1630s, from French vivide and perhaps also directly from Latin vividus "spirited, animated, lively, full of life," from vivus "alive," from PIE root *gwei- "to live." Extension to colors is from 1660s. Sense of "strong, distinct" (as of memories, etc.) is from 1680s; that of "very active or intense" (as of imagination, interest, etc.) is from 1853. Related: Vividly; vividness.