Meaning of “live” in the English Dictionary

"live" in British English

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uk /lɪv/ us /lɪv/

live verb (BE ALIVE)

B1 [ I ] (to continue) to be alive or have life:

He only lived a few days after the accident.
Her granny lived to the ripe old age of 94.
Can the right to live ever be denied to any human?
She lived on well into her 90s.

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live verb (HAVE A HOME)

live in, at, etc.

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A1 to have your home somewhere:

Where do you live?
We live in Kingston.
Some students live on the University campus.
He lives with four other people in a shared house.

[ I ] informal to be kept usually in a particular place:

Where do the knives live in your kitchen?
I'm not sure where this bowl lives.

live verb (SPEND LIFE)

B1 [ I usually + adv/prep, T ] to spend your life in a particular way:

After a while you get used to living alone.
When you retire, you want to live a comfortable life.
So the couple got married and lived happily ever after.
He simply wants to live (out) (= experience) the rest of his days in peace.
The TV's broken - we'll just have to live without (= not have) it for a while.
She certainly lived her life to the full (= was always doing something interesting).
figurative The US is living beyond its means (= spending more than it earns).

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live verb (STAY ALIVE)

C2 [ I ] to stay alive, especially by getting enough money to pay for food, a place to stay, clothing, etc.:

For several years she lived by begging.
She has an inheritance to live off (US also live off of) so she doesn't need to work.
He only agreed to marry her so he could live off her (money).

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live verb (CONTINUE)

[ I ] (of things that are not alive) to exist or continue to exist:

The memory of those terrible days lives on.


uk /laɪv/ us /laɪv/

live adjective (AS IT HAPPENS)

B1 (of a performance) broadcast, recorded, or seen while it is happening:

This evening there will be a live broadcast of the debate.
a live recording

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live adjective (ELECTRICITY)

(of a wire) carrying or charged with electricity:

a live wire

live adjective (BURNING)

(of a fire, coals, or a match) still burning or able to burn:

There are live coals in the fireplace.


uk /laɪv/ us /laɪv/

(Definition of “live” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"live" in American English

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us /lɪv/

live verb (HAVE LIFE)

[ I ] to be alive or have life, or to continue in this state:

Rembrandt lived in the 17th century.
This oak tree has been living for over 200 years.

live verb (HAVE A HOME)

[ I always + adv/prep ] to have as your home or as the place where you stay or return, esp. to sleep:

Where do you live?
We live in St. Louis now but we used to live in Cincinnati.
Freshmen are required to live on campus.
My brother lives with four other people in a big house.

live verb (STAY ALIVE)

[ I ] to stay alive by getting enough money to pay for food, a home, clothing, etc., or to stay alive by eating a particular food:

She’s so poor – I wonder how she lives.
While he’s studying for the finals, he lives on junk food.
He’s living off the money he inherited from his father.

live verb (SPEND LIFE)

[ always + adv/prep ] to spend your life in a particular way:

[ I ] After a while you get used to living alone.
[ I ] On his income, they can afford to live well.
[ T ] She lived her whole life in a little town in New Mexico.

[ always + adv/prep ] To live can also mean to have the full experience that life can offer:

[ I ] If you haven’t been to Alaska, you haven’t lived.

liveadjective, adverb [ not gradable ]

us /lɑɪv/

live adjective, adverb [ not gradable ] (AS IT HAPPENS)

(of a performance) shown or broadcast to people watching or listening as it is happening, rather than being recorded to be shown or broadcast later:

This evening at seven there will be a live telecast of the debate.
There will be live music (= people playing music) at the party.

liveadjective [ not gradable ]

us /lɑɪv/

live adjective [ not gradable ] (CARRYING ELECTRICITY)

carrying or charged with electricity:

You’d better test the electric outlet first to see if it’s live.

live adjective [ not gradable ] (ABLE TO EXPLODE)

able to explode:

The army is using live ammunition on these maneuvers.

(Definition of “live” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"live" in Business English

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a live event is broadcast or seen at the same time it is performed or happens:

live broadcasts/coverage/discussions We try out ideas on thousands of customers at once, using live discussions or instant customer surveys.



IT broadcast or seen while being performed or happening:

The event will be screened live only by satellite broadcasters.
go live IT

if a new system, especially a computer system, goes live, it starts to operate:

Our new payments system will go live at the end of the month.


uk /lɪv/ us
live beyond your means

to spend more than you earn:

To avoid slipping into debt, don't live beyond your means.

Phrasal verb(s)

(Definition of “live” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)