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.

before 1000; Middle English; Old English on līfe in life; see a-1

aliveness, noun
half-alive, adjective

4. active.

1. dead. 3. defunct. 4. lifeless. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
alive (əˈlaɪv)
1.  (of people, animals, plants, etc) living; having life
2.  in existence; active: they kept hope alive; the tradition was still alive
3.  (immediately postpositive and usually used with a superlative) of those living; now living: the happiest woman alive
4.  full of life; lively: she was wonderfully alive for her age
5.  (usually foll by with) animated: a face alive with emotion
6.  (foll by to) aware (of); sensitive (to)
7.  (foll by with) teeming (with): the mattress was alive with fleas
8.  electronics another word for live
9.  alive and kicking (of a person) active and in good health
10.  look alive! hurry up! get busy!
[Old English on līfe in life]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

c.1200, from O.E. 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].
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases


In addition to the idioms beginning with alive, also see come alive; eat someone alive; look alive; more dead than alive; skin alive.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Example sentences
Empty space is full, particles are waves, and cats can be both alive and dead
  at the same time.
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.
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