American English

Definition of live verb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they live
    he / she / it lives
    past simple lived
    -ing form living
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    in a place
  1. 1[intransitive] + adv./prep. to have your home in a particular place to live in a house Where do you live? She needs to find somewhere to live. We used to live in Chicago. Both her children still live at home. (informal) Where do these plates live (= where are they usually kept)?
  2. be alive
  3. 2[intransitive] to remain alive The doctors said he only had six months to live. Spiders can live for several days without food. live to do something She lived to see her first grandchild.
  4. 3[intransitive] to be alive, especially at a particular time When did Handel live? He's the greatest player who ever lived.
  5. type of life
  6. 4[intransitive, transitive] to spend your life in a particular way He lived in poverty most of his life. live something She lived a very peaceful life. They lived their lives to the full. + noun She lived and died a single woman.
  7. be remembered
  8. 5[intransitive] to continue to exist or be remembered synonym remain This moment will live in our memory for many years to come. Her words have lived with me all my life.
  9. have excitement
  10. 6[intransitive] to have a full and exciting life I don't want to be stuck in an office all my life—I want to live!
  11. Idioms
    be/live in clover (informal)
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    to have enough money to be able to live a very comfortable life
      be (living) on borrowed time
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    1. 1to still be alive after the time when you were expected to die He's been living on borrowed time ever since his last heart attack.
    2. 2to be doing something that other people are likely to stop you from doing soon According to the latest opinion polls, the government is living on borrowed time.
    how the other half lives
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    the way of life of a different social group, especially one much richer than you
    in the land of the living (often humorous)
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    awake or alive or no longer sick I'm glad to see you're back in the land of the living. We were worried about you. By lunchtime I'd returned to the land of the living.
    lead/live the life of Riley (old-fashioned) (often disapproving)
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    to live an enjoyable and comfortable life with no problems or responsibilities The two crooks had been living the life of Riley. He planned to retire early and then lead the life of Riley.
    live and breathe something
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    to be very enthusiastic about something He just lives and breathes football.
    (you) live and learn
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    used to express surprise at something new or unexpected you have been told
    live and let live (saying)
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    used to say that you should accept other people's opinions and behavior even though they are different from your own
    live by your wits
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    to earn money by being able to think quickly or sometimes by dishonest means
    live (from) hand to mouth
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    to spend all the money you earn on basic needs such as food without being able to save any money
    live in the past
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    to behave as though society, etc. has not changed, when in fact it has
    live in sin (old-fashioned or humorous)
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    to live together and have a sexual relationship without being married
    live it up (informal)
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    to enjoy yourself in an exciting way, usually spending a lot of money
    to keep something important about yourself a secret from other people, so that they do not know what you really think, what you are really like, etc.
    live off the fat of the land
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    to have enough money to be able to afford expensive things, food, drink, etc.
    live off the land
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    to eat whatever food you can grow, kill, or find yourself
    live to fight/see another day (saying)
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    used to say that although you have failed or had a bad experience, you will continue
    long live somebody/something
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    used to say that you hope someone or something will live or last for a long time
    people (who live) in glass houses shouldn't throw stones (saying)
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    you should not criticize other people, because they will easily find ways of criticizing you
    you haven't lived
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    used to tell someone that if they have not had a particular experience their life is not complete You've never been to New York? You haven't lived!
    Phrasal Verbslive by somethinglive by doing somethinglive somethingdownlive for somebody/somethinglive inlive off somebody/somethinglive off somethinglive onlive on somethinglive out somethinglive through somethinglive togetherlive up to somethinglive with somebodylive with something
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: live