Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Financial, Idioms, Encyclopedia.
These adjectives mean having or displaying energy. Active is the most general, connoting physical or mental exertion in a variety of contexts: an active toddler; an active imagination; remained active in later years by walking and swimming.
Busy suggests engagement in sustained activity on a particular task or job: a busy newspaper staff rushing to meet the deadline.
Energetic and vigorous emphasize performance of an activity or pursuit with enthusiasm or intensity: an energetic competitor; a vigorous crusader against drunk driving.
Dynamic connotes energy and forcefulness that often inspire others or bring about change: a dynamic leader who revitalized the party.
Lively suggests animated activity or alertness: a lively folk dance; a lively interest in politics.
- About as active as a left-over fly in January —Anon
- About as animated as a suit on a hanger —Elyse Sommer
- (This region was as) active as a compost heap —Julia O’Faolain
- Active as the sun —Isaac Watts
- Alive as a vision of life to be —Algernon Charles Swinburne
- (He looks) dead as a stump —Pat Conroy
In Conroy’s novel, The Prince of Tides, a character hearing someone described as above disagrees with another simile: “On the contrary, I think he looks as though he could rise up and whistle a John Philip Sousa march.”
- Frisky as a frisbee —Helen Hudson
- Frisky as a colt —Geoffrey Chaucer
- He was behaving as though the party were his: like an energetic octopus, he was shaking martinis, making introductions, manipulating the phonograph —Truman Capote
- He is like a moving light, never still. He has the temperature and metabolism of a bird —Joy Williams
- He [James Cagney] was like fireworks going off —Television obituary, 1986
- Lively as a boy, kind like a fairy godfather —Robert Louis Stevenson
- Lively as a weasel —Wallace Stegner
- Lusty as June —Wallace Stevens
- Mechanically animated, like the masterwork of some fiendishly inventive undertaker —Sharon Sheehe Stark
- Pert as a sparrow —Walker Percy
- (She had) rolled up her sleeves with all the vigor of a first-class cook confronting a brand-new kitchen —Mary McCarthy
- She is active and strong as little lionesses —William James
From a letter describing the energy of women in Dresden, July 24, 1867.
- She was like a strong head wind —Marguerite Young
- Simmering … like a coal fire in the Welsh mines —Marvin Kittman about British actor Roy Marsden whose popularity thus simmers “in the collective unconscious of the American public” and bursts into flame whenever he makes an appearance in a new British import, Newsday, March 27, 1987
- Small and sprightly, like a bantam hen —Truman Capote
- Sprightly as a Walt Disney cricket —Jean Thompson
- Tireless as a spider —Eudora Welty
- Vibrant as an E string —Carl Van Vechten
|Noun||1.||activeness - the state of being active; "his sphere of activity"; "he is out of action"|
state - the way something is with respect to its main attributes; "the current state of knowledge"; "his state of health"; "in a weak financial state"
agency - the state of being in action or exerting power; "the agency of providence"; "she has free agency"
busyness, hum - the state of being or appearing to be actively engaged in an activity; "they manifested all the busyness of a pack of beavers"; "there is a constant hum of military preparation"
behaviour, behavior - the action or reaction of something (as a machine or substance) under specified circumstances; "the behavior of small particles can be studied in experiments"
eructation, extravasation, eruption - (of volcanos) pouring out fumes or lava (or a deposit so formed)
operation - the state of being in effect or being operative; "that rule is no longer in operation"
overdrive - the state of high or excessive activity or productivity or concentration; "Troops are ready to go into overdrive as soon as the signal is given"; "Melissa's brain was in overdrive"
play - a state in which action is feasible; "the ball was still in play"; "insiders said the company's stock was in play"
swing - a state of steady vigorous action that is characteristic of an activity; "the party went with a swing"; "it took time to get into the swing of things"
|2.||activeness - the trait of being active; moving or acting rapidly and energetically; "the level of activity declines with age"|
trait - a distinguishing feature of your personal nature
brio, invigoration, spiritedness, vivification, animation - quality of being active or spirited or alive and vigorous