9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[lahy-vuh n] /ˈlaɪ vən/
verb (used with object)
to put life into; rouse; enliven; cheer (often followed by up):
What can we do to liven up the party?
verb (used without object)
to become more lively; brighten (usually followed by up):
If this party doesn't liven up soon, let's leave.
Origin of liven
1880-85; aphetic variant of enliven
Related forms
livener, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for liven
  • Administrators are finding new ways to liven up the experience.
  • One way to liven up a winter salad is with seasonal fruit.
  • Then the radio station decided to let the people in, hoping an audience would liven up the show.
  • They liven up your writing and make it more interesting.
  • Live music and giveaways will also help liven up this family-friendly event.
  • Use hand gestures to support and liven up your presentation.
  • No date for examination and adjustment need be liven in informal administration proceedings.
  • Groups also could illustrate positive features of the region to liven up the display.
British Dictionary definitions for liven


(usually foll by up) to make or become lively; enliven
Derived Forms
livener, noun
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 liven

1884, colloquial shortening of 17c. enliven, usually with up. Related: Livened; livening.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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