Alive vs. Live: What's the Difference?
"Alive" means living, not dead; "Live" refers to something happening in real-time or denotes life in "to live."
"Alive" is an adjective, often used to describe something that possesses life, like humans, animals, or plants. It signifies the state of living, as opposed to being dead. "Live," however, can be an adjective indicating something happening now, as in a "live broadcast," or a verb as in "to live somewhere" or "to live well."
"Alive" is used to express the condition of life, especially in contrast to lifeless states. It doesn't have the present-tense urgency that "live" carries when used as an adjective. For instance, a broadcast isn't "alive," but it is "live" if it's being transmitted in real-time.
"Alive" exclusively describes the state of living entities. It's not used for non-living things, even if they are active or operational. On the other hand, "live" can describe non-living things like broadcasts or performances, indicating they are occurring at the moment.
"Alive" denotes a state of being, a condition of existence. It’s static, focusing on the presence of life in a being or organism. "Live," when used as a verb, denotes action, the act of living, which includes everything one does to sustain life, encompassing actions and experiences.
"Alive" and "live" both relate to life, but they are used in different grammatical contexts and cannot be used interchangeably. "Alive" doesn't imply action but a state, whereas "live" implies action or real-time occurrence when used as an adjective.
Part of Speech
Always an adjective
Adjective or verb
Describes living beings
Describes real-time events or living
Only to living entities
To events, broadcasts, or life itself
A state of existence
An action or current occurrence
Action or immediacy
Alive and Live Definitions
Having life; not dead.
The dog was injured but still alive.
Broadcast or performed in real time.
Tonight's game will be live.
Full of energy and spirit.
The crowd was alive with excitement.
To conduct one's life in a particular manner.
She lives by her own rules.
Still existing, present, or in use.
Ancient traditions are still alive in this village.
To be alive; exist.
Having life; living.
To continue to be alive
Lived through a bad accident.
In existence or operation; active
Keep your hopes alive.
To support oneself; subsist
Living on rice and fish.
Lives on a small inheritance.
Full of living or moving things; abounding
A pool alive with trout.
To reside; dwell
Lives on a farm.
Full of activity or animation; lively
A face alive with mischief.
To conduct one's life in a particular manner
(Sports) In play; live
A foul called when the ball is alive.
To pursue a positive, satisfying existence; enjoy life
Those who truly live.
Having life; living; not dead.
As long as the plant is alive, he will continue to water it.
To remain in human memory
An event that lives on in our minds.
In a state of action; in force or operation; existent.
To keep the fire alive
To keep the affections alive
To spend or pass (one's life).
Busy with activity of many living beings; swarming; thronged; busy.
Although quite dull during the day, the main street comes alive at night, with many bars and clubs opening.
To go through; experience
Lived a nightmare.
(of electrical wiring) Carrying electrical current; energized.
DANGER: OVERHEAD CATENARY - WIRE IS ALIVE
To practice in one's life
Live one's beliefs.
Sprightly; lively; brisk.
Having life; alive
Susceptible, sensitive; easy to impress; having keen feelings, as opposed to apathy.
Of, related to, or occurring during the life of one that is living
A live birth.
The live weight of an animal before being slaughtered.
(intensifier) Out of all living creatures.
Of current interest or relevance
A live topic.
Still a live option.
(computer programming) live
(Informal) Full of life, excitement, or activity; lively
A live crowd at the parade.
A live party.
Having life, in opposition to dead; living; being in a state in which the organs perform their functions; as, an animal or a plant which is alive.
In a state of action; in force or operation; unextinguished; unexpired; existent; as, to keep the fire alive; to keep the affections alive.
Not yet exploded but capable of being fired
Exhibiting the activity and motion of many living beings; swarming; thronged.
The Boyne, for a quarter of a mile, was alive with muskets and green boughs.
(Electricity) Carrying an electric current or energized with electricity
Live cables lying dangerously on the ground.
Sprightly; lively; brisk.
Not mined or quarried; in the natural state
Having susceptibility; easily impressed; having lively feelings, as opposed to apathy; sensitive.
Tremblingly alive to nature's laws.
Broadcast while actually being performed; not taped, filmed, or recorded
A live television program.
Of all living (by way of emphasis).
Northumberland was the proudest man alive.
Involving performers or spectators who are physically present
A live audience.
The happiest person alive
The nerve is alive
Doctors are working hard to keep him alive
Of, relating to, or containing living bacteria or active viruses, sometimes in an attenuated form
Live yogurt cultures.
A live measles vaccine.
