Definition of live verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



; lɪv
see also live2

in a place

1 [intransitive] + adverb/preposition to have your home in a particular placeto live in a houseWhere do you live?She needs to find somewhere to live.We used to live in London.Both her children still live at home. (British English, informal) Where do these plates live (= where are they usually kept)?

be alive

2 [intransitive] to remain aliveThe doctors said he only had six months to live.Spiders can live for several days without to do something She lived to see her first grandchild.3 [intransitive] to be alive, especially at a particular timeWhen did Handel live?He's the greatest player who ever lived.

type of life

4 [intransitive, transitive] to spend your life in a particular wayHe lived in poverty most of his something She lived a very peaceful life.They lived their lives to the full.+ noun She lived and died a single woman.

be remembered

5 [intransitive] to continue to exist or be remembered
This moment will live in our memory for many years to come.Her words have lived with me all my life.

have excitement

6 [intransitive] to have a full and exciting lifeI don't want to be stuck in an office all my life—I want to live!

live and breathe something

to be very enthusiastic about something
He just lives and breathes football.

live and let live

(saying) used to say that you should accept other people's opinions and behaviour even though they are different from your own

live by your wits

to earn money by clever or sometimes dishonest means

live (from) hand to mouth

to spend all the money you earn on basic needs such as food without being able to save any money

live in the past

to behave as though society, etc. has not changed, when in fact it has

live in sin

(old-fashioned or humorous) to live together and have a sexual relationship without being married

live it up

(informal) to enjoy yourself in an exciting way, usually spending a lot of money

live a lie

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

to have enough money to be able to afford expensive things, food, drink, etc.

live off the land

to eat whatever food you can grow, kill or find yourself

live to fight another day

(saying) used to say that although you have failed or had a bad experience, you will continue

you haven't lived

used to tell somebody 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!

you live and learn

used to express surprise at something new or unexpected you have been told
more at be (living) on borrowed time at borrow, be/live in clover at clover, how the other half lives at half n., lead/live the life of Riley at life, long live somebody/something at long adverb, people (who live) in glass houses shouldn't throw stones at people n., be/live in each other's pockets at pocket n., live/sleep rough at rough adverb
Phrasal verbs

live by something

to follow a particular belief or set of principlesThat's a philosophy I could live by.

live by doing something

to earn money or to get the things you need by doing a particular thinga community that lives by fishing

live something down

to be able to make people forget about something embarrassing you have doneShe felt so stupid. She'd never be able to live it down.

live for somebody/something

to think that somebody/something is the main purpose of or the most important thing in your lifeShe lives for her work.After his wife died, he had nothing to live for.

live in

to live at the place where you work or studyThey have an au pair living in. see also live-in

live off somebody/something

(often disapproving) to receive the money you need to live from somebody/something because you do not have any yourselfShe's still living off her live off welfare

live off something

to have one particular type of food as the main thing you eat in order to liveHe seems to live off junk food.

live on

to continue to live or existShe died ten years ago but her memory lives on.He lived on for fifteen years after his wife died.

live on something

1 to eat a particular type of food to liveSmall birds live mainly on insects.2 (often disapproving) to eat only or a lot of a particular type of foodShe lives on burgers.3 to have enough money for the basic things you need to liveYou can't live on forty pounds a week.My salary isn't enough for us to live on.

live out

to live away from the place where you work or studySome college students will have to live out.

live out something

1 to actually do what you have only thought about doing beforeto live out your fantasies2 to spend the rest of your life in a particular wayHe lived out his days alone.

live through something

to experience a disaster or other unpleasant situation and survive itHe has lived through two world wars.

live together

(also live with somebody)1 to live in the same house2 to share a home and have a sexual relationship without being married

live up to something

to do as well as or be as good as other people expect you toHe failed to live up to his parents' expectations.The team called ‘The No-Hopers’ certainly lived up to its name.

live with somebody

= live together

live with something

to accept something unpleasantI just had to learn to live with the pain.