c. 1200, "alive, not dead," also "residing, staying," present-participle adjective from live (v.)). Replaced Old English lifende "living, having life." Of water, "constantly flowing," late 14c., a biblical idiom. Of rock, stone, etc., "in its original state and place," from Latin use of vivus in reference to unwrought stone. Living dead was used from early 18c. in various figurative senses ("those who though dead live in their writings," etc.), from 1919 in reference to those who have died and been revived. From 1971 in reference to zombies, vampires, etc.
"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]
updated on September 25, 2018
Dictionary entries near living