(often followed by `with') full of life and spirit;
She was wonderfully alive for her age
A face alive with mischief
(Printing) Not yet set into type
Having life or vigor or spirit;
An animated and expressive face
Became very animated when he heard the good news
(Sports) In play
A live ball.
(followed by `to' or `of') aware of;
Is alive to the moods of others
At, during, or from the time of actual occurrence or performance
The landing on the moon was telecast live.
Keep hope alive
The tradition was still alive
An active tradition
(intransitive) To be alive; to have life.
He's not expected to live for more than a few months.
(usually followed by `to') showing acute awareness; mentally perceptive;
Alert to the problems
Alive to what is going on
Awake to the dangers of her situation
Was now awake to the reality of his predicament
(intransitive) To have permanent residence somewhere, to inhabit, to reside.
I live at 2a Acacia Avenue.
He lives in LA, but he's staying here over the summer.
Capable of erupting;
A live volcano
The volcano is very much alive
(of an object) to have its proper place; to normally be stored.
I washed your gravy boat. Where does it live?
Continuously active or in motion.
Her imagination is very much alive.
(intransitive) To survive; to persevere; to continue.
Aware of and interested in; responsive to.
He's very much alive to the dangers of his job.
(intransitive) To endure in memory; to escape oblivion.
Her memory lives in that song.
You'll just have to live with it!
I can't live in a world without you.
(intransitive) To pass life in a specified manner.
It is difficult to live in poverty.
And they lived happily ever after.
(transitive) To spend, as one's life; to pass; to maintain; to continue in, constantly or habitually.
To live an idle or a useful life.
(transitive) To act habitually in conformity with; to practice; to exemplify in one's way of life.
To live as; to live being.
(intransitive) To outlast danger; to float (said of a ship, boat, etc).
No ship could live in such a storm.
To maintain or support one's existence; to provide for oneself; to feed; to subsist.
It is hard to live on the minimum wage.
They lived on stale bread.
Man shall not live by bread alone.
To make the most of life; to experience a full, rich life.
I'm sick of spending every day studying at home: I want to go out there and live!
(only used attributively) Having life; that is alive.
The post office will not ship live animals.
Being in existence; actual.
He is a live example of the consequences of excessive drinking.
Having active properties; being energized.
Because the vaccinia virus is live, it is important to follow care instructions for the vaccination site.
Operational; in actual use rather than in testing etc.
(programming) Of an object or value: that may potentially be used in the future execution of a program.
Taken from a living animal.
(engineering) Imparting power; having motion.
The live spindle of a lathe
A live, or driving, axle
(sports) Still in active play.
A live ball
(card games) Of a card: not yet dealt or played.
(broadcasting) Being broadcast ("on the air"), as it happens.
The station presented a live news program every evening.
Are we live?
(of a performance or speech) In person.
This nightclub has a live band on weekends.
Recorded from a performance in front of an audience.
A live album
Of firearms or explosives, capable of causing harm.
The air force practices dropping live bombs on the uninhabited island.
Of an environment where sound is recorded: having noticeable reverberation.
(circuitry) Electrically charged or energized, usually indicating that the item may cause electrocution if touched.
Use caution when working near live wires.
(poker) Being a bet which can be raised by the bettor, usually in reference to a blind or straddle.
Tommy's blind was live, so he was given the option to raise.
(film) Featuring humans; not animated, in the phrases “live actors” or “live action”.
Being in a state of ignition; burning.
A live coal; live embers
(obsolete) Vivid; bright.
(dated) Energetic, attentive, active.
A live man, or orator
Outstanding, top-notch, exhilarating.
Of an event, as it happens; in real time; direct.
The concert was broadcast live by radio.
Of making a performance or speech, in person.
He'll be appearing live at the auditorium.
To be alive; to have life; to have, as an animal or a plant, the capacity of assimilating matter as food, and to be dependent on such assimilation for a continuance of existence; as, animals and plants that live to a great age are long in reaching maturity.
Thus saith the Lord God unto these bones; Behold, I will . . . lay sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and ye shall live.
To pass one's time; to pass life or time in a certain manner, as to habits, conduct, or circumstances; as, to live in ease or affluence; to live happily or usefully.
O death, how bitter is the remembrance of thee to a man that liveth at rest in his possessions!
To make one's abiding place or home; to abide; to dwell; to reside; as, to live in a cottage by the sea.
Jacob lived in the land of Egypt seventeen years.
To be or continue in existence; to exist; to remain; to be permanent; to last; - said of inanimate objects, ideas, etc.
Men's evil manners live in brass; their virtuesWe write in water.
To enjoy or make the most of life; to be in a state of happiness; as, people want not just to exist, but to live.
What greater curse could envious fortune giveThan just to die when I began to live?
