Live vs live

Live and live are two words that are spelled identically but are pronounced differently and have different meanings, which makes them heteronyms. We will examine the definitions of the words live and live, where these words came from, and a few examples of their use in sentences.

Live (liiv) is a verb that means to be alive, to find a way to subsist, to engage with life in a certain way, to survive, to exist in a certain location. Related words are lives, lived, living. The word live is derived from the Old English word, lifian, which means to be alive.

Live (lighv) is an adjective that means to be alive or to be happening right now. For instance, a television program may be taped and broadcast later or it may be broadcast as it is happening, live. The adjective live is also used to describe an explosive that has not been detonated or an electrical wire that is connected to a source of power. The word live has been in use since the 1600s and is an abbreviation of the word, alive. The word lives is the plural of the word life.

Examples

All About the President’s Official Guest House, Where Kamala Harris Will Live Temporarily (People Magazine)

A woman who has lived in a Humboldt Park church for three and a half years to avoid deportation returned home Saturday night to live with her family after President Joe Biden’s 100-day moratorium on deportations went into effect Friday. (Chicago Tribune)

One big advantage of internet live TV, though, is that it can be turned on and off on a monthly basis, without contracts or equipment rentals to worry about. (Wall Street Journal)

Now, almost a year later, a vaccine is slowly making its way across the country, and with it comes hope for the return of live music enjoyed standing side-by-side, without social distancing, without masks. (Omaha Reader)

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