; see a-1
Related forms
aliveness, noun
half-alive, adjective
4. active.
1. dead. 3. defunct. 4. lifeless. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for alive
  • Empty space is full, particles are waves, and cats can be both alive and dead at the same time.
  • Their birth and development is what kept me alive through the darkest period of my life.
  • Sometimes, those who have died seem more alive than those who have not.
  • The sun seems to come alive with arcing loops that show magnetic field lines interacting above its surface.
  • What seems apparent, and what everyone seems to agree on, is that they were once alive.
  • For another, people are remaining alive even after they're blown up and decapitated, which is insane.
  • Our campus is alive all the time because our students make it so.
  • For years only blurred telephoto shots gave proof he was alive.
  • Ensuring that the animals are worth more alive than dead may be their only shot at survival.
  • And they proceed to remove his liver while he's still alive.
British Dictionary definitions for alive


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!
Derived Forms
aliveness, noun
Word Origin
Old English on līfe in life
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for alive

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).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with alive
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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