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What It Means to Be Alive

Alive, ə-′līv , adjective, Middle English, from Old English on life, from on + līf

You may have guessed by now that I’m a word person, among other things, so every once in a while I find it interesting to look for words that mean the same as something I’m trying to describe. Of course, the good old thesaurus is the place to go (what’s another word for “thesaurus?”). In the spirit of this process, what does it mean to be alive?

abounding, abundant, activated, activating, active, adroit, aggressive, agile, airy, alert, alive, all ears, animated, ardent, around, aroused, attentive, awake, awakened, aware, blithe, bouncy, bountiful, breathing, bright, brisk, bucked, buoyant, bustling, busy, cagey, careful, changing, charismatic, cheerful, cheery, chipper, chirpy, circumspect, clever, cognizant, coming on strong, compelling, conscious, contented, copious, driving, dynamic, dynamical, eager, ebullient, effective, effervescent, elated, electric, energetic, energized, energizing, enlivening, enterprising, enthusiastic, excited, existent, existing, extant, facile, fast on the draw, fervent, filled, flush, forceful, forcible, full of pep, functioning, gay, glad, gladsome, go-ahead, go-getter, go-getting, going, good hands, good-humored, good-natured, growing, happy, hard-hitting, heads up, hearty, heedful, high, high-powered, hilarious, hip, hopeful, hot, hyped-up, in good spirits, in high spirits, influential, intelligent, intense, jaunty, jazzed, jocund, jolly, joyful, kinetic, knowing, lighthearted, live, lively, living, lusty, magnetic, merry, mortal, nimble, observant, on guard, on one’s toes, on the ball, on the job, on the lookout, on the qui vive, operating, operative, optimistic, overflowing, passionate, peppy, perceptive, perky, play for keeps, play hard ball, pleasant, plenteous, potent, powerful, prodigal, productive, profuse, progressive, prolific, psyched up, quick, ready, red-blooded, replete, resilient, rife, roseate, rosy, roused, running, sanguine, sensible, sentient, sharp, snappy, sparkling, speedy, spirited, sprightly, springy, spry, stirring, strenuous, strong, subsisting, sunny, sunny side up, swarming, switched on, teeming, unrecorded, up, upbeat, vehement, viable, vibrant, vigilant, vigorous, vital, vitalized, vitalizing, vivacious, vivid, wakeful, waking, wary, watchful, wide-awake, winsome, wired, wise, with it, working, zappy, zealous, zestful, zingy, zippy, zoetic.

Copyright 2013 Daniel J. Metevier

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Dr. Dan is no longer taking new clients, but remains available to current and former clients.

To find a therapist with openings in their schedule, you may wish to search the Psychology Today Therapist Directory. It enables you to search for people who take your insurance, have relevant specialties, and more.