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live wire

[lahyv] /laɪv/
noun, Informal.
an energetic, keenly alert person.
Origin of live wire
1900-05, Americanism Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for live-wire
Historical Examples
  • There was no live-wire fencing in the forest, such as the Germans have erected along the frontier between Holland and Belgium.

    The Man with the Clubfoot Valentine Williams
  • The man, in short, is a "hustler," an "advertiser" whose highest aim is to be a "live-wire."

    My Discovery of England Stephen Leacock
  • Yes, if we had a live-wire on the paper, I could find ten people who would pledge ten dollars a month.

    Comrade Yetta Albert Edwards
  • "We're the live-wire octette, and we are going to let everybody know it," proclaimed Tommy Tucker vociferously.

  • You will often hear some "live-wire" business man spoken of as a "human dynamo."

British Dictionary definitions for live-wire

live wire

(informal) an energetic or enterprising person
a wire carrying an electric current
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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Slang definitions & phrases for live-wire

live wire

noun phrase

An energetic, vibrant person: Jimmy's a live wire, all right (1909+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with live-wire

live wire

A highly alert or energetic person. For example, Sally's a real live wire; she brightens up any gathering. This metaphoric term transfers a wire carrying electric current to a lively individual. [ c. 1900 ]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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