To feed; to subsist; to be nourished or supported; - with on; as, horses live on grass and grain.
To have a spiritual existence; to be quickened, nourished, and actuated by divine influence or faith.
The just shall live by faith.
To be maintained in life; to acquire a livelihood; to subsist; - with on or by; as, to live on spoils.
Those who live by labor.
To outlast danger; to float; - said of a ship, boat, etc.; as, no ship could live in such a storm.
A strong mast that lived upon the sea.
To spend, as one's life; to pass; to maintain; to continue in, constantly or habitually; as, to live an idle or a useful life.
To act habitually in conformity with; to practice.
To live the Gospel.
Having life; alive; living; not dead.
If one man's ox hurt another's, that he die; then they shall sell the live ox, and divide the money of it.
Being in a state of ignition; burning; having active properties; as, a live coal; live embers.
Full of earnestness; active; wide awake; glowing; as, a live man, or orator.
Imparting power; having motion; as, the live spindle of a lathe; live steam.
Connected to a voltage source; as, a live wire.
Being transmitted instantaneously, as events occur, in contrast to recorded.
Still in active play; - of a ball being used in a game; as, a live ball.
Pertaining to an entertainment event which was performed (and possibly recorded) in front of an audience; contrasted to performances recorded in a studio without an audience.
Make one's home or live in;
She resides officially in Iceland
I live in a 200-year old house
These people inhabited all the islands that are now deserted
The plains are sparsely populated
Lead a certain kind of life; live in a certain style;
We had to live frugally after the war
Continue to live; endure or last;
We went without water and food for 3 days
These superstitions survive in the backwaters of America
The racecar driver lived through several very serious accidents
He could barely exist on such a low wage
Can you live on $2000 a month in New York City?
Many people in the world have to subsist on $1 a day
Have life, be alive;
Our great leader is no more
My grandfather lived until the end of war
Have firsthand knowledge of states, situations, emotions, or sensations;
I know the feeling!
Have you ever known hunger?
I have lived a kind of hell when I was a drug addict
The holocaust survivors have lived a nightmare
I lived through two divorces
Pursue a positive and satisfying existence;
You must accept yourself and others if you really want to live
Actually being performed at the time of hearing or viewing;
A live television program
Brought to you live from Lincoln Center
Live entertainment involves performers actually in the physical presence of a live audience
Showing characteristics of life; exerting force or containing energy;
Tossed a live cigarette out the window
Got a shock from a live wire
Live ore is unmined ore
A live bomb
A live ball is one in play
A live concert hall
Charged with an explosive;
A live bomb
Clean bouncy hair
A lively tennis ball
As resiliant as seasoned hickory
Abounding with life and energy;
The club members are a really live bunch
In current use or ready for use;
Live copy is ready to be set in type or already set but not yet proofread
Of current relevance;
A live issue
Still a live option
Charged or energized with electricity;
A hot wire
A live wire
A live canary
Hit a live nerve
Famous living painters
Capable of erupting;
A live volcano
The volcano is very much alive
The opera was broadcast live
To remain alive or have life.
We live in uncertain times.
Burning or glowing.
The fireplace had live coals in it.
(Of a musical performance) performed by people.
I prefer live concerts to recorded music.
Can "Live" refer to recordings?
No, "Live" indicates happening in real-time.
Does "Live" mean living somewhere?
As a verb, it does.
Can objects be "Alive"?
No, "Alive" only refers to living entities.
Can a show be "Alive"?
No, but it can be "Live" if happening now.
Is "Alive" a verb?
No, it's an adjective.
Can music be "Live"?
Yes, if performed in real-time.
Are "Alive" and "Live" interchangeable?
No, "Alive" is a state, while "Live" indicates real-time or life actions.
Can you be "Alive" but not "Live"?
Yes, if "Live" means occurring presently, not being dead.
Does "Alive" mean active?
It can, but mainly denotes being living.
Does "Live" mean lively?
Not necessarily; it can mean real-time or to exist.
Is "Alive" temporal?
No, it's a state of being.
Does "Alive" have an antonym?
Can "Alive" mean "alert"?
In a sense of being conscious, yes.
Can "Alive" describe feelings?
Indirectly, as in "feeling alive."
Is "Live" used for electricity?
Yes, as in "live wires."
Is "Live" a noun?
No, it's an adjective or verb.
Is "Alive" for plants?
Yes, if they're living.
Does "Live" mean "to survive"?
It can, depending on context.
Does "Alive" mean functioning?
For living beings, it means living; not "functioning" in a mechanical sense.
Can "Live" mean "recorded"?
No, it means the opposite.
Written bySawaira Riaz
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