High school students who are throwing a dance in the gym might enliven it with balloons and streamers. In other words, they might try to cheer the room up.

When you enliven something, you make it more lively, colorful, or exciting. Your friend who is the life of the party can probably be counted on to enliven the dullest gathering, and a sprinkle of curry powder can enliven a dish of plain roasted vegetables. The original meaning of enliven, from the seventeenth century, was literally "to bring to life," as when a doctor re-starts a patient's stopped heartbeat.

Definitions of enliven

v make lively

animate, invigorate, liven, liven up
blunt, deaden
make less lively, intense, or vigorous; impair in vigor, force, activity, or sensation
ginger up, jazz up, juice up, pep up
make more interesting or lively
inspirit, spirit, spirit up
infuse with spirit
Type of:
arouse, brace, energise, energize, perk up, stimulate
cause to be alert and energetic

v heighten or intensify

animate, exalt, inspire, invigorate
show 8 types...
hide 8 types...
inspire with confidence; give hope or courage to
barrack, cheer, exhort, inspire, pep up, root on, urge, urge on
spur on or encourage especially by cheers and shouts
foster, nurture
help develop, help grow
encourage somebody by crying hollo
cheer, embolden, hearten, recreate
give encouragement to
draw out
make more sociable
bring out
encourage to be less reserved
goad, spur
give heart or courage to
Type of:
excite, shake, shake up, stimulate, stir
stir the feelings, emotions, or peace of

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, Vocabulary.com can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.