"living persons," late Old English; early 14c. as "the fact of dwelling in some place," verbal noun from live (v.). The meaning "manner of course or living" is mid-14c.; that of "action, process, or method of gaining one's livelihood" is attested from c. 1400.
To make a living or a livelihood is to earn enough to keep alive on with economy, not barely enough to maintain life, nor sufficient to live in luxury. [Century Dictionary]
Clean Living is opposed to anything and everything which speaks for physical and mental disorder, dirt, disease, distress and discontent. Clean Living stands for babies, better born and better bred, better clothed and better fed; happier, healthier babies with normal play, normal environment and a normal chance to live and develop. Clean Living stands for youth, the critical time, the unfolding time, the time when muscle, mind, morals and manners of the boy and girl shall start right or wrong, for health and success or disease and failure. [Clean Living, vol. I, no. 1, April 1916, Chicago]
Middle English liven, from Old English lifian (Anglian), libban (West Saxon) "to be, be alive, have life; continue in life; to experience," also "to supply oneself with food, procure a means of subsistence; pass life in a specified fashion," from Proto-Germanic *libejanan (source also of Old Norse lifa "to be left; to live; to live on," of fire, "to burn;" Old Frisian libba, German leben, Gothic liban "to live"), from PIE root *leip- "to stick, adhere," forming words meaning "to remain, continue."
Meaning "to make a residence, dwell" is from c. 1200. Meaning "express in one's life" (live a lie) is from 1540s. Intensified sense "have life abundantly, make full use of life's opportunities" is from c. 1600. Related: Lived; living.
To live it up "live gaily and extravagantly" is from 1903. To live up to "act in accordance with, not live below the standard of" is 1690s, from earlier live up "live on a high (moral or mental) level" (1680s). To live (something) down "cause (something disreputable) to be forgotten by subsequent blameless course, live so as to disprove" is from 1842. To live with "cohabit as husband and wife" is attested from 1749; sense of "to put up with" is attested from 1937. Expression live and learn is attested from c. 1620.
According to the Dutch Prouerbe ... Leuen ende laetan leuen, To liue and to let others liue. [Gerard de Malynes, 1622]