adj. live·li·er, live·li·est
a. Full of energy or alertness; vigorous or animated: a lively baby; lively eyes.
b. Characterized by much activity or excitement: "You would have ... indulged in the rides, games and fast food on the lively boardwalks" (Sarah Milstein). See Synonyms at active.
a. Quick-paced: a lively tune.
b. Full of flavor or spice: a lively sauce.
c. Stimulating and invigorating: a lively breeze.
3. Rebounding readily upon impact; resilient: a lively tennis ball.
With energy or vigor; briskly: Step lively!
[Middle English lifli, from Old English līflīc, from līf, life; see leip- